5:40 - Alarm goes off. I look out the window to see dry streets. The race is on.
6:00 - Eat two pancakes and a banana. The breakfast of champions. I'm excited not to be sick to my stomach like last week, which turned out to be a stomach bug I probably caught from my son, but which I'll always blame on the Carl's Junior Bourbon Burger I ate 7 hours later (even typing it makes me a little queasy).
7:23 - Chad calls as I'm heading to the car and tells me that the race is delayed an hour. I go back inside, feed my kids breakfast, and take a 40 minute nap. I contemplate whether taking a nap before a race will negatively or positively affect performance.
8:10 - Wake up from nap, get my crap, and head out the door.
9:30 - Warming up and eating shot blocks. Trying to keep on top of the race course changes due to the wet conditions. I'm chomping at the bit, and I'm jacked up on carbs.
10:15 - Word spreads that my race is delayed till 12:30. Which I interpret to mean more like 1:00pm or so.
10:36 - I check in with Wesla. She doesn't sound thrilled with the idea of watching kids by herself all day. Can't say I blame her.
10:42 - I'm contemplating what to do. I run into Mark who has decided to skip out on the race and go on a ride with friends instead. Riding with friends and keeping the misses happy? Decision made. I turn in my tag, transfer race registration, and head up to Sundance.
noonish - Start riding. We have a great group, including Dan, Mark, Kyle, Art, Kevin, and a couple of spouses. Trails are in near perfect condition.
12:42 - We're having a blast using all of that race energy on the Sundance trails. I'm excited to be feeling good again - as good as I've felt since before RAWROD, which seemed to be the beginning of a bit of a downward slide for me. Even when feeling good, it's tough to keep Dan, Mark and Kyle in sight. Those dudes are fast.
12:50 - We're on our second lap. Dan and I have a conversation about giardia, colonoscopies, and tape worms. Don't ask.
1:29 - Mark and I get separated from the group while talking about who knows what. We start down Boneyard for a quick out and back on Archies before I head home. If the name "Boneyard" isn't enough foreshadowing for you, I don't know what is.
1:32:14.2 - I'm suddenly supermanning through the air at approximately 19 miles per hour.
1:32:14.3 - I realize that my left pedal hit a rock back there, which is the reason I'm flying through the air.
1:32:14.34 - I look ahead and notice that I'm heading for a pile of jagged rocks.
1:32:14.39 - I think to myself that my streak of good luck has finally come to an end. Like all mountain bikers, I've had my fair share of crashes, but up until now, I've somehow always managed to land in the dirt. Not this time.
1:32:14.42 - As my face approaches the rocks, I wonder whether Wesla will still love me once I'm grossly disfigured. Does my health insurance cover reconstructive surgery? Will I be able to enjoy the afternoon BBQ if I'm missing most of my teeth? Okay, so none of these thoughts actually cross my mind. I was mostly just really freaked out about my eminent face plant.
1:32:14.50 - At the last possible moment, I lurch to the right to divert my face. I land full force on my shoulder instead. Any later and I would have landed on my face. Any sooner, and I would have likely rotated too far and risked breaking my collarbone. Luckily for me, I only ended up with a torn jersey, a "strawberry juice" colored wound (as described by my daughter), and a swollen shoulder.
1:36 - Back on the pony for the out and back on Archies. Mark wonders why he invited the beginner along. He graciously stops short of recommending I enroll in one of the "learn how to mountain bike" classes offered by Sundance for the bargain price of $100/hr. It would probably be money well spent.
2:12 - Arrive home, right on (the original) schedule.
The rest of the day - Ice my shoulder and enjoy two gluttonous meals. My shoulder is sore, but not even bad enough to keep me from riding today. I'm a lucky man, who really needs to stop riding like an out of control novice. Mark pointed out that bad things come in threes. Between this crash, my crash at Soldier Hollow, and a slow-speed crash while trying to clean a move with the other Mark a few weeks ago, I hope I'm done.
All in all, it was a great Memorial Day. And for better or worse, I once again have the battle wound to remind me of the good times.