On the top of the 3rd lap, I started feeling some potential cramping coming on. I started using granny LaBerta quite a bit more from there on out. What was really surprising is that the cramping actually came on even harder during the 3rd lap descent. Each time I straightened my left leg to make a sharp right-hand turn, my left quad would start to seize up. I eased up on the the DH a bit, started drinking a bunch more CarboRocket (Thanks Kellie for the extra handup!) and ended up fine on the 4th lap.
Perhaps I over-estimated, but I thought we started with around 20-25 racers - at least 2 solid rows. I finished and was hoping to be top 10, so I was surprised to see I finished in 4th. I think more people drop out of this race than any other, which padded my result a bit. I think that less than 15 finished.
It was nice to feel good for a change. And when I say "good", I mean that I suffered like a dog, but I at least felt like I could push for most of the 3.5 laps. I've felt like I've been in a bit of a slump over the past couple months, but finally started feeling good last week. The conditions worked in my favor as well. I don't necessarily enjoy riding in the heat, but i always seem to do better when it's hot. My legs just never seem to get the wake up call when it's chilly like at Deer Valley.
Thanks to Jim W (who in addition to being a strong rider is also a really strong CX ski racer) for documenting one of my rare visits to the tweety chair:
Splits: Lap 1: 39:30 (including initial shakeout)
Lap 2: 38:00
Lap 3: 39:00
Lap 4 (lower loop): 25:30