This last weekend I had two choices, race a little or race a lot. With Ore 2 Shore a week out for me it was a toss up on whether an extra little boost to fitness would be better or worse this weekend and whether or not I'll gain that little extra, or be a little extra tired.
It's hard for me to pass up racing so Gordy and I decided go for it and get a little extra fitness in so last Saturday we loaded up early and headed down to Elk Grove, IL for the crits down there. Big $$$ and big fields. I had goals of getting in some leg speed, staying hydrated, and not going too hard. 1.5 hour crit with about 8 corners, there seem to be a lot of crashes but nothing bad this year. I didn't warm up much, actually at all because I started getting a migraine headache an hour before the race but a quick trip to the gas station and 2 Excedrin seemed to curb it at a dull throb behind my eyes, not too bad as far as midgraines go. But, that took a little pep out of me and I wasn't very aggressive in the race, rolled across the line in 24th after 2 crashes in the last lap. I think I got in what I needed though without going very deep at all.
Sunday was a somewhat quick drive up to Camrock for WORS #7. The venue at Camrock was crowded, luckily there was a small park there and Ellie could play while I got ready to race, otherwise it hard to keep her under control in those types of settings. Give her a slide and she's happy for hours though.
The race went good. I was feeling good from opening up the day before at the crit, but not knowing the course at all was very difficult. Blind corners, 180s on grass taller than you can see around and tons of brake checks had me a bit frustrated on lap 1. Nathan had a sizable gap soon on and I could tell he knew the course more than anyone else in a short amount of time so I was pretty nervous he might be gone. I did a majority of the chasing, but after loosing sight of Nathan everyone seemed complacent and I backed it down too to try and cool off and learn the course better for lap 2. Shortly after that we came around a corner and Nathan was off his bike airing up a tire, that changed the race dramatically because I think Nathan would have been hard to catch. I continued at the front for another 1/2 lap when it started raining. Corners became like ice on the hardpacked grass and dirt but for some reason I made the transition from dry hardpacked to slippery instantly and could feel myself opening small gaps on the group. I kept the power on for the remainder of the lap while it rained and starting lap 3 I held a sizable gap on Matter and Phillips. I thought the course was much better wet, it was more challenging and technical and I was having fun. One of those laps I missed a bottle from Jamie so by lap 4 my head was spinning and I thought I might tip over. Matter was closing in hard and I could feel myself loosing focus. Luckily I had a bunch of GU left and I ate 3 on the last lap which saved me and despite no water I made it in for the 5th win of the season. I drank about 1/2 a gallon of water on the way home and was still 5lbs less than I normally am. That's a lot of water.
I was happy to have the Felt Edict out there on that course, it has been making a huge difference in the amount of pedaling I can do compared to the hardtail. I was able to just sit and put out power without bouncing off the saddle and that made a huge difference when it was slippery and on the open sections that were fast. I think it will be the bike for O2S this year. I've done a hardtail the last couple and it's time for the full suspension this year. Plus, I think I'm undefeated on it so maybe I can keep the streak going. Hopefully I can recover enough and use that extra fitness for that little extra this year that I'll need, too many 2nds at O2S. We'll see.