Friday, May 13, 2011

My First XC Race :)

Last weekend it was off to Bend for a mountain bike race. We drove up on Saturday and set up camp in a team members yard. In spite of the fact that it was supposed to get down around 33 degrees that night. One can only afford so many hotel rooms.

After meeting our gracious host and setting up our tent we changed clothes and headed up to the course for a practice run. My mom had come along to watch the boys for us (Thanks Mom!!! On Mother's day even:) After a series of small mishaps, including a missing nut off my front tire, we finally set off.

We began on "the steepest climb" of the course (as I was repeatedly reassured by several kind folks) and wound our way around a couple miles of track. Part way up the longest climb Nate and I decided to turn around for my sake. So I wouldn't be too tired the next day. Because I'm still pretty puny at this active stuff. But, hey, I'm out there doing it!

I kept thinking, "I could wait until I'm less overweight, more in shape, less clumsy, more confident. Or, I could just get out there and do what I keep saying I want to do." I've opted for the latter. With much encouragement ;-)

Soooo, we turned around to take a short-cut over to the start loop so I could check out some of the more technical stuff and see what I could ride and what I would have to walk. Only...we took a little wrong turn. One little wrong turn. In the opposite direction we were supposed to go. Fortunately we didn't end up too far out of the way. Only a few miles down the road and then back up to the cars. *Sigh* Oh well. I didn't really want to conserve any energy for tomorrow, did I?

We had a lovely potluck/hang out time all evening as all the team members who were there for this race were staying at the same place. Our hostess was very gracious coming home to a house Full of strangers and near-strangers. Then we slept (um...Tried to sleep) out in the freezing cold. The boys woke up at 5:30 am. Of course. :-}

I had been so nervous all week, but I woke up Sunday morning feeling more excited than nervous. If you know me very well you know that I like to know what's going on. How things work and exactly what I should be doing. So, I did get a little anxiety here and there through the beginning of the morning, but not near as bad as the rest of the week. My worst moment was when it was time to line up for the start of the race, but it passed quickly as the other ladies in my group were very friendly and chatty.

I fully expected to be the very last person right out of the gate. But it was still disheartening to watch everyone in my group pull away immediately. Everyone. At one point not far into the first road climb I heard huffing and puffing behind me. I thought, "Oh good. I'm not the very slowest." Then...a little, slightly chubby fellow who couldn't have been more than eleven or twelve, chugged right on by me. Oh yes. I felt grand right about then.

Anyway, I managed all fifteen bumpy, up-and-down miles of the course. I rode a lot. I walked some. I enjoyed most of it. I was a little lonely at times (mostly on a long, levelish part of the course while nearly blinded by snow. Oh, yes. It snowed on us. Then a little sun. Then...wait for it...hail. Haha! Strange weather for that race I'm told) and a little discouraged at times (trudging up a particularly steep hill, or having to stop entirely and rest, or waiting and waiting for the fast guys to zoom by so I could get back on the trail--only there were more coming just near enough I didn't have time to get anywhere, but far enough I had to stand there a moment and wait, then, here come more of them! [we were doing laps, see, and so the fast guys lap the beginners--well Some of the beginners *ahem*--before the beginners finish their single little {15 mile} lap], slightly embarrassed (chatting with the sweep rider as he follows the last person-me- around the track), More than slightly embarrassed (Not getting out of somebodies way who was trying to get around me in time and him tagging my back tire. Soooo thankful he did not wreck, that would have been the worst). But, over all, I had fun. I enjoyed being out there. I finished! And I am very proud of myself in the best way:)

And my dear Mommy took some pictures for me:) (I missed taking pictures! I like to take pictures...)


Page (Janis' son)
Look closely...You will see my boys perched in a tree:)

Zach (Bear's oldest son)

Janis (smiling as always)


Me, again

Kid's race! The boys were so excited:) Then we found out they were doing a big, long technical loop of the track. Around 3/4 mile, with logs and rocks and other difficulties. But all the kids said they wanted to do it...

Chatting with a new acquaintance


Hmm, Joshua looks rather distracted here

Joshua navigating a technical spot:)

Whoa!!! Scary drop!

Brannon, sadly, wrecked pretty spectacularly part way through and decided he was DONE. I was really proud of him for trying though. He is often rather timid on his bike and I was impressed by his effort.

Joshua's getting a little help from Papa up a too steep hill (it's perfectly legal in the kids race for the adults to give a helping hand:)

Me and my default third place. I wasn't too thrilled to have to stand up there and be congratulated just because there were only three ladies in my age group. Everyone else seemed to think that was silly though.

All tuckered out...

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