21 September 2009  |  Race Reports

When your body says “No”

It’s been a tough past few weeks. Here’s a quick run-down:

I was really excited about the race at Worlds, so it was pretty disappointing to feel as bad as I did on race day. I was riding all the technical stuff well (it was a GREAT course), but I only had one speed, and on the fire-road sections (normally a strength) I was getting passed by women who appeared to be riding twice as fast as I was. Then I started cramping on the third lap. Not that that changed anything, it was just another bummer. On a positive note, I did make a sweet pass about 200m from the finish- so I got 15th instead of 16th. Nothing worse than being really excited about a race and then sucking, but I guess that’s better than if I felt awesome and still finished 15th. So after the race, I flew back home for 4 days and then flew to Europe for the last 2 world cup races.

We arrived in Champery, Switzerland on Friday night, and the race was on Sunday. We pre-rode Saturday, and the course was pretty similar to the one we raced on in 2007 (the 2011 World Championships are going to be in Champery). I woke up on race day and my legs were sore- sore like I ran an all-downhill 10k in my sleep. Except that I didn’t (that I know of). I warmed up on the trainer, but I could tell something wasn’t quite right.

The race started with a 4 minute paved climb into a 1k technical descent. The gun went off, and I had about 30 seconds in me before my legs locked up and…well…at one point I did look back because I thought maybe everyone in the whole field had passed me (and I was mostly right). Needless to say, by the time I got to the downhill, everyone was off their bikes, running down the slippery, rocky downhill. I was dreading having to RIDE the downhill, because I could barely stay upright running it- it was that slippery. (Turns out it was WAY EASIER riding it.) I was able to make up a few spots, but not many. I only had one speed, and it was not fast. And the weird thing was, I felt the same on my first lap as I did on my last lap- BAD. I have never seriously considered dropping out of a race before, but I was considering it, and I have never HOPED to get lapped and pulled, but I was hoping. Unfortunately, I was going just fast enough to not get pulled (even though the leaders finished about 1 minute after I started my last lap). After I finished, I was exhausted and light headed, so I headed straight back to the condo and took a shower and a nap. My legs had gone from being sore to being sore to the touch, which was unusual.

I was bummed. I had never had my body mutiny like that before, and I didn’t really know what to make of it- especially since I had another world cup the next weekend, a ‘cross race the Wednesday after that and two ‘cross races the weekend after that. I decided (with Waldek’s wise counseling) to cut my losses and go home early. So I have been home, resting and taking it easy, hoping to be somewhat back to normal by ‘cross vegas and the first USGPs.


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