Full throttle is tiring, especially when it extends beyond the bike race.
Friday I worked until about 9:30pm. I wish I could have slept in a little on Saturday, but I was up and at 'em at a reasonable time. I did a few house items and worked on bikes, but the 2pm departure for the group of us (Shawn, Craig, Tori and I) going up to Stony Plain sure came up quickly. Rain stopped a little past Red Deer which was nice, we pre-rode the course which was a superfun course in great shape. We piled on the carbs at Boston Pizza and checked into the Stony Plain Convention center for some unrestful rest - I missed adjusting the room thermostat so my heart was pounding all night trying to keep myself cool, and the train tracks were 30 yards away. Bed time was past 11pm which didn't feel good to me.
I got up a little after Tori to drop her off for her earlier race start, then went back to the hotel to pick up Craig and Shawn, as well as I tried to catch a few winks. I got word by blackberry that Tori "lost" her race, but she didn't fill me in that she was 2nd. I was happy to hear it. Aside from a large ordeal around microwaving oatmeal, we made it in time for our race start. I felt sluggish in warmup and felt worried.
Elites started off with a blast, and Jon took the hole shot to shred the first downhill singletrack, stringing out the group behind. After the blur left it was the countdown to us try-hards in the next category. After the initial climb I was in 2nd, and although I didn't feel peppy, I wasn't hurting too bad either, so I was pleasantly surprised. I rode 3 of the 4 laps in 2nd, and eventually dropped back to third. The course was fun, a little wet which made the roots challenging, and the big hill was a blast to ride each lap. I loved the skull and crossbones at the bottom of the climb.
I hung on to the third place finish, and was happy with the result. Seeing the split times that I was 35 seconds down of the 2nd place (who was 2 seconds behind first) made me ponder what might have been if lap 3 didn't have me stop 3 times to work on phases of pulling sticks out of my rear derailleur and cogset. Oh well. I rode decently fit but I felt a little sloppier than I'd like to be on the tecnical roots and such, I should be riding those with a little more grace. The bike is stiff, well balance, and fun to ride.
The elites finished in a blaze of Dutchness going by, followed by Andre Sutton then Whole Wheat Bunnin from the prairie. After sitting around for draw prizes and podium (lots of good stuff went out, and Shawn's mind games worked for the King headset), it was homeward bound.
Somehow we found our way back to BP's in Leduc for another round of cheap chain restaurant goodness, then the long drive home. Once we passed Red Deer, the black clouds over Calgary once again enveloped us in rain.
By the time drop off's were done, I got to bed by 11:30. I prefer to sleep more on Sundays, especially considering I got to work at 6:30am.
Now it's almost 10 pm and I'm just looking for my exit after 10 minutes of typing. What a blur. And tomorrow will be no different.