Yesterday was a typical day at Mt. Kato. One hot fucker. Probably the hottest it's been since I've been racing there. Close anyway. Hot is hot when you're in hell and that's pretty much where I was yesterday.
Lap 1: Small field of 25 or so. Looking around didn't see anyone I recognized other than Silent Richard and KK. GFrides had finish his race after 3 flats. It's was 95 degrees and he had a towel over his shoulders and looked like he was cold. Not good. Gary hooked me up with some gu which I think pretty much saved me in the end.
I lead out the start till about 3/4 up the first climb and a guy goes buy pretty fast and that's how we stayed to the top. Then another rider went by heading into the single track. SR went buy somewhere around there and was looking fast and fresh. More on SR later. I was feeling pretty good and had visions of holding on with these guys for a while at least. By the time we hit the staircase, I wasn't feeling right at all and was sitting in about 7th place. Not sure if it was the pace of the leaders at the start, the heat, lack of racing or what, but I wanted to puke and quite before the 1st lap was over. I was hurting pretty bad.
Quitting sucks so I decided it was time for plan b. Roll slow and walk if you have to and try to regain something and don't finish DFL.
Lap 2: Slow slow slow. Drink. Spin. walk the staircase. Slow slow slow.
Lap 3: Kept thinking about Fruita and hammering for long distances and the recent ride with Stone and TommyMac and how having good fitness on group rides and training rides don't mean shit unless you race. Racing fitness only comes from racing. Riding slow and thinking gave me something on lap three and I started to pick up the pace and started picking off a few guys here and there. That lasted for about 1/2 lap when I realized if I didn't slow down again, I was about to repeat lap 1. Slowed but still felt pretty good and decided this is how the day was going to go. No big comebacks, just surviving.
Lap 4: Lap 4 started with a medium grind up the 1st climb and then I picked up the pace here and there, but for the most part just maintained. Started getting lapped by the Expert leaders, so I was pulling over and trying not to muck up their efforts. Actually Paul Hanson "Lefty", who won yesterday by over 2 minutes, literally flew by me on my third lap. His speed was ridiculous. About 5 minutes later, Jeff hall came by on my lap 4. I know what a fast mountain bike looks like when they go by. I don't think I've ever seen someone going as fast, on such a hot, hard day, as Lefty. WTF?
In the End Silent Richard, who has been training hard for Laramie and was about to start his 15th race of the season, threw down a very nice effort. I think he finished 4 or 5 overall. KK DNF'd and I came in 20th (3rd in the 40-49 age group) 3rd out of 5 and 4 and 5 didn't finish. Horseshit results compared to last year, but whatever. Just glad I didn't "move up" to Expert after having a good season last year. I don't think I could have done another lap yesterday? Maybe, but it would not have been pretty or fun in any way shape or form.