AKA – I’m so tired…
Day 1 – Practice
This was the first time I actually got to get some practice in on Friday! I rearranged my work schedule because of the Muddbunnies Camp on Saturday. I got up early and headed out to Sun Peaks Friday earrrrrly Friday morning. I missed out on online registration and I had to stand in a pretty long lineup to get registered, but at least my category had been properly sorted out.
I was trepidatious about the course. I heard that it had been partially moved to Insanity One and I couldn’t recall a whole lot from my trip to Sun Peaks four years previous, but I do remember thinking that Insanity One was one of the hardest trails I had ever ridden. I needn’t have worried. I guess my riding has improved since then, too. 😉 The course was long, steep, and technical; but hardly as difficult as I had thought. There was nothing that scared me on the trail, but it was really loose and dusty in all of the newly built sections. My new concern was that the course would change a lot on Saturday, while I was away, and I wouldn’t be ready enough for the race.
I rode the track 9 times altogether, with friends and alone, trying to commit it to memory. I found that it was a little easier to focus on the entire course more than I had in previous races, because there was no features so scary that they dominated everything else. I was able to have a little more fun exploring lines, trying to pop off little stumps and roots and practicing carrying speed. I headed back to Silver Star in the late afternoon, aiming to try and get there before the toonie race. I pulled into the Silver Star parking lot just in time to grab my jersey and head up the lift for the race!
The toonie race was on LTG, which is a really fun intermediate tech course, albeit not really built for racing. It was nice to see a good bunch of ladies at the start line, who had come in early for the Muddbunnies camp. I came away with a 1st place finish. Funnily enough, both of my laps ended up being within a second of eachother. I’m not usually that consistent!
Day 2 – Muddbunnies Camp!
Saturday was the Muddbunnies camp at Silver Star. We had an awesome turnout! We split up into groups according to ability levels and I had a rad group of ladies who wanted to work on Intermediate jumping and Advanced Tech.
I had a ton of fun working with my group, we rode Jedi Mind Trick, Double Dawg, Flow, Rock Star and Pipe Dream (some of them more than once!) Their positive and confident attitudes kept the smile on my face effortlessly and it was really rewarding seeing some of them hit the biggest drops and jumps they had ever done with success.
Keeping in tune with what I had seen from Jaclyn the year previous, she made the team bonding dinner a blast, with games and an indoor mini bike race. All the ladies in my group were eager to try it, so none of them nominated me to race it (plus they were all super supportive of my racing and knew I was tired!), however, I nominated the Silver Star bike mechanics and ended up with a nomination in turn. I guess I deserved that.
Riding a little kids bike on a smooth concrete floor is no joke, let me tell you. The wheels had absolutely no traction and I ended up going down and getting a bloody knee. The irony of this made me laugh a little, since I hadn’t gone down once in my Sun Peaks race practice the day before. I still won the race, though. :p I avoided drinking and slipped away as soon as I could to get some rest for the race.
Day 3 – Race Day
The morning was a repeat of Friday, except that my fantastic mechanic did the driving and saved me some energy. This was pretty good, because I was feeling exhausted. Between work and activities, I couldn’t even remember my last day off. I got into line as soon as possible to make sure that I would get the two practice runs required to race done before they closed the course for a pre-race check. My worry about the course changing a lot had come to pass, and there were a ton of new holes in the course that hadn’t been there on Friday – because this was the Canadian Champs, there were also more people racing the track than I had seen previously.
On my second practice run down, I ended up slipping on a root I had been trying to pop off of, and getting my front tire squarely into a giant hole on the track. This resulted in an OTB scorpion and getting my seat right in the middle of my spine with all the weight of my bike behind it. For those that aren’t familiar with crashing terms, OTB is over the bars. A scorpion is when you get your face in the dirt and your feet come up to meet your ears in a very bad way. Since my bike was there it came around with my feet. Not the most graceful crash I’ve ever had, and it didn’t feel very good.
Feeling haggard, sore and parched (it was so hot and dry!!!), I headed up for my race run. I wasn’t really too stressed out at the start line, I just wanted to take it easy and make it down without crashing. My riding was all over the place but at least I kept rubber side down for the race. Hearing my friends on the sidelines was nice, too! I wasn’t too happy with my riding – but it was my first podium and medal. 🙂
Personal Change Takeaways:
Keep in mind that these are my personal takeaways for myself. The nice thing about biking in particular is that different things work for different people. These are just some things I’m going to try differently or focus on more in my next adventure.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to try and pre-register for the race.
- I feel like something should be in here about not cramming up my schedule and trying to relax but looking back I wouldn’t have done it differently, so…