Oh boy, oh boy do I have a story to share with you! I am still licking my wounds, or wiping them I should say (Road Rash Kit first impressions are coming soon) but I definitely wanted to share my racing adventures with y’all! If you don’t care to read my looonnng race recap then save yourself that bad attitude and skip to the end! And first off I have to thank my wonderful husband, aka resident mechanic, for all his hard work and race prep. He did work really hard to make sure my bike and family were ready to go on race day. Thanks babe!
This is the second race I sort of, er, well kinda, sorta, trained for. Running counts as training right? Hehe. Well it sure was pretty out here is Socal. Nice warm day. And I was super anxious about this race because I haven’t ridden as much as I would have liked to. But it was all or nothing.
A little pre race warm up~
I already paid the $48, and darnit, I was going to get my monies worth! So I lined myself up with the other female riders before the clock starts. “Hhhmm. These ladies look kinda fit,” I thought to myself. “Oh wow. These women are all wearing sponsored jerseys by some big names. Lots of spandex here. Geez. Well it’s alright Priscilla”, I thought to myself. Every race needs an underdog, don’t be intimidated. I didn’t even start the race yet and I was already feeling defeated. 🙁 “Um, excuse me”, I asked the intense looking, spandex wearing female next to me. “This is the spot for the beginners, isnt’ it???”. Clock is ticking. We were the next group up to start. “No, this is the expert women” she said. WHEW!!! THAAANK GOD! That’s all I needed to hear! I was outta there quick and back to the end of the line! Oh man, what a relief! I found the correct sign and was feeling a whole lot better! Hehe.
Feeling a little intimidated….hehehe.
And so began my adventures for the day. I started the race with prayers, asking God to make it impossible for me to race if something bad were going to happen. It’s good to have the big G on your side! ;D
Lots of racers!
It doesn’t matter your age, or how long you have been riding, how many races you have done. We all are thinking the same thing. We check out the sharpie marked numbers on each others legs to see how many we are competing against. We all have the same doubts as we size each other up. For men it may be each others bikes. Women, we check out each other’s bodies. We try to gage how we’re going to compete against each other based on what we see. “Oh no, I am going to get my butt kicked! Look at her!”. It’s a good thing podiums don’t discriminate.
“THREE SECONDS AND COUNTING…THREE, TWO, ONE!!” And we were off!!! Cheering, yelling, “Honk your horn Priscilla!!!”…that’s all I heard. A surge of adrenaline and I was off. I had to leave all my worries at that starting point. I feared crashes, flat tires, and coming in last! But there’s no time to worry about that when you are mashing your pedals to get a good start.
And I have to say I think I got a pretty good start. I started off strong and was feeling pretty good. But then my “Yeeesss! She dropped her chain!!! Alright!! Only two ahead of me. Woo hoo!”, was quickly replaced with thoughts of “Dangit. That was a really quick recovery. Wow. She is really fast.” And so began the battles of the spirits and mind. Aye, the back and forth. It’s enough to put someone in a mental hospital. One minute I am thinking I am doing really well and feeling really strong. The next minute I am yelling at myself, putting myself down. And again the question that repeats itself in all our minds, “Why am I doing this???” Back and forth, back and forth. UUUgggghh the maadnessss!!!!!
Isn’t it truly amazing how resilient we are? I have always been fascinated with the way the body is able to heal itself and protect itself. Sometimes it is only our spirit that keeps us going physically. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. And so this leads me to my nasty spill. I was tempted to announce the team name of that that pro racing, red spandex wearing guy, but I will pass today. I was so angry when he bullied me off the path with his bicycle, even when I gave him more then enough room to pass me by.
I am even ashamed to say that I did not have nice words for him. In my anger, as my arm skidded across the asphalt, leaving a piece of my skin in the sidewalk, I wished him harm and I let him know it. As my head pounded, bounced off the ground and cracked my brand new Rudy Project Helmet, I couldn’t help but shout angry words at that meanie! But I will refrain from repeating all that ugliness. I quickly picked up my head off the ground as an almost ghostlike shadow just passed around my head. I prefer to think it was an angel caressing my face, but it was probably another pro racer guy just inches from leaving skid marks on my face. Aye.
I’ve been initiated by the pros.
I can’t lie. I was mad. I was mad every time I pedaled my left leg and my shorts pulled and reopened my raw bloody wounds. Did I mention I was only at mile 4 of a 9 1/2 mile race??? But whatever doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger, right? “Well, as long as I don’t look at it I’ll be ok”, I thought. Just keep pedaling. Don’t look. You can’t stop. And so I trekked on. The fighting spirit is amazing.
Souvenirs from the race. 🙂
And the adventures didn’t stop there. Lots of hills that were conquered, and some that were not. The steep hills do not discriminate. Grown, masculine men were left at the sidelines with broken chains, and flat tires. Some broken spirits. And still I trekked on. I wanted to prove to myself that I could finish this! I wanted to make my husband proud! I wanted to make the Mtnbikeriders team proud!
And still there’s those moments when I just wanted to throw in the towel. It just felt too hard, too hot, too long to finish. And then you here that voice. “C’mon Priscilla! Keep going!” Huh? Did I say that aloud? Oh, that wasn’t me. That was Kim Finch lending some words of encouragement as we pedaled up a nasty hill! Boy, was I encouraged to hear her words! And that’s all I needed to keep on my saddle and keep pedaling! The spirit was strong again! Another glance at my meter. Only 3 more miles!!!! Yeeeesss!!!!!!!
And then a nice ride downhill! One sweet payoff for the hard climbs. Nice. That sure feels good. Almost at the finish line. Husband cheering, kids yelling. Ah, that feels really good. 🙂 “What? Go left? Not right!? Ok, Ok. Are you sure???” Keep trekking. One last nasty hill. I can FEEL the finish. I can see it now! There’s an orange spandex lady to my right. I need to beat her! (We all have that one person we are riding head to head with most of the race!). Jump that curb!!!! I made the curb. What in the world is that?!?!? Why am I not moving???? DANGIT!!! A PINCH FLAT!!! NOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Orange spandex lady just passed me with a smile on her face]. My world just crumbled! I moved like a tortoise across the finish line with the husband screaming “Go Priscilla, Go! What’s wrong!?? GO faaasttteeer!!!!” Aye.
One Sad Rear Flat. 🙁
And there you have it. Racing with Priscilla. 😀 I wanted you all to feel my pain and my victories! After all is said and done I managed to place 3rd in my division. Lots of pain but it made the victories all the more worthwhile. 🙂 I really felt like God protected me out there despite my ugly response. That cracked helmet could have been a cracked skull. And at least I didn’t get that flat until the end! Haha. And no hard feelings Mr. Red Spandex Pro racer. Sorry for my mean words. I’ve got to take the good with the bad. It’s just part of the race. Ask me again, when my nasty wounds have stopped oozing, if I’ll race again. I am sure I will have forgotten all the pain by then. ;D
Me and Kim. 🙂
Mmmmmm. I earned me some Chilli Relleno. Mmmmmm.