The word intensity and my body have not been used in the same sentence in a few weeks so I did have a rough idea of what was going to happen. Headed down wearing many layer of clothes, yes it's cold. Just above freezing cold. Pulled in the parking lot and barely got out of the car when the comments started. Hey look Matt there is a cloud in the sky!!! Smart asses!!!
During the warm up lap I started to realize how chilly it was. My xc ski gloves would have been perfect, my big fuzzy mitts would have been better!!! The course is set around the main parking lot and up the start climb of regular races. The lights were cranked up and a few cars were placed in stratigic locations. No head lamp needed. A couple barriers in the main area so if you were going to bail it was happening in front of everyone and one nasty hill that I attempted to ride in warm up but the lines of good traction were hard to spot in the light so I knew it was going to be a run up.
The line up was pretty laid back, Glen called the 30 and then the 15 second warning with most still talking away, Go.
It was about 20 seconds into the lap and I hear the normal comment " the Wednesday night hard starts don't seem to have changed" Ya it was a fast start to the first uphill turn which brought everyone back together. A good part of the lap was in the inner parking lot. I started to get a little disoriented with the amount of turns and wondered how we have not criss crossed and smoked riders at different parts of the course.
Hit the run up and the pack split, this is also when I remember how much cross hurts and how much I hate running!! Got into a bit of a battle with Chris for the next few minutes grabbing his wheel along the flats and up the start loop I pulled in front. A few seconds later I heard the sound of carbon and metal. Chris smoked the pylon trying to cut the corner. No injuries.
Rolled through the line and realized that was only the first lap and there were 3 left. Yep, this hurts!!! 2nd lap was a bit of a blur except for the fact that my fingers were freezing and I had a bit of a problem shifting because I couldn't feel the brakes and shifters. For some strange reason the 3rd and 4th lap I started to feel this warm and fuzzy. Fingers and toes were fine again. Not sure why.
I did roll back a few spots over the last couple laps, I wasn't to surprised. Crossed the line and the first thing someone said was, Wasn't that fun. No it wasn't it hurt!! Of course a few minutes later I was back to the yes that was fun, lets do it again type attitude.
My cross skills weren't as rusty as I thought even though I smoked the barrier once with my rear wheel. Lets just say that I went through them running a little sideways, found my rhythm after that little reminder. Now if only I could find my top end fitness.
Overall thoughts, there are two weeks left in this race series. If you can come on up to Hardwood to try this. It's a lot of fun, I may even do another. Thank you sir, may I have another!!
Recovery ride tonight to get the pain out of my quads. They were far than impressed with me.