So I vowed to myself never to quit a race ever again - and that little deal I made with myself was completely broken yesterday. Had it not been 34-37 degrees and raining the whole time, I might have made it. But then to see it start snowing I decided to call it quits. I had just reached the 1/2 way point - and really, what did me in more so than the cold and the fact I was losing feeling in my hands - was that of all days I thought I would try a new saddle out on a LONG RACE. That was frickin' stupid. What was I thinking? Even before I rode my new bike I commented on how much of a torture device it looked like - and yet I didn't swap out my comfy saddle for this board. IDIOT. If my crotch could take any more - then I could have possibly toughed out the remainder of the race. But today it feels like I beat it with a 2 x 4 and then rubbed salt in it. Owie.
Other than that though - looking back at the race before I completely erase it from my memory banks - I did ok. I managed to get kicked off on the same hill - and never quite made it back to the lead group - but I did do well with the women who caught me. Actually it was about 5 Wines of Washington women to myself and this Symetrics women who had a flat. And when they started dropping like flies - and we ran into a truck with room in it - I hopped in. I'm not sure what would have been worse though - just finishing the race and depleting all of my energy and facing a raw crotch or the fact that we were in the back of a truck bed only shielded by a tarp. Either way - it was not easy getting back to Tahuya. So many people adandoned the race - but do I regret it? Sort of. Was it the smarter thing to do? Probably. Luckily I wasn't that cold where it starts to impair your judgement - but had I decended down into Holly Hill then I probably would have been toast.
I guess the bottom line - I need to get tougher. And I also need to get better on the hills. Suz pushed it full throttle when the first hill came - popping most of the field. I should have turned around then - but instead my determination kept me going. In a way I'm disappointed because I wanted to do a lot better than last year - but at the same time it was an epic race and miserable. Hats off to those that finished - Kele got 3rd! She's a rockstar. Then again she's tough as nails ... I guess I need to start eating more medal for breakfast.