Sitting on the couch with my feet propped up has never felt so good. Sipping a well deserved beer after eating some dinner - life is good. :) My windows are open for the first time this year - to cool the house down. Summer is definitely here.
On Friday Brenda and I loaded up the golf and headed east to Karen and Anne's place in Leavenworth for the Wenatchee Omnium Stage Race. Their house is right on the Wenatchee river which is super high right now with all of the snow melt and unusually high temps this weekend. The house is amazing - with three bedrooms and lots of room for family and friends. A welcomed oasis for a weekend of racing.
Brenda is still racing in the Cat 4's and had a different start time then the rest of us - so that meant for an early Saturday morning. We headed to the staging area and it was super windy and starting to warm up quite a bit. She did really well though - and I'm sure with a little more experience and dialing in her TT position she'll be a force to reckon with. She borrowed Linda's 1989 Lemond aero bars - those things are sweet!
The TT is only 9 miles with rolling hills and an out and back. The pavement is a little rough in some spots but generally good. You have a kick ass tail wind on the way out and then a severe head wind on the return. It messes with you mentally and unfortunately I didn't have any rabbits to chase. Despite feeling pretty crappy and starting to feel the week's efforts - I managed a 5th place effort. Not bad.
On the way back to Leavenworth, Karen's Jetta died. We pulled over just outside of Wenatchee and parked it. We crammed the bikes inside with all of our wheels and gear - and called a tow truck. $189 later - the car was returned with all of it's belongings to their place. Apparently though if the car had been left there another 5 hours, the guy said it would have been stripped and everything stolen. I bet the gear alone was worth more than the car itself. Thankfully that didn't happen.
The crit was later that night with the HEAT. Temps hit 100. Poor Brenda raced at 4 - probably in the heat of the day. Our race was delayed luckily until after 7 - which was still super warm - but not as warm as hers. I gunned the pace from the start - taking the corners first and picking up the pace. Group Health had more than 8 ladies in the race - and I kept expecting them to throw more and more attacks. I stayed near the front the entire time - especially to prevent Karen from losing any positions to other Cat 3's. It felt like a one woman show though - covering everything that went up the road. I captured two primes - one of which I went head to head with Beth and won. Though I'm sure it cost me some snap in my legs for the finish. The final sprint came - and I managed 5th. I remember taking corner two so fast and wide that I almost ran into a building. It was easy to gap people though on the corners and then spin up the short kicker between corner 3 and 4. Honestly, I felt like it was one of my best races yet. Super aggressive - smart and fast racing. That alone was worth the drive east.
After the race, I immediately sat in my chair and dumped two full water bottles over my head to cool down. Morgan from Wines had to get an IV to avoid heat exhaustion. It was hot, yo! Mr. Nettles battled it out though - crashing three times in his crit! And still managed 5th. His wrist was swollen Sunday morning - but he still kitted up and started the road race.
Our race on Sunday didn't start until the afternoon - in the heat. The climb is super long - and I swear at one point I considered turning around. Things were going good for about the first mile and then it was like I threw out the anchor and didn't have anything left in the legs. People kept passing me - and I couldn't do anything to jump on their wheels. And part of me didn't give a shit. :)
Jeff drove by at one point asking if I wanted water on at the feed zone and I told him I was good. When I approached the church, he was the first person I came across and he had peeled a power bar back like a banana, probably left over from his sweaty jersey - ready to give me a boost. I graciously thanked him and told him I was good. He cracks me up.
Then the dousing began. First I went by Kele - she dumped a nice cold bottle all over me. Then I saw Christi - she squirted me with another bottle. Then Annette - who handed off my icy beverage and then Anne who gave me another one. Who cares if it's 8 pounds per gallon? I wasn't going thirsty up the rest of that wretched climb! Then to top it off I got hosed down by a kid on the side of the road. It was awesome!
Brenda snapped a photo of this cutie while she watched the racers stroll by...
I caught Michele shortly after the church and we worked together, first catching a group of 4 right before the descent. Then we caught another group of 4 - then were joined by more ladies. Next thing we know we're sprinting for the finish. My feet were on FIRE by the time we finished.
To top it all off - Pete came over to chat about the race just as I was taking off my shoes and socks and put on my flip flops. I then watered down my feet with my water bottle to which he commented, "so that's how the pros do it! Water down their feet in San Paligrino. Sparkling water is the ticket." Yep. That's how I role.
The journey home was short - and beautiful. We returned via Hwy 2 and saw very swollen and gushing rivers and streams from the unusually high temps and snow pack. It was absolutely stunning.
Great weekend - Karen won the Cat 3 GC! Brenda got 14th in her GC! I have no idea how I placed overall because we left early - but I can't think of anything better to do end a build cycle and start a rest week.