Yesterday around lunchtime I decided to enter the local Friday Fun & Lazy Loops at Lysterfield. run by the Lysterfield District Trail Riders. The race was last night, nothing like a last minute decision! But hey, I loved the last low key event I down at the You Yangs a few months back, and well I was in Melbourne with nothing better to do on a Friday night, so why not! One of my mates, Vaughan was racing, so I knew I had someone to hang out with, even if he would prob do double my laps!
As I jumped out of the car, who was the first person that I saw, my old friend Sally, we met years and years ago when we were both triathletes, and have done loads of stuff together since, woooo, I had a mate to ride with! Then, after doing a quick warm up with Vaughano (whos dumb idea was it to warm up on an ass of a hill?!), who do I run into at rego, my mate Margaret. Look out we have a crew now!
I had decided, along with my crew, to do the short lap, aimed at novices, not cause it was shorter, but because it avoided the gnarly rock garden on the Comm Games track. The aim was to do as many laps as we could in 1.5hrs.
And off we headed from the start line, Sal, Marg and I riding up the first climb, chatting away, talking about what to expect from Aneurysm, the black flowing descent from the top of the hill we were climbing. I'd done it before, and love it, but the others were a bit hesitant about whether they would do the track, or the firetrail alongside. After lots of encouragement from me - its totally doable for anyone, just do it at your own pace, and take the B lines, they decided to give it a crack. So after the top of the first hill, I headed down Aneurysm first, and suddenly realised that crikey, this was a race, I can go for a social ride anytime, but I needed to push myself as hard as I could, thats why I had entered! I don't enter races to beat others, I enter them to force myself to push myself to my limits, not something I can seem to do when training, so racing it is!
So off I flew down the tight flowy trail. Its one of those trails that makes you feel like a real rider, you can feel yourself leaning into the berms, and getting (just a lil bit of) air on the jumps. Its also the kinda trail that brings out the grunts and groans in me, when I slightly miss a line and end up off the side of the track, or just missing hitting my bars on a tree (actually I didnt quite miss on one of the laps...oops, sorry bike!). Its also one of those trails that takes a ton of concentration and control, and I came out the bottom buzzing from adrenaline, just in time to move straight into the next climb! Talk about tough on the legs!
So basically the loop looked like this, around 4kms total, 3kms of shitty climbing for around 1km of fun...not sure that's a good deal?! But hey, I just kept going. How did I know I was pushing hard, well I felt on the cusp of throwing up for at least 3km out of every lap...guess which 3km!! haha! But I kept telling myself that I only had to do 3 laps, and I'd be satisfied.
And so it went, each lap felt worse than the last, well except for the descent on the second lap, I nailed that one! But each lap got me closer to the end. And suddenly it was over, 3 laps, an hour and 20mins, 250m of climbing. In theory I could have gone out for a 4th lap, but I was well and truly cooked. You know, so cooked that you can't even bring yourself to dismount the bike. Done like a chicken dinner. I'd achieved what I wanted, so I was more than happy, once I found the energy to be happy! Nothing a can of solo couldn't help, "light on the fizz so you can slam it down fast", yep nailed that can in no time!
There was plenty of high fives with Sal , who had not only faced her fears and done Aneurysm, but also got to practice her tyre changing skills! And more high 5's to Margaret as she came in, after 3 laps of her own, and nailing Aneurysm too! Go girls!
And there we were, hanging out, basking in our achievements. We thought we had better hang around for presentations in the hope of getting a random bib number prize. But first they announced the winners out of each of the events....1st place female for the short loop goes to...Richelle Olsen. Holy smokes!? Me? I danced up to receive my prize (a humpty dumpty easter egg!) with the energy I never knew I had, I was soooo excited!
I won a race!
Im not saying I have never won anything before. Actually, yes I am. Though I did get 2nd at an off road triathlon once, I came 3rd in an adventure race and, oh yeah, I won 3rd place at my first Olympic distance triathlon. But its usually at this point where I explain why it wasnt a "real" win. I'm not good enough to win, im not fast, or fit. Its just that there wasn't many people in the race.
But screw that. Its not my problem that people who are faster than me didn't enter. I'm claiming that easter egg, and owning it! I won a freaking race!!