Showing off our HOT rain boots after the race.
Mother Nature has not been kind to us this season. She's been great for training but seems to unleash her fury on race weekend. I have done some really bad things to my poor bike this year and it is only April. Fortunately, we've got the BEST mechanics on the planet to keep us rolling. Mike and the rest of the guys at the Trek Store of Chattanooga are amazing. Thanks guys.
Yep, you guessed it, more rain this weekend. Sunday was supposed to be warm and sunny, but Saturday was forecasted to have severe thunderstorms, multiple inches of rain and possible tornadoes. All of which were going to result in less than "ideal" trail conditions. We loaded up early Saturday to beat the worst of it and hoped for the best.
Team tent and bikes after the race.
Mark and I met Anina at Fort Yargo State Park about noon on Saturday and although it had rained already that morning, it wasn't raining when we got there and it looked like we might have a window to get out before the really bad storms rolled in. We quickly got dressed and hit the trails. Amazingly, they weren't too bad. There was standing water, and a few sections were slick, but the sandy soil drained really well. We MIGHT just luck out!! Of course, no sooner had we finished discussing our fortune when the skies opened up and the lightening and thunder started. Okaaayyyy, time to cut the pre-ride short and head to the car. FAST. So much for our pre-ride. We got about 3.5 of the 10.5 mile course in. Hopefully the trail would continue to weather the conditions and drain.
Not too muddy considering the 2+ inches of rain that fell the night before.
Catherine lives in Athens, GA which is only 20 miles from Fort Yargo. We were staying with her for the weekend so we headed to her house to clean up and get dry. Catherine was absent from the pre-ride because she was racing a crit. It was Athens Twilight weekend so there was much bike racing going on in the area. Catherine dominated her race with a win but I'll let her tell the details. Check out her blog for more....
After cleaning up, cleaning and drying the bikes and eating some lunch we decided that we wanted to head downtown to see some of the racing action. Twilight is an incredible weekend of crit racing in the streets of Athens. The best in the US come to race and in the rain it was sure to be exciting. The last couple of years it has been a little bit difficult to watch after having raced Twilight in the past but this year the rain made me glad to be a spectator. I don't do skinny tires and wet roads at high speed. We did do the girl thing and stop at Target to get rain boots before heading to the race. If nothing else, we were cute!!!!
This is my favorite picture from the weekend. Anina doing a happy dance in front of the port-o-potty??!! I think maybe it was just an unfortunate background. LOVE THOSE BOOTS!!!!
The one downfall to Twilight combined with a race weekend is that we inevitably get too little sleep, stand on our feet too much and are just generally tired by Sunday morning. This year was no exception. I was hoping to find my mojo somewhere on the trail because I certainly did NOT wake up with it. It doesn't help that we were the early start wave and had to be headed to the race by 7:15am. Ugh.
Catherine's third place Expert (5th overall). Congrats!!!
I was really off my game for the morning and could not seem to fully wake up. I didn't get enough of a warm-up and I felt very ill prepared, having not ridden the entire course during the pre-ride. Oh well, ready or not, it was race time. They said go and I took the hole shot hoping that things would improve. I felt slow and uncoordinated for the first 25-30 minutes. I definitely did not have my mojo. I could not seem to get the bike under me. Anina and I rode together and were off the front of the field so I was obviously not that slow, but it was not the riding that I am capable of. At around the 30 minute mark I started to feel a bit better and tried to push my body a bit. It seemed to work. Unfortunately, about the time I found my mojo Anina lost hers. She was riding so strong at the start of the race, I kind of figured it was going to be her day. I found myself in the lead solo and I pushed as hard as I could. That lasted for about 45 minutes. After that I went on auto pilot; I enjoyed the trail and gave up trying to push race pace. I rode in for the win at a nice tempo pace and decided that even though it was not one of my better physical performances, I really had FUN. The trail was a little wet and slippery with the occasional puddle, but it got drier every lap and was a roller coaster of fun. We really REALLY lucked out; so many places would have been horrible the day after the monsoons that we had Saturday. Anina rode in for a very strong second place. She never did find her mojo again but even without it she was fast. Catherine topped off her weekend with a 5th place finish. For someone who is in her first season racing with the big girls she rocked it. Especially after her crit win the day before. Great job ladies!!!!
Friends and teammates enjoying the pro podium....
We wore our AWESOME rain boots from the night before on the podium and they were a huge hit. I think they will have to be worn every race weekend. Anina's pink polka dot ones were definitely the favorites.
I also need to give a huge shout out to Amy for her EPIC race saturday at the Big Frog 65. Two flat tires, thunderstorms and freezing cold and she still finished 11th. Girl we are proud of you and cannot wait to read your race report.
Pro women's podium. Love the boots!!!!
We missed the rest of our teammates this weekend. Next weekend is the SERC in Huntsville, AL and I think we'll have most of the team there. It will be an adventure I am sure.
Thanks for reading....