The last OMBC @ Mohican by mj

Last Sunday I woke up to the 7am alarm clock and Travis asking if I was in or out for another road trip and race for the season.  I was waiting until the last possible minute (me? never!) to decide if I was up for the challenge and full schedule for the day, or stay home and be a lazy lump.  After a few minutes of serious consideration I just had no good reason to stay home and miss the last OMBC race of the year, whether it would kick my butt or not, so we headed out!

Only three of us (Cristina, April and I) lined up for the women expert race.  I was feeling pretty intimidated by the course as I (and I think most riders) consider it one of the toughest courses in the Ohio series.  April and I briefly spoke how laid back our riding schedules have already become and just surviving and finishing out the race was the goal.  As soon as we took off we knew Cristina was not in the same boat as she pulled away and dropped us even before our first climb up and into the single track.  Slightly humbling, but I was just hoping to find a zone and not bonk out before my third lap. 

Lap one did not hurt nearly as bad as I expected.  Well, the initial climb hurt as much as I expected, but besides that it went really well and I just remembered how much I enjoy that course and was having a great time riding there.  I am also happy to report its the first time I was able to completely clear the rock garden in the lap.  I did have to dab making the one sharper right turn, but my 69er got me through it all smooth sailing!  I love moments like that! 

Each lap I had to walk what I still consider a hike-a-bike, however, other riders climbed up and pasted me each time I footed it.  Maybe next year.  The rest of the lap was smooth sailing, with one more slighly rocky section, another short climb, and then the ladies short cutted back to the start of the lap, while the men climbed an additional hill and road approximately 2 more miles per lap than us.  (That fact actually made happy at the start line.)

It wasnt until lap three that I started to fizzle.. right on schedule as I kind of expected that to happen approaching the longer mileage.  I had to walk 3 or 4 sections in the final lap, which I didnt feel as embarrassed as I thought I would since my legs truly felt screaming tired and the fact that I was pretty much out there by myself most of lap 3. 

About half way through my last lap I started having some shifting troubles with the back cassette.  After the full summer of wear and tear I think it just finally stretched out enough that she needed a tune up.  I tried to leave my back gear alone and hope not to have any further issues with it, so I basically bounced between my front middle to granny gear, which worked out fine for my tuckered legs.  I worked through the last few miles, rolled across the street, back down into the field / parking area and into the building which was considered the actual finish line.  All done and all smiles!  Once I finally stopped back at the car and got off my bike I took notice to my entire body feeling like it was a 80’s rock star screeching its famous and crazy long “AHHHhahHHHhaahHHH”.  Whoa, I’m exhausted, but it feels so good!

I am still so happy that I went on Sunday.  The trails were great, the weather was great, and I got to see my Ohio friends one last time before the off season officially sets in.  Then its rest and relaxation (for a little bit anyway) before we’re back on a training schedule for next season! 🙂

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