My Iceman Cometh (Very) Post Race Report

What can I say?  I’ve been out of the country, busy, tired, lazy, sleeping, grumpy, working too much, jacked off, sick, etc, etc…  but enough about me.  Hahahaa!  😉 

Lee Ann and I took the road trip to Traverse City, Michigan for the ICEMAN COMETH CHALLENGE!!  An amazingly large and very cool race consisting of mostly double track (snow mobile) trails for 27 miles.  The race is usually capped at 2000 or 2500  riders but when online registration wasnt closed properly over 4000 riders signed up and raced this year! Holy crap, thatsalotapeople!!

We lined up in the Pro/Expert field (Eek!) for the 2:30:30pm start, which was instantly delayed after a fairly large group of the Pro Men piled up on the pavement just a block away from us.  Those knuckleheads!  The girls made a few jokes but also concerning comments not to follow suit.  The guys picked themselves up and headed out and we quickly followed.  I had 3 goals for the day…  

Goal 1:  Finish approximately 2:10.  About 10 minutes off last years time.  12 to be exact.  (Ok, so I might have said out loud just before the race that I hoped to do a 2:05, but I was in the heat of the moment and just listened to bunch of people say how fastfastfast the course was this year! I would like to recant that statement now. Thank you.)

Goal 2: Do not be the last expert finisher, which is actually right where my last years finish would have placed me.

Goal 3:  Hopefully hang with the main group for a little bit, or at least any group for most of the race and not ride the whole race by myself since there are no other heats to chase down with the late day start time.  Oh man, that would (will) suck! 

With a field of about 40 ladies I felt nervous but comfy at the start thinking I’m bound to be able to hang with somebody in this pack, right?  Hmmmm.  There is a 10 second count down and “GO!”  We start down the road a few blocks.  I’m already stoked I didnt get dropped right from the start.  Literally a concern of mine since my starts usually put me in and off  the back on a regular basis.  We make a left hand turn and start aiming towards the Kalkaska Middle school and traditional starting line, but before I know it there is a crash.  My perception of time slowed down as a cluster of bodies and bikes start to pile up in front of me, then in the mix of the madness I see her jersey.  My BFF & roadtrip mate, Lee Ann, is slamming on the ground amongst the fallen riders.  😦

I am not even sure how I got around the accident.  It was all that slow mo, but mind racing, dream like scenerio.  Should I stop? LA would probably be jacked if I stop. If she bounces back up and then drops me I’ll be so jacked. She gotta be so jacked that just happened. I cant believe that just happened.  I’m still with the pack.  How many girls just went down?  Is LA back on the bike yet!?  We reach the first batch of double track approaching the school and two girls start to squeeze me. Hey, ladies, I’m right here!  Holy crap, lets not repeat, k!?  LA get the ef back up here!  We cross the road and the pack spreads and the pace picks up.  We make the first left hand turn and I try to look back but dont see anyone.  LA! COME ON!  I just know she is going to pick her ass back up and catch me.  I just know it! 

We are in the double track and moving fast!  This entire time my heart rate is so, so maxed.  Crap.  I am rolling as fast and efficient as I can and already starting to fall back.  Shit!  I told myself over and over again if I can just get over the beginning awfulness (me and race starts.  we dont get along.) would the group hopefully spread and I find a home with a few girls for the race!?  Umm.. no.  We are a mile in.. two miles.. three miles in and there is no slowing, no spread I am freaking attempting ludacrious speed (for me) and ready to bonk 3 miles in.  I.. cant.. do.. it!!  (wimper) TRY MJ!  TRY HARDERRR!!  A small gap is opening between me and what seems like “everyone else” (minus the fallen 😦  )  I ride the right lines, stay on the solid ground, follow the path of those ahead, doing everything right.. and the gap grows a little more.  Heart rate maxed.. lungs maxed.. legs.. MAXED.. the gap grows a little more.  A short, but slightly longer incline is ahead, I stand and hammer, giving everything I have to try and catch that effn wheel!  AHHHHHHHH!!!  No.  We crest the roller, I am literally blowing up and the girl in the back of the pack might be trying her hardest too but I still swear it looked like she was coasting.  #($&@!  I cannot keep this pace any longer, cant even glance at my HRM to check any numbers, but I still know it is time.  Even though they are so RIGHT there in front of me.. a few bike lengths away.. a hop skip and jump.. I cant do it.  😦   I need to make the decision.  The awful decision.  I continue to race, but I let off the gas just a few notches in the hopes of surviving this now bastard race and.. they are gone.  My hopes of hanging with the big girls roll away as if I’m sitting still.  The next mile marker I see.. 23.  Son of a BITCH!  I just got schooled in the first 4 miles and am still not catching any glimpses of riders behind me.  LA, WHERE ARE YOU!? 

Goal 3 = DE-nied.  I try to maintain a strong pace, but seriously, we know how that goes after being dropped like.. like a hot potato..  like when you grab your jeans out of the dryer and touch the boiling hot zipper.. yeah, like that.  I had no ipod, no gps, just me and my not-fast-enough-to-hang-with-the-pack-self with approximately 2 hours more to go.  Sure, pieceacake!  LAAAAAAA!!!   

I continue on for about 10 FREAKING MILES by myself (I’d like to give a final shout out to my 3rd goal of the day that is laying way back on the side of the trail somewhere.) before I catch a glimpse of two riders in the distance behind me.  They continue to get closer, we reach some twisty trails in the woods and I yell out “LAAAAA!” and I see no kind of reaction or response.  Crap, it aint her! 😦  They eventually catch me and first rider up is a singlespeed girl that started with our heat instead of the actual SS catagory.  I maintained with her for a while until the next rider, a long legged roadie looking girl, came past and I gunned it to catch her wheel and maintain her pace with her.  I’m on!  Woo Hoo!  I have totally picked it up a notch with her and it feels SO GOOD after such a lonely and pathetic feeling 10 miles.  I am pleased for some company, but majorly sad that LA was not apart of this scenerio.  If she is flying solo and I havent seen her yet, I dont think she’s going to catch me now with this girl.  We reach the road crossing where the announcer guy is at (roughly half way maybe)  and then the concern hits me that LA might seriously be injured.  Maybe she didnt or couldnt get back up from the crash.  Shit!  I know there is nothing I can do from this point but the idea sits low in my gutt and I just want this race to be over. 

I maintain with Gabriela from Illinois until the last 2 miles of the race where she pulled away from me.  My legs were so completely blown out but I was beyond grateful for her company while it lasted.  Reaching the 1 Kilometer sign gave me a feeling of relief.  The crowds and cow bells at the finish line is like no other race I have experienced.  After what felt like such an average race for me the cheers cant help but make me smile, I slap a few hands hanging out from the crowds and a feeling of gratification and exhaustion take over as I roll across the finish line at 2:11:26.  Goal 1 = close enough!  I’m actually really happy with that with so much solo time, and girls continue to finish behind me.  Goal 2 = worrrd!  🙂  As I start talking with friends and trying to figure out where LA is at she rolls into the finish.  Thank God!!   She is pretty mangled, bruised, bloody, exhausted, emotional, but alive and actually finished the race!  YES!  We’ll assess the damages soon enough, I’m just so grateful she is okay.  *Big, Big SIGH*  The emotional toll of the day definitely took away from the rockstarness of the race, so I hope we get the chance to go back again next year and rock out a do-over!  Cheers to all body parts being intact, friendship and the start of the off season! 🙂

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by LA on December 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Go on without me, save yourself!!!! Haha, you made the right choice 🙂

    Reply

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