Sunday, October 31, 2010

Orienteering, Cyclocross and Halloween

Busy weekend at the Randall house... Saturday morning and afternoon was spent doing yardwork and then Chris and I headed down to Cochran Mill Park for GAOC's annual Night Orienteering Meet. You basically eat a bunch of food at a pot luck dinner, then get to run around in the woods in the dark. This year we did not get our maps until the race started so of course I just took off running like a fool without really strategizing. Since I can run faster now, I got pretty far too! I skipped some early points, thinking they were too far out but then ended up finishing with 15 mintues still left on the clock. I missed a point that I should have gotten because I didn't see it on the map and I must have run right by another, as I had to make a special out-and-back trip to get it. I also chose a route on a flat section that took me through some mangrove-style/cane field nastiness that really slowed me down for a few minutes. There was a lot of trail running on the remainder of the course, so I got in a good speed workout.

I did a track workout this week and it seems like it is already helping. Me likey!

Sunday we headed to Life College for the Cyclocross race. Since it was Halloween, several people dressed up in costumes and I couldn't resist wearing my naughty school girl costume. The course was actually a cyclocross course this time, so that was kind of nice...I wasn't in the mood for riding a mountain bike. We had a record turnout...14 girls in the Women's A race!

I had a good start but had to let a few girls pass me early on as I wasn't interested in red-lining it up the initial climbs. Kim F. rode off by herself as usual. By the end of the first full lap, I was back up with those who passed me and we rode together for much of the race. I was feeling ok and wasn't at max effort, so I slowly picked them off one by one, focusing my efforts on the climbs on the second half of the course. I managed to get a small gap after maybe the 3rd or 4th lap, but then blew it by laying my bike down in one of the gravel corners. I recovered quickly, but lost my 15 seconds and Kim S. and Amanda were right back on me and we stayed pretty close together for another lap or two. On our two-to-go lap, the Men's B leader passed us, which meant we would finish on that lap..or so we thought. Kim made sure Amanda and I knew we were on our last lap. Amanda attacked after one of the gravel corners, but Kim and I countered on the steep grunty climbs and got a small gap on her. Kim and I hit the final run-up climb nearly neck and neck. I dug deep on the run and managed to get a small gap. Another trip to the pain cave up the next little climb sent me to the top, around the corner, down the hill, and around the 90 degree right hander across the bridge to the finish, safely in second place... or so I thought. I heard conflicting messages from the timing said "you're done" another said "one to go". I knew we SHOULD have been done (and in every other cross race I've done, there has never been any confusion), so I just coasted down the hill into the grass by the pond. About 10 seconds later, Kim rolls up next to me and says were still racing! Super shit!

I was very pissed at that point because I felt like I had completely blown my wad on the last lap...surely I couldn't do that again. So it was game on again, with Kim and Amanda back on my heels. No one really attacked, though I tried to keep the pace high to make sure no one caught us from behind. Kim and I broke away through the climbs and as we were side by side going into the final run up, because of the scoring mix up, she said she was not going to try to pass, and that she just wanted to make sure we stayed ahead of Amanda. I thought that was really classy and saved us from likely taking each other out jockeying for position into the final corner before the finish. Not wanting Amanda to come anywhere close to catching us, I dug deep again on that final run up which got me my usual few second gap over the top, then pushed it up the next climb and on down to the finish. Kim rolled through a few seconds later, followed by Amanda. Ugh..what a nail biter!

Thankfully the race finish order was the same as on the previous lap, so everyone was happy with that. One thing I did not like about the course was the 90 degree, downhill, in loose gravel, essentially one-lane, turn going across the bridge right before the finish. That basically prevented a sprint finish as the first person across the bridge would most likely hit the finish first. If the three of us were still together at that turn it would have been utter mayhem as I know I would have taken a risky line and attempted a dangerous pass if it meant the difference between 2nd and 4th place.

Later that evening it was Trick-or-Treating with Jayden. She dressed up as a monkey..everyone thought she was a boy and we got tired of correcting them. Ugh. Next year she'll wear a costume that is a dress and maybe by then she'll have some hair. By the end of Trick-or-Treating, she did figure out that the candy goes in the bag and she was putting it in there on her own. Too cute! Hopefully I'll have some pictures to post later.


Namrita O'Dea said...

The USAC officials really need to yell louder or something with the lap counts and finishing lap. That makes 3 out of 5 races or something that I have been COMPLETELY CONFUSED as to what is going on.

Lisa said...

They hold up the cards, but if you pass them and they show 2 to go, and you get lapped by the mens leader on that lap, that means you will finish on that lap. As long as you don't get lapped by the mens leader, the lap count coincides with the cards.