So the Time Trail is over, I survived it and got happily home. Very shortly I found out how really bad my condition was. I was barely able to stand up and I still had to eat dinner. I got dizzy a few times and had to hold myself up. The challenge now was how I will make it through the evening, not even thinking of main race in the early morning hours.
I took a nice bath and collapsed. Than night however I didn't sleep at all and trust me I am a sleeping champ. If they were giving away medals for sleep I would have one by now. It is almost 4 am and I’m still lying there and this is when the cough comes in. Miserable night and I possibly fell asleep for a little bit toward the morning. My husband woke me up and I was about to tell him I am not going. I was so terribly sick with all the unpleasant symptoms of the flu one can have. Last thing on my mind was racing! And some racing it was.
All top girls in the series showed up, some of them who exclusively race only on this course. Just great, but I kind of expected that. And for this type of racing with this crowd I knew I had to be a hundred percent and nothing less. But it was less, less than anyone would wish for on race day. I was falling asleep on the way to the race site and was too tired to even move my arms around, what about riding my bike.
From now it was me and my pain and I was on a goose chase. I was able to maintain some 10 second gap for most of the time when we got to the technical rooty section in front part of the park; this is when I caught up with Wally again and knew I will need to pass quickly. He looked back and instead of letting me go accelerated to don’t be in my way and probably got out of his comfort zone. I was afraid of that. Just seconds later there is sharp right left turn with loose sand and a log right behind it. In the matter of half of the second Wally was on the ground, all the way flat with bike laying across the path! Nice, I had nowhere to go and had to wait for him to pick himself up and let me continue my ride. I was not happy and lost there an additional 10 seconds off of the girl in front. I think that was it, it ruined my spirit and allowed me to realize how terrible I felt. But I kept on pushing and kept on going. We all were riding extremely hard that day; no one had an easy day on those trails. Almost toward the end of first lap there was this huge open area that leads you to the bike park entrance and I still could see Melissa in front pedaling away. I stood up and was trying to give it all and catch up despite my condition. Each time I stood up however I would collapse into my saddle just seconds later. I tried again and again with the same results. There was nothing left in me, only my spirit that also was vanishing away. This was where I realized that most likely I would not be able to catch up and just dazed away in my nothingness zone.
I stayed there for whole second lap and just wanted to finish. I rode good, lowered my heart rate and actually started to feel comfortable again, but it was little too late, there was no way I could catch anyone in front. My second lap ended up being a whole minute slower than the first one and that might be just fine for most of the riders, but for me the lap time is much closer than that normally. So I knew it was me, it was sickness and there was nothing that I could have possibly done to change any of the above. But I’m happy, I woke up, I battled tough girls and still finished in top 5. I guess this is what makes any sport interesting; there are so many variables that you can’t just pick the horse and bet on it. You just never know, anyone can have race site preference or have a bad day.