We did the Cholla (they say it is pronounced "choy-a", but I still say chol-la) Challenge in Hurricane. Today was great. First, I felt like I did a good job preparing. Obviously, due to the weather--windy, cold, snow, etc.--I did not do much riding throughout the week. That provided plenty of recovery after last weekend's ride.
We came down yesterday and rode Barrel Roll. My heart rate was higher than I probably wanted it, but I did not stress my legs. We ran into our friend, Bob Dawson. He was out for a long ride. We questioned this the day before a race. He mentioned training for a 12 Hour race. He still did pretty well even with the miles the day before.
We took a lap on the course in the morning. The race did not start until noon 30 so there was plenty of time. We finished getting ready and started warming up. After Chris went to line up, I headed to the road to do a couple of short intervals before heading to the line. My goal was to arrive just as the Pro-Men were about to leave. I timed it pretty well.
Our group left a few minutes later. There were eight on the line again. They started out fast. I was on the far right which pushed me into the rocky section. I was patient and took a conservative line. This again put me towards the back of the pack. This time though I stayed calm. There was a some jockeying for position in the main pack. Lynda was off the front, of course, and then Kathy and Sarah were a bit behind her. Sarah was on fire! The rest of us were somewhat together. After a bit, it was just Jen and I. I would gap her and she would come back. We leap frogged a little bit. On the second lap, she got in front of me and I decided to stay behind her for a bit. She was carrying a quick pace and I was able to recover a little. Then some guys passed so I tried to go with them. I was able to hold on for a bit and gapped Jen going into the third lap. I was stay in front of her through the finish.
While I did not finish very well, I had a really, good race. I fueled well. I kept pushing a fast pace. I raced smart and had a good time.
Chris also had a good race. He finished 6th out of 23 or so. His heart rate was high throughout his race which is an indication that he felt good. He again had several really fast guys to compete against. We should have some pictures in a couple of days to share.