In general, I find the work, train and race balance totally manageable. Rich and I know what the other has to do in order for everything to fall in to place. But, when one side of the equilibrium goes skewwhiff, the balance is totally lost. That loss of equilibrium is exactly what happened the weekend after the W101; Rich had a bad crash and broke his right collarbone and left hand.
|Yes, I agree. How can someone look so handsome when they have just broken their collarbone?|
For the first few days he could do nothing. Absolutely nothing. The break was pretty bad, and it felt like forever that he just lay in pain. My heart wept. Realistically, it was 3 days (thanks to our surgeon friend Joel), and he was booked into the hospital and received excellent surgical care.
From the couch, Rich encouraged me to still get out and train for the rest of the NUE race season. His mum helped out a lot by dropping-off homemade dinners (thanks Vivian!), so although I felt like sometimes I was teetering on the edge of exhaustion, it could have been worse without any help. I was trying to work out if the experience was (1) training for when I might have a baby, (2) when we become geriatrics, or (3) simply a pre-marital test. Whatever, I think I passed!
I took Rich's advice: I raced at a local xc race the weekend prior to the Hampshire 100. Again it was refreshing to race locally and not travel. I finished the day off with a ride home from the race, at Black Moshannon State Park, which tagged on another 2 hilly hours.
|MoValley XC race|
That same weekend, we also shot a Stan’s video for Interbike. It is going to be a brilliant video. I was yet again blown away by Stan’s technology. Basically Robyn (the director) got us to stab the s**t out of our tires with needles, and then go and ride over rocks. My tires sealed up instantly after the piercing, and I even raced the same tires without any problems at the NH100! I am a believer.
So, on to the Hampshire 100. Cheryl and I traveled north on Friday morning and arrived in Hancock NH that evening to the most adorable B&B/Hotel. It dated back to the 1700’s and was run by a very sweet couple. The atmosphere was very relaxing (though I am sure we were the youngest people in the entire place), the breakfast was delish and for once I felt like a race weekend was actually a holiday from work!
|The Hancock Inn. New Hampshire. Beautiful|
We met up with Team CF’s manager Jim on Saturday and pre-rode the last 5 miles of the course. It reminded me a lot of Scotland; Fir tree needles all over the ground, rocks, roots, man-made bridges. I loved it!
The race started in an uncharacteristic fashion for an NUE race with waves of riders, open men being first. Bother, there goes our fast train. Cheryl said not to worry; at least we would have the mighty masters to pull us on the first part of flat road. I tried to hang with Cheryl for the early part of the race, but lost contact on one of the climbs. Karen and Kathleen soon caught up with me, and at that point I was concerned there was something wrong with my shifting, so I hung behind and followed their lines until I worked it out.
Karen and I came into the first drop station together. I was fast getting my bottles and back out and onto the next climb. From then on I just tried to keep a steady strong pace.
The course was definitely tough, with relentless semi-to technical climbs, some being completely un-rideable due to their steep gradient. Starting out on my 2nd lap, I was lucky to catch a draft from Dan Kotwicki on the road section starting. Kelly Klett looked relieved to jump on our train and give his singlespeeding legs a break. For a short time it felt like we were on a leisurely ride; I was definitely talking and laughing too much! The group soon split up on one of the climbs, but I managed to hop on Noah Mabry’s wheel for the next flat section. Noah bonked at about mile 90, but managed to muster up some energy to pass me on the final section of singletrack (…something about Manny Caliz never letting him live it down if I beat him…).
Finally the finish line was in sight, and another 2nd place. Yippee! Cheryl finished strong in 1st place and will head to Fool's Gold next for the NUE final against Amanda.
|Women's NUE hampshire podium. Photo: cycling news|
My Cycling Dirt Video can be found here:
Cheryl and I had a wonderfully relaxing dinner the night after the race, complete with red wine and salmon. It was delish and the perfect end to our really long bike ride.
Rich is now off to Eurobike, and I will start preparing for Shenandoah 100. Although I don’t like when the equilibrium is lost, I still don’t want him to leave.
However, I am looking forward to the SM100, and thoroughly enjoying this part of the season. Hope to see you there!