|Lining up with my chicas, Jen Deep, Chop, Mrs. Mod & me in the foreground, Emily & Carly behind us in Cat 3. Photo credit: Someone with Jen Deep's camera. CVO?|
Let me say right off how absolutely excited I was Friday night to see that 21 women had pre-registered for the Swanson races. And with Jen not in the pre-regs, that made 22 or maybe even more. I think the first Psycowpath races I did 2 years ago had at best 5 or 6 women across the classes. Unbelievable strides, and I'm so happy to be a part of it -- it makes the racing so much more fun and meaningful. There was a discussion on the Psycowpath Facebook page about the age breakouts and divisions in the men's races, and a comment was made about how you'd feel telling your family you'd gotten 4th out of 5 (versus a much larger field), and I had to laugh at the awkward podiums I had as a Cat 3 where I was 1 of....ONE. Sorry guys, not a lot of empathy. I'd much rather be 22nd of 40 (where I ended up in the mixed Marathon field --SPOILER ALERT) than 1 of 1.
|Leading out the ladies of Marathon on Lap 1. Photo credit: Kyle Hansen|
With temperatures in the upper 80s and into the 90s-- crazy for April 1st & unfortunately not an April Fool's Joke -- I tried to set a mellow pace. Let the fast marathoners go ahead, get around the not-so-experienced ones, and get into a groove. Anne and I planned to have fun, after all. After some messy bottlenecks, she ended up in front, and it was up to me to decide to match her pace or stick to my own. I knew I was faster than last year, as only a small group of Cat 3s caught me on their lap. Let them go, settle in, and then enjoy the blissful hour and a half where it's just Marathon traffic on course.
|Climbing, mid-race. Photo credit: Kyle Hansen|
|Finishing Lap 5. Photo credit: Emily Hoesly|
Lap for lap, I was always a bit behind Anne, increasingly so on the descents and less so on flat sections. As we entered laps 5 and 6, though, her gaps increased, and when I'd catch her, she'd be taking a break, trying to cool down. As I pulled in at the end of 6 laps, 3 hours and 19 minutes into the race, she told me it was my call whether we'd go out for another. I wanted shade, food, water, and then a decision. Unless Jen came through before 4 hours wanting another lap, we'd secured our places, and this early in the season with temperatures as hot as they were, one more lap just seemed like something that would be tedious for us and annoying to the Cat 1s still on course. We waited it out, watched Casey come through and go for one more lap to get to the 6 we were at -- you go girl!! -- and were glad Jen called it good at 3:56. Not a bad start to the season, and I'm looking forward to more!