I left school on Friday at 2 and arrived with my dad and my big brother just before five. I headed out for a lap with my dad and although we didn’t do any efforts or anything like that, the pace was quite fast. I knew it would be even faster the next day and I would really have to carry my speed through those corners and climbs. I preferred this course to the other Fort Ord one because there was more singletrack but also more passing spots, but in my mind they both paled in comparison to Laguna Seca. After getting set up at the hotel, we went to team dinner at Louie Linguini’s where I ate half a pizza. We then went back to the hotel and I was ready for bed, but First Blood was on tv and that got priority. I fell asleep close to 11 and had a tough 6:30 wake up. We packed up and made it to the pit sometime after 7, and I took some time to relax and eat my oats. Not long after, we all hopped on trainers for our warm up. My legs were feeling normal and I was feeling a normal amount of stress. I stood at the start for a good while until I was called up. Unfortunately, the other girls’ starts were brutal and watching them did nothing to calm my nerves. After lining up with the girls and discussing our nervousness, I had an ok start. I did not clip in my left foot and somehow in the following stretch I unclipped my right foot. I was able to make it work and shift into a proper gear even with my feet just balancing, and got myself into third place by the top of the hill. The girl from Monterey (Lux) had a great start and was maybe fifteen feet ahead of the girl from Berkeley (Lizzie) who was not far in front of me, and I was not far in front of the Kirby girl (Sonya). One of my goals from last race was to stick with the top to girls, and I was doing my best. Maybe a quarter mile into the race Lizzie had a little trouble shifting or something and slowed down to get it under control. I made a fatal mistake in not passing her then, and let me tell you she put down some serious power after this. I didn’t quite stick on her wheel, but she was in my sights. As we started to catch up to more sophomore and JV girls, the gaps were strengthened between both Lizzie and me and me and Sonya. Although I know it’s good to ride with other people, it is much more enjoyable to be able to ride alone sometimes and I was feeling good. I tried to keep up my speed through the end of the first lap, especially on the descents because I knew that could power me through the flats. I had downed two blocks by the feed zone, but not a whole lot of water. I made a goal to drink the rest of my one bottle by the end of the race, but unfortunately failed to meet it. When I came around on my second lap feeling good, I was glad to get some encouragement from the hecklers and ready to make a stronger gap. I felt like I had decent speed during this lap, although I now see that my time was significantly slower. This lap was pretty uneventful, I was just trying to not get caught by whoever was behind me. I finished strong feeling pretty good. Looking back on the times, the first two girls finished in a sprint and had a solid three minutes on me, whereas the fourth place girl was only thirty seconds behind me. Next race I want to have a fast first lap and keep the same time on the second lap. To do this I want to work on fitness, including sprints, and hydration/nutrition during the race. What went well in this race was my passes and my start (but I still want to work on those too).
Thanks for reading my very late race report.
Lily OHare, Freshman Girls, Bishop O'Dowd High School, 3 / 14