Yesterday was a long day for me and I didn’t even race. I think I made a good decision and decided to sit the race out. I was pretty tweaked from the previous two days and thought the upside was limited compared to the potential downside of competing.
This was really unusual for me. I can’t really think of a time where I overrode an emotional decision with an intellectual one, concerning competing. And it was really tugging on me in the morning up until the start of the race.
The intellectual part for not racing was that I hit my left shoulder pretty hard on a wooden post the first lap the day before and it kept me up most of the night throbbing. Plus my left hamstring and right achilles tendon were feeling “over used”. Probably from slogging through ankle deep mud for two hours the previous days. That and a million guys were ripping off their rear derailleurs on Sunday once again, I decided to sit.
Obvious I wanted to race. Building up to the start I could hardly stand it.
But this dissipated relatively early because of super bad luck by Logan Owen. He was leading the race, barely a minute in and got twisted up in some mud and ended up going off-course into the ribbon. He took a pretty hard fall. This was right next to where I was standing. We ran over to see if he was okay and he was holding his left shoulder. He seemed okay and said, as he was still laying on the ground, that he hit his left shoulder pretty hard the day before, on the same wooden post I hit, and it was still super tender. He didn’t get back on his bike.
His bad luck, for some weird reason, eased my mind on my decision. Strange how that is. I very much doubt I would have fallen on my shoulder, but the risk was still there.
Anyway, standing around for 4 hours, sloggy through the same mud, outside of the course, was nearly as hard as racing. I was wasted after. The races were super good though. The women’s race was exciting, as was the men’s.
Everyone was looking pretty beat from the two previous heavy days. I don’t know, but 3 days of muddy racing might be too hard, even for trained athletes. Katie Compton was riding pretty strongly, but was all over the course bike handling. Stephen Hyde had the race completely under control until 1/2 a lap to go and he completely fell apart, opening up the door to Jamie Driscoll who passed him and won. How disappointing for Hyde. He was riding a super race. And he and Jamie had both skipped Friday night’s race.
The 6 hour drive back was painless. We stopped outside Des Moines and met up with Michael Fatka. I’d left my chainsaw up in Ames last month when I was helping him with his roof and he brought it down. We had dinner at Panera, got some coffee and drove the last 3 hours. We got back around 11:30pm, which was relatively early compared to some weekends.
I didn’t sleep so good last night again. I think I’m going to wait it out a couple days to see how my shoulder heals. I talked to Stacie and she said there isn’t much back there that really needs attention if it is broken. I’m surprised it is getting worse still.
Okay, here are a bunch of photos from the last couple days, in no particular order. There are some better photos by Dave McElwaine here at Velonews.