After check in and all the normal pre race I lined up with the other 13 bodies in my age class to head out for the first of our two 12.5 laps of joy on two wheels. Two minutes after the Pro field went out they unleashed the 100 plus Cat 1 field in a mass start (I love this idea) of dust and flying rocks.
We had a nice 10-15 minute dirt/gravel to grass double track slight climb until we singled up on some of the nicest single track I'm been on in awhile. Another rider and I kept trading places for 4-5th in our class as we started to pass some of the Pro women. As we started the tight switchbacks for a 12-15 minute climb midway thru the lap my partner got around one rider that I did not and away he went.
I guess the best way to put it is to steal a roadie term, I just "sat up." I found myself following this women's line and being happy with it (not to mention she was picking a line better then most men I know.) I could have gone faster, she gave me the line more then once but I just never took it. I was mentally zoned out of the race, it felt like I was just on a training ride and I have no idea why.
Once we started the downhill switchbacks girl was GONE, she dropped me like a bad habit. No joke, girl was flying and had no fear. She flat out stripped me of my man card, and by doing so I think she saved my race. I snapped out of whatever funk I was and got bad in the groove. I wanted to thank her once I finally caught and passed her, but I'm sure she would have thought I was a freak...which we all know is true anyways.
After a bottle change I rolled into lap two with little to speak of for the first 6-7 miles, that all changed on a creek crossing. As I dropped into the creek my foot wheel came to a dead stop and the bike went vertical, and over the bars I went. It hurt, it really freaking hurt.
Long story short I found the bike, found the trail and rolled on knowing I'd really jacked my right hand. I could hold it on the bars but ever rock, twig or piece of dust I hit made me want to scream like a 10 old girl (and I did more then once.) Shifting let's just say was a pleasure, and obscenity filled.
The last five miles or so could not end fast enough and Wifey took these as I rolled in.
Wifey pulled off my glove to find what we thought was a broken hand...don't need to be a doctor to tell this one. I looked at the finishing board to see I ended 5th as the boss got ice and a medic.
Wifey was a champ and did most of the car loading (even thou she placed well in her race) so I may never get my man card back. And after a shorted talk with an old friend we headed out for the long drive to the hospital.
Bones will heal and I'll live, but I'll be getting a few weeks of rest...which I needed anyways. You're heard me say it before but everything happens for a reason, just let's not it be so freakin painful next time.