Gloucester Day 2

After another day of racing and cheering in Gloucester, Mass., we finally crawled in our front door at 1:00 am this morning. Yes, it was a very long day. A good day. But a long one. While I learned a lot this weekend, I learned a very crucial and important lesson on the drive home: there is a limit to how much caffeine a post-race belly can tolerate. One can of Illy espresso and a grande soy misto can be too much for an empty stomach – particularly one that has already consumed a double shot cherry chocolate gel and an earlier can of Illy espresso. Yes, this is too much for a stomach that doesn’t normal receive coffee… Any attempts at drinking fizzy water to settle this stomach should be avoided – this only adds fuel to the fire.

Okay now that this public service message is out of the way – on to the good stuff. Sunday was another good day of racing and learning on the bike. After a great night with our hosts (thanks Mike and Cathy!) we were up early and off to the New England Worlds Site for another day of racing and cheering. After some pre-riding, cheering and catching up with folks, Marc was on the line and ready to race. Sunday was a much better day for Marc – he was having a fantastic race until he crashed… This caused him to lose a lot of time but he still continued to put in a big effort. I was very happy to see him riding so well and right in there in the mix with the top of the race field. Many thanks to Alex and Heidi for the pit work.

My race was up next. I got into my usual pre-race routine and everything came together really well. And then when I rolled down to the start at 2:15 for the scheduled 2:30 start time, I wondered why no one was around. Hmm, strange. I quickly learned that our race had been pushed back to 3:00 due to some necessary course changes. Initially rather frazzled, this push back worked in my favour because my bike needed some last minute tweaking. I got out on the course for a lap to see the new changes and to settle myself down a bit. Big goal for today was a good start. Well, I had a better start – I didn’t lose as much ground as I typically do. I know I still have more in me with the start. After a good start, things seemed to go backwards rather quickly – I struggled to hold my ground in the twisty bits at the top – giving up many spots and watching the group I wanted ride away.

Head down and keep digging. My power and strength were spot on and I could make up serious ground and space on the straight aways but struggled on Sunday with the twisty bits at the top and bottom and with the runs. My sand riding was top-notch (practice does pay off). I need to really give it my all in the runs (I tend to hold back a bit for fear of not being able to recover… but this is not right). The last time up the sea wall run-up I ran like I had never run before – and it made a big difference. I’ve written a race report over on the race reports page – you can click over to read all the nitty gritty details.

Biggest lesson from Sunday: technical skills are greatly improved but still need more work. Fitness really is coming on but is not where I want it yet. Managed to keep my head on during the race but it fell off promptly upon crossing the finish line. Things take time and I’ve still got time.

We took off pretty quickly after the race in hopes of getting home at a decent time. It was a long drive with Marc doing all of it – I was useless driving in the rain and the dark….

This weekend lived up to everything Gloucester is rumoured and billed to be. If you’re thinking of traveling to one race weekend – make it this one. You won’t be disappointed. The courses are top-notch. It is well organized. The competition is some of the best in North America. The fans are intense and raucous. The location is spectacular. Just do it – go to Gloucester.

Huge thanks to a massive cast of folks: Marc, Alex, Heidi, Mike, Cathy, Peter, Conor, Evan, Fergie, Mel, Nick (aka Nate), Laura, Gabby, Helen, Stefan (aka Steven), Steve, Josee, Petar, David, Tom and so many other people who cheered and encouraged. Great to hear “Go Canada” “Come on Ottawa” “Good Job Vicki” – this makes it all so worth it.

Huge thanks to Richard Sachs for the sweet hat. I’ll wear it with pride! ATMO

Thanks Gloucester – I missed you and it was great to be back.

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