I new this race was really going to be all about just being happy to finish with my pec muscle still attached. It really wasn't going to be about what place I was in or how far back I was. Indeed with that perspective it was kind of nice not having the pressure from other racers. But what I didn't anticipate was racing with the demons.
I was good for about 4 minutes until the single speed front group caught up to me and a series of them were pushing to pass on the single track. That's when Demon #1 came along threatening to pass me and push me over. I held him off until we started the decent onto the long road before the CC road climb. There were a some soft sand pits that I knew he was going to push me into and make me fall. I took him on and shut him down.
I was going good and strong up the CC road and even passing some real racers. But that's where Demon #2 came along saying if I pass him he would be on my tail on the downhill pushing me until I went over. I pulled back a bit and let a racer by. Demon #2 won that one.
I got to the top safely and headed down the rough decent. All was going well when I hit the small off camber straight shot gully right before "Butt crack" climb. Demon #3 pushed me off into the gully where I struggled for the next 50 feet to not wipe out, get clotheslined by a branch and to get back onto the trail. Somehow I won that one and somehow I finished that lap in tact.
Things were going pretty good the next lap until I ran into Demon #4. As I was turning up CC road he pulled me down RIGHT ONTO MY HURT SHOULDER! I think I jumped up before I even hit the ground from the shock and fear. Luckily it was soft (hence the reason for the fall) and a slow turn up hill. That was it! I got so pissed at those Demons (and at myself for being such a wuss) that I never saw them again the rest of the race. From that point on I was racing like I had before these injuries. Although, I have to admit once I got to the top I did flex my pec a couple of times to make sure it was still attached. After that I actually thought about my sore back, weak legs, sore thumb and burning lungs which was refreshing to worry about again.
In the end I wasn't last (11th I think), and despite all the Demon issues and fall I did not once feel any pain or pulling on the surgery site. I AM BACK!RACE #2 - Kids Pasture Race
After the awards the team headed back to the homestead for some BBQ and relaxation. We did have our best ever Pasture Race for the kids. Here are some pics of our awesome racers.
The nice thing about this race was they were ALL winners!
ARANTIX II MILES: 340 (The count resumes for 2010)