Today was day 1 of 2, Race Day. Last night I was more sick than I've been since coming home from France, and I doubted I was going to pull out of it by this morning. We woke up around 630-7, and my head was POUNDING still. Last night I went through all the Flu-like stages; Freezing cold chills, uncontrollable cold sweats, it was a nightmare. The ONLY thing I could think of was today, and how on earth I was going to race feeling like this.
I took a Thera-Flu and a Motrin 800, tried to suck it up and grabbed some breakfast. For the past two days I couldn't even stomach the thought (literally) of food, but eating an apple or granola bar throughout an entire day was getting to be a bit irrational. I had a banana, orange juice, some cereal, and any other vitamin filled food I could find. Val and I jumped on the 8:15am shuttle and headed to Copper. By 8:45-9am, the village was overflowing with racers, all loading up to head up top. Val and I got to the starting gates just short of training / practice time.
"COURSE OPEN - LOAD EM UP!!! IT'S PRACTICE TIME PEOPLE"
Just as soon as they made the call, the all-star roster started loading up the gates. We dropped about 30 seconds apart, and got back up top as soon as possible to TRY to get in a second run before they closed the course again before Time Trials. For Val and I, we were able to squeeze in the second run. I'll post a completely different entry and take you all on a ride through the course, stay tuned for that. My first run was a little conservative, and during my second practice run I stepped on the gas and sent it down full speed. BEAUTIFUL 2nd run; My board was dialed in, my timing was on the money, and I felt great (speed-wise). Here comes time trials...
Run 1 - Way too conservative to say the least. Time Trials aren't about being conservative. You either SEND IT, or you go home. I took a bad turn and almost caught an edge into turn 3, and I think that shook me up a bit for the rest of the run. When a hundredth of a second makes a difference between making it or going home, there's no option but to keep your foot to the floor until you reach the finish line, or crash in the process...with that said, I had to regroup and prepare for run 2
Run 2 -
"RACER READY...10 Seconds......in 5, 4, 3, 2....."
Over the pyramids, pumped the rollers, smooth sailing over the step down. Turn 1, Turn 2, Turn 3, gone, gone, annnd gone. I was FLYING. Way hotter than any of my previous runs. No time for checking off speed, and no desire to either. I was killing every feature one by one. Coming into the last spine left, I washed just an ounce of speed to enter the deadly triple roller with at least a little stability. Yesterday that triple ended people's day with an injury. Today nobody cared about injury, we just wanted to stay above the cutoff line. I kept that in mind as I pumped the first roller, but with plenty more speed than I had entered it all week long. The second roller was everyone's possible game-breaker, and today it had my name on the extra long list. With my timing just a fraction of a second off, I got popped into the air. Being 2 inches off the ground is no big deal, but add to that a full speed run, and be ready to get slammed. Instead of having my base flat on the ground in time to pump the 3rd and final roller before the finish line table, my nose slapped the takeoff, sending me skyward. It was all over. A billion thoughts went flashing through my head, and I hadn't even hit the ground yet. All I could do was brace for impact...and it was definitely an IMPACT. At full speed, getting bucked off that roller sent me almost all the way to the face of the finish line table...a good 30-40ft away. In the half second it took for me to make sure nothing was broken, I climbed as fast as I could up that table and slowly ran through the finish.
Picture: Triple Roller into the Finish Line Table
It goes without saying, but my time wouldn't come close to cutoffs. The guys that made the cut definitely deserved it. That second run was finals worthy, I'm confident of that. It's funny, I have some bad luck with this track. Two years ago it was Val and I running in the USASA Nationals Finals against each other. I had an amazing run and was in first from the gates all the way to the bottom. A turn before the finish I got bucked by a roller and sent into the wall of a banked turn. Val took first that year. Today the track beat me again. Not tomorrow...
It's about 645 local time, we just finished the riders meeting for tomorrow, and I'm already feeling alot better than tomorrow. The boys are going to Breckenridge Village for a bite to eat and a Bar or two. I'm staying in again to try and recover. I seriously hope I can pull out of this and be 100% for tomorrow...