-This weekend is going to be a crazy at work because of labor day and the mountain music festival. The Trib says that 14,000 people are expected. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but Ohiopyle is not a large capacity town. I could probably get off for the race, but I would feel like a major meat for bailing on such a busy day.
-I want to go up to the Seven Springs 24 hour and meet the guys from Pro Bikes, because I might have a spot on the team next year (ooh I do a hope so.)
-The lady bear and I want to go out for Chinese.
-College is expensive, and I really don't have $200 plus traveling expenses to blow (yikes!)
-But mostly, there's no way that two days is enough time to mentally prepare myself for a hundie. Thems is big races. I was getting myself ready for the Wilderness 101 and learning the course almost a month in advance (and I still got lost). I would basically be going into Shenandoah blind. I'll just look forward to doing it in the future when I'm a little bit faster.
Off to Seven Springs it is. It's weird to think, but it was exactly this time last year at Springs that I found a flyer for the month of mud. As I watched the exhausted racers wobble across the line on Sunday, I decided that it was something I wanted to do.
A few weeks later I went to the first MOM race at Bavington State Gamelands. I jumped right into the SS open class, finished 12th out of 20 on the 8 mile time trial course, and crashed three or four times (Bavington isn't even a technical race.) I did the other three races in the series and finished each one with similar results.
I feel like I've been racing for longer than 11 months. I've still never entered a beginner, sport, or junior race. But I have done hard XC races, a 50, and a 100. I've improved so much over the past months, and I can't wait to see where future seasons take me.
So I'll be back at the Springs, again just spectating. (I could have been racing for Pro Bikes if I would have had some contact info on this rag. Whoops. Fixed that one.) But I'll be watching with a completely different perspective. This time I'll actually know how the guys feel when they're pounding out laps. Last year I was an XC runner, and this year I'm a mountain biker.
I have to say, I'm really happy with how far I've come in a year. At the 2009 month of mud I'll be going for podium spots. In 08' I was just trying to survive. That in itself says something.