That was how it all panned out at 5-Mile on Saturday and I'm pretty happy with it. I met my main goal for the race which was a sub 2 hour time and as an added bonus I wasn't DFL. The pace at the start was fast but not crazy fast. The group was strung out in a line (other than the leader who was gone) for the first few miles and I just hung in the back getting a nice rythm going. Things got messy about three miles in when we started passing the Expert girls and the lead group of the SM 35-39 caught us at about the same time. In the comotion I lost my group and pretty much never saw any of them again. Climbed the hike a bike, enjoyed the view from the top and headed down. Narrowly avoided a UMB'er who ate it on the turn at the bottom of the single track and then took a pull from him across the flat when he passed me. Passed a couple scalpels on the DH, on my HT no less;-). I used my DH mantra "keep it together" to great effect. My back got a little tight on the ups and downs across the back half but nothing too bad. Bart lapped me at the top of the final climb so I grabbed his wheel for the last shallow DH mile to the finish. It was slick riding his wheel for that little bit. All I had to do was pedal and follow. No need to worry about my line cause I knew his was the best. Felt good through the feed zone with a 56 minute first lap but was concerned about my energy level since I hadn't fed much on lap one. Was good to go for the first couple miles of lap two and concentrated on getting in some calories. About two miles into lap two my back got a little tight again but not too bad. My main problem was I lost focus on what was going on and my mind started to drift. People began passing me left and right and I didn't seem to care much. The hike a bike woke me up. At the top I stopped for a minute to stretch out my back, refocus and HTFU. Smoked the DH and powered through the back half to finish strong. Ended up 7th out of 16 with a 1:58:41 time. I was pretty happy with my race other than the couple miles of dilly dallying. I made sure to get in all of my pre-race stretching and it paid off as my back was 90% or better all day. My bike is 100% dialed in now and it was spectacular on this course. The 29er hardtail flow is amazing and everybody is jumping on the bandwagon. The course was full of Superfly's, Paragons and all sorts of other 29'ers. Rhonda took the race off but made herself useful by feeding Bob and catching up with the Buzzardess. Now that I got the bike and back dialed in I need to work on feeding properly and keeping my focus for the entire race. A 56 minute first lap was great but a 62 minute 2nd lap is pretty unacceptable. Baby steps.
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