So what do you get when you cross caffeine with someone who has been free of it for 9 months? 2nd place (well that along with some notable names missing from the start line!) I guess that the only reason caffeine isn't regulated by the USDA is that most racers are so habituated to it that they don't get much of a boost from it. Now give it to a naive user (me) and bingo, it's unofficially a performance enhancing drug! I won't be sleeping much tonight, but hey, I guess at least it gives me time to write this blog.
Intense effort in 80degree heat usually leaves me with a headache. Caffeine (in the form of an energy gel) was my antidote to this. Not really giving me extra power or speed, just the capacity to keep pushing through without my head exploding.
Staying cool was also necessary to prevent the dreaded headache. I employed a couple of tactics for this - a wet wash cloth on my neck for cooling and (big gulp) a water bottle on my bike. This is almost taboo in CX, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do right?
I had a chance to work with my team mate Kristy for a few laps during this race. She powered away for the hole shot and pulled me for the best part of 2 laps - thank you Kristy!! I tried to re-pay the favor, but alas the hill climb took its toll on Kristy and our team work came to an end as she dropped back into 3rd.
I couldn't shake the gal who made it into 2nd place though. I knew she was climbing better than me, but hoped to keep her off. Alas, no such luck. She came powered around me on the final lap's climb and I never managed to bridge back up to her. Nicely played! Still, I was happy with 2nd. But even happier that I managed to put in place some coping mechanisms for racing in hotter weather.