I had actually gotten there in time for a practice lap, so I did that, then went back to the car. I decided I thought my front tire might have a slow leak so I changed the tube, ate something, and got to the start in time to take my place in the front row.
Things were looking pretty good.
Until the whistle blew.
I felt like everyone blew by me up the pavement at the start, and maybe they did. It was a little discouraging, but the race was young yet. I passed a few people out on the course, but something just felt a little off. I wasn't cornering all that confidently, but the longer I spent out there, the better I felt. I could tell a top 5 finish was not going to be in the cards on that day, but I was trying to find another girl or two to pick off before the end.
Until halfway through the 3rd lap (there would be 4). I went over a root or a rock or something on the start of a long gentle downhill, bounced off it, and ...
Looked this way over my shoulder and that way and the woman behind me passed and said, "You've got a flat."
I thought so.
I stopped along the way to chat for 5 or more minutes with a coach of one of the Juniors team, who gave me tire pressure advice, adjusted my helmet strap so I wouldn't get a concussion, and explained that when you are a coach it can be hard to turn it off. I'm married to one, so I know. Then I ran most of the rest of the way out of there and finished my race and watched all the riders go by on their last lap.
I was pretty "eh - oh well" while I was out there but once I got back to the car, I was feeling kind of bummed. I think I also wished I had brought the family with me since it was such a nice day and there was a sweet playground and we all had a good time at that race last Fall.
Anyway, I looked at the results today and somehow I wasn't last. There were two people in the race who finished after me, so that was a little surprising, but I was sure I was last by a mile, so I'll take it.
Better luck next time...