Busy weekend and I am left feeling pretty stiff and sore today. Partly fatigue, partly minor injuries.... but it feels oddly satisfying. Following a summer devoid of racing (through injury) its kinda nice to be able to damage myself
First up was the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. While this ridiculous fit (and sightly crazy) bunch of guys trotted their way through 100km of trails, us mere mortals opted for the relay option. Having acted as lead rider on my MTB for leg 1, I was nicely warmed up for the super hilly 18km leg ahead of me (actually warmer than I'd hoped... had to ride quite hard uphill to stay ahead!). Leg went well. After letting loose over the final 5km of descent to Okataina I'd erased all but 40sec of a 5min+ gap to 1st. Guess I'm running ok? With strong efforts from Thomas Reynolds, John Gray, and Old Man Pearson we ended up a close 2nd to 3 time champions the Hamilton Flyers. Forcing them to break their course record to win. Next Year....
Sunday saw the iconic Triplecrown. My arm might still be a bit weak, but I had a bike to test and I couldn't turn down a day of shuttles, long Super D descents, and general smack talking.
I learnt trying to race fast on a track you've never ridden is pretty hard. Two over the bars crashes within first few minutes of Tihi O Tawa soon took the wind out of my sails and made me pull my head in a bit. Soon resorting to fast XC speed (rather than a competitive Super D pace). On the plus side, it did get the fear of cashing on my plated arm out of the way though.
Forearm got pretty achey pretty quickly. Still a lot of strength to be regained, but at least I can ride with some confidence. Having backed it off to 80% I wasn't overly competitive, but it was still a cool day. Got some good practice in, gave the arm a good workout/test, survived some crashes, and finished 20 something'th.
So sore arm? Check. Bruised thigh form crashing on roots? Check. Sore calves/hammies/butt from fast trail running? Check. Satisfied to be back mixing it up again? For sure!