This weekend I practised a race run the day before for the first time, and it made one hell of a difference. The PORC Mr Bling race course was really tech, with several chicken runs. On my first run I took all the chicken runs, and by the end there was just one huge ladder drop that I was missing out. The course was short, 45-60 seconds, so I guess they'd tried to cram in everything. On the start straight there was a double that I was only clearing (and not very smoothly) by race morning, there were some steep, tight switch backs, a rock garden and several "boosters".
Only 2 girls raced, I met 2 others who came up and decided at the last moment not to race. One because she hadn't practised the day before and couldn't get her head around the tech course enough to feel prepared, the other because she felt frustrated at having to take so many chicken runs (though, from having raced against her before I'm sure she'd have been fine!) It was a shame in a way, because the competition wasn't close. The other girl, Aimee, beat all of us by miles at the last Aston Hill, she's a really good, experienced rider and I knew that she was a level above me and I'd never beat her. She did however inspire me to do the double (I didn't tell her that).
I found the course hard, once I decided to ignore the ladder drop I didn't find it scary, I just wasn't sure where and how to carry my speed. Despite lots of practice, I'd like to have had more. I made up for it by playing in the quarry jump park between runs, my jumping has really "clicked" finally and I know that with a small amount of pushing myself I'll be going big very soon. I love the smooth feeling when a jump, or line of jumps, gets nailed and I'm really excited about the speed of my learning curve.
I'm going out and doing 2 hrs a day jump practice this week. I started yesterday, but it was cut short when my boyf smashed himself up. It was a weird experience, normally I'm the one that hurts myself and he has to watch and deal with it. Seeing him gasping for breath when he was winded was horrible and I'd rather it was me. My brother is taking me out today, and he's really used to smashing himself up, but hopefully it'll just be a good fun evening in the sunshine and dusty trails. Watch this space, I'm not going home...