6 Hours of Cranky Monkey

Less than a week before the 6 Hours of Cranky Monkey the area received about 8 inches of snow followed by a day of rain, jeopardizing the trail conditions and the race. I was almost certain that the trails were going to dry and the race would be on because I felt in no way at all like racing. I had been sick since Sunday with no signs of really feeling much better, and I couldn’t seem to get in the mindset to race.

The start list indicated that this was not going to be an easy race. The first lap was fine, with hardly any bottlenecks. After the lap, I stopped at my pit to grab a new bottle, but I was so distracted by complaining and taking my knee warmers off without falling over that I totally forgot my bottle and headed out for lap 2 with no water. I grabbed Gatorade at the aid stations but drinking out of a cup while riding singletrack mostly resulted in being covered in Gatorade.

I soon caught up to the woman ahead of me and I was starting to feel a little more into the race. Then we caught up to another woman. Then by the end of the lap we caught up to yet another woman, and I was just like “OMG there are a lot of women ahead of me!” I grabbed a bottle and some Peeps after lap 2 and went out last in a group of 4 women. About a third of the way through the lap, the first woman in our group popped off the front. The next woman eventually stopped to fix something on her bike, and then the next one did the same, leaving me ahead of all of them. I decided that maybe now was a good time to make a gap because if they couldn’t see me, they couldn’t chase me as easily. Around this time I passed Simona, and gave her the bad news that there were three women right behind me. I figured that I must be in third place.

After lap 3 I decided that I had enough time to make a port-a-potty stop, which was my first racing-in-bib-shorts-while-trying-to-pee-quickly experience. It was further complicated by the fact that I decided to take my base layer off which meant I also had to take my helmet off. I didn’t actually didn’t think of this until I was trying to pull my base layer over my normally over-sized head that was currently wearing a helmet. It was seriously the most complicated port-o-potty stop of all time. Why I even thought it was a good idea, I have no clue. Good decisions were not a theme of my race.

So while I was banging around inside of the port-o-potty, I had no idea if anyone had passed me, but I was sure they had since the whole thing took longer than anticipated. Heading back out through the pits, I saw one woman, and early into lap 4 I caught another. I figured I was in 4th place. I tried to catch 3rd place ahead of me, but it wasn’t really working. By the middle of the lap, I started to feel really bad. I could feel my scratchy swollen throat making breathing just a little more work, and my head was filled with congestion. I pictured myself contracting pneumonia in my weakened state. I convinced myself that any sensible person would not have even raced today, so it would be okay if I stopped. Suffering through a 5th lap hardly seemed worth it for a 4th place pint glass and a lung infection. It seemed even less worth it for a 5th place glass or no glass at all.

So I stopped. It felt good. Sort of like when I eat the potato chips in our office or when I watch one more episode of House of Cards when I know I should go to bed. I handed in my timing chip and spent the rest of the race eating Peeps, trying to get other people to eat Peeps, and chatting with friends. It was not a great race, but still a good ride and a fun day.

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