It seems to be the case this year, every race I've been involved with,except one, has had precipitation as a factor before or during the event. Starting with the Pontiac TT in April where it snowed the morning of the event to today's race at Brighton when we had early morning thunderstorms to make the trails slick. So far any Lake Orion High School race date has had rain as an attendance factor and it may be again this week. Even next week's Lumberjack 100 keeps having rain move in and out of the forecast.
I went out to the Brighton XC race to use it as a fitness maintenance race, in preparation for next week's Lumberjack. The overnight thunderstorm and temperatures in the 90's did not really get me excited about racing but I figured I would at least get in a couple of hours of high intensity training in.
During my warmup the HR never really came up, similar to what I experienced yesterday in training. There were only 5 of us in our class and I had already decided I was not going to try and chase the leader. Once we started I saw that I couldn't even keep up right from the gun. I settled into 3rd for most of the 1st lap to get an idea from the person in front where the trail was going. I hadn't been on the trail in about 5 years.
My HR was still down from normal XC races but I felt fairly comfortable, just not quite as much power as I would expect. But I went past the 2nd place guy mid way through the first lap as I was climbing better and my tires seemed to hook up better in the slippery spots. I opened a small gap and increased it slightly by the end of lap one.
I was still feeling OK but sensing a power loss as the hills became a little tougher than the first lap even though the trail was drying out. I also saw that my HR seemed lower than before. I didn't think it made much sense to push and eventually the third place guy caught up and went by. I decided to end my misery early and pulled out after two laps. I was calculating that total race time would be around 2 hours and 45 minutes; I didn't want to push myself that hard in the heat.
I'll admit that I had zero motivation for this race but I can probably count on one hand all the races I DNF'd since I started racing. It's not something I normally do. But I figure maybe it was better to live to fight another day, or, lose the battle to wage a better fight next week