I had a great time at Nationals! After waiting all week to ride the course I tried to conserve energy and not ride it too much. I finally rode the course on Saturday. It was drizzling but not too cold. There were 3 huge steep run ups and 3 technical, challenging downhills. I tried to squeeze as many laps in as I could in before it got dark and was relieved to ride them all successfully. Then, I hit a hidden muddy rut on a straightaway and went flying into probably one of the biggest mud pits on the course. It was also right in front of the pits so everyone saw!! I was so muddy it looked as if I had rolled around on the ground. Luckily, the only thing I hurt was my pride!
Sunday, we got there early to pre-ride again. I was feeling comfortable on all the descents after almost 2 laps on the course. Then, I got to the last descent and went straight over the bars! I got back up and pre-rode it successfully. Other than being a little sore I was good to go! We started at 12:30. I was on the third row and had an okay start. After an extremely long start straightaway, we hit some bumpy grass and then a super long and steep run up. For the rest of the race I successfully rode the descents but struggled on the run-ups. I heard a ton of people cheering for me which was great! I even heard someone yell, “Do it for Sherm!” which was my favorite cheer. I also got to race in my new orange Lazer helmet and new bright pink Pearl Izumi gloves so I sure stood out for sure.
Monday after nationals we flew to Belgium! I am here for 2 months and hope I start to feel better soon! Regardless, I will definitely work on my skills here and have fun!