Race Report - NorCal #2 : Alexander Hill

My 2nd Norcal race of the season was a race against all odds basically. With my Junior Prom the night before, I know I would have to do the best I could under the conditions I was against. With a great week of training under my belt, featuring a ton of sets of hill intervals preparing for Hurl Hill, I knew I was ready physically. Also, knowing I would be having a late night, I listened to my coaches' advice and got to bed early the three nights prior to Saturday. Prom was an incredible experience, a truly unforgettable night with my date and my friends. With the time change included, it was difficult to get sufficient sleep, but with my bags all packed and my bike prepped, I was able to get 3 hours extra in the car on the way to Laguna Seca the morning of the race. With my race starting at 12:30, I arrived at the track at 10 before warming up at 11:30. Finishing my warmup at 12:10, I made my way over to the start line. After having a great first varsity race ending up 9th in a tough field, I had a call up and lined up in the second row to start. The race started and the pace was instantly full speed as we sprint up the start hill. The course out at Laguna Seca is intense, with fast downhills and a ton of steep climbing. The first lap went great. I sat in the chase group and ended the first lap around 10th place. The second lap is where I started to feel the heat for sure,  staying hydrated was a must during this race and I drank an entire bottle during these first two laps. Grabbing a second bottle at the feed zone on my second lap, I ate a honey stinger gu and went out for another solid lap. At the beginning of my fourth lap, I was sitting in 13th. I lost touch with the chase group halfway through this lap after sliding out at the bottom of Couch Canyon, leaving me with a sideways seat and a leaking front tire. After pushing it back to be straight, I sprinted on and up Hurl Hill. With a final lap, I grabbed two bottles, pouring one over my body and keeping one full of Skratch. The last lap was tough, the heat was intense and with a final passing through Couch Canyon, both my hamstrings began to cramp at the same time, a very painful experience that I had to endure on my final trip up Hurl Hill, I pinned it on the last mile after the hill and crossed the line in 16th. Even though this is not a regular result for me, I'm proud of myself for enduring the race with Prom the night before. I'll be back in two weeks to claim a spot on the podium.