Last night I figured out what I was going to write about the race, and then made the mistake of gong to bed instead of actually writing it. Thus, I don't remember, so I'll just make it up as I go. Sound good? Good.
Going into the race I felt more confident than I had the last couple years; I had a (much) better Texas season, and had been training pretty hard. I actually lined up on the front row instead of at the back, and was sitting mid pack-ish off up the start hill. When the race finally got to singletrack for the first time, like 3.5 miles in, I was around 10th, and could see all the way up to 3rd (turns out 1st and 2nd got DQd for cutting the course...).
Everyone spreadd out over time, but I was still top 10 starting the second lap. This time it got harder to tell where I was as the leaders from other classes started coming by, but I stayed around the same, maybe passing some people in my class and maybe getting passed by others.
Then the third lap hit. Maybe I didn't drink enough early in the race, maybe I didn't eat enough breakfast, who knows, but I did not have anything to finish off the race. The third lap was about two miles shorter than the first two, and my lap time was almost the same... I felt so bad that I didn't even care who passed me, I just wanted to make it to the finish.
I ended up 14th, less than 5 minutes out of 9th...
I felt bad for losing four or more spots so late in the race, but I had given it everything I had (my legs are still sore almost a week later) and I'm still happy with the way the first 2/3 of the race went down. I know a little more about what I need to work on for training, and learned some more about nutrition. We'll see what next year brings.