Friday, we had a special ed. meeting to determine caseloads and schedules for next year. And as soon as it was done, I flew home to get ready to make the 4.5 hour drive to Utica Michigan. Of course we didn’t pack ahead of time…why would we do that? We left at around 5:30…hit minimal traffic, dropped of Talulah, drove through a HUGE storm, drove through several drive throughs, grabbed some beer and finally hit our hotel around 10:30. Packed it in almost immediately.
Headed to the park by 6:45 for a 7:30 racers meeting and an 8:00 am start. My girls from Team Jeni’s and I did a three person team for the 12 hour race. That means we would *hopefully* complete four laps each in the 12 hour time period. Some of the boys did a three person 12 hour team as well. And two lovely ladies did a two person six hour team. Jen started us off strong, finishing just shy of an hour for her first lap. Me next. I felt really good and strong, was definitely more confidant in my abilities. But finished just a few minutes over an hour. Then it was sit and wait for about two hours while Patrice did her first lap and Jen went again. 2 hours is a ROUGH time to sit and wait. It’s just long enough to start to get stiff again. I ate a lot of snacks in between laps and tried to stay ready. We ended up getting 11 total laps in because Patrice and I were both just over an hour each for our laps. That put us in third place. The boys took second with 13 laps, and another all male team took first with 14 laps in 12 hours. Wowza. We got some super cool, warm and snuggly hoodies as prizes and LOTS of pizza for dinner!
One of the things I LOVE about mountain bike racing is the people. We set up our tent a bit away from the start but in a position to see everyone as they rode by. We had two tents near us. One of them was a girl doing 12 hours SOLO. On a FAT BIKE! What the what? But her husband was running her tent for her and he wandered over and made friends. He’s a mechanic so he helped us out during the race, keeping our bikes up and running. We also met some guys who race for Velvet Elvis…they shared food and beer. Everyone is so super cool and chill at mountain bike races. I love it. And when you have 40 pints of ice cream to pass out, that helps too :)
Overall, I think it was a good effort for my first race of the season and especially coming off forced rest due to softball season. Each lap was consistent, within two minutes of each other and I only lost three minutes between lap 1 and lap 4. I think in the future, I’d like to do two laps each before switching off. I also learned that I REALLY crave protein in these long races. I would have straight up murdered someone for some cold fried chicken during that race. mmmmmm. We had beautiful weather and there’s nothing better than spending time on your bike, drinking beer, hanging out, and meeting new people!
Our monthly company lunch is time we set aside to share a meal we’ve prepared ourselves, shoot the breeze with coworkers we don’t directly work with every day, conspire, and casually brainstorm. It’s been a tradition for more than a decade and it began in Jeni’s home, back when the entire company’s staff topped out at five people.
Today, more than 150 employees regularly attend company lunch at our kitchen in Columbus—not because it’s mandatory (it isn’t), but because the spectacular food, drink, and fellowship is not to be missed.
It’s been a flurry of activity this past week in our production kitchen. We removed walls, set up foot foaming stations; we now have a conveyor belt! We examined and reworked every single process. Thanks to the team from around the country who made it work alongside the tireless army that is #teamjenis. We plan to fire this baby up by the end of the week. "Mr. Sulu, stand by to take us to maximum warp.” (via @jenibrittonbauer)