A few posts on the saddle height thread highlighted how different normal riding feels compared to an xc race.
Thought it'd be fun to list a few experiences:
This weekend's Gorrick race: halfway through the race I thought one of my grips had split as I could quite clearly feel a gap where they had broken, only to finally work out that actually my middle finger was numb giving me the errant sensation. I also completely lost my back brake early on (poor maintenance) and had to adjust to this whilst maintaining my pace.
Previous race gave up trying to operate a pop-loc button as the coordination necessary to achieve this simple task was lacking.
Hurtling down a hill at 30mph on a night race on the South Downs, I had black spots right in the middle of my vision and could barely see a thing (was really pushing it this race!)
Simply getting a bottle to your mouth and drinking without coughing it all up can sometimes be an almost impossible task.
I'm sure there are many more but that will do for now. It's what I love about short duration xc races; you get the chance to take it right to the ragged edge and see how long you can survive there. Loosing 5 seconds in an hour and a half can drop you a couple of places, so you will do anything to minimise time losses, including taking some chances on the techy bits (which feel magic when you pull them off). I usually start wishing I could stop during the second lap but then by the end and afterwards feel magnificent.
Anyone else want to share?