Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm not trying this cyclocross season, I swear!

Repost of the race report I put up on my team's email list.

Cyclocross is not my favorite kind of racing. I've been promising myself and anyone who'll listen that I'm not going to be serious about it this year.

So of course I've made more preseason races and workouts than ever before this season. My mother and her boyfriend wanted to see me race, so I told them to make it a 'cross race. I started this morning's race more prepared than ever. Which still means not very, compared to some. Regardless, big thanks to Pete, Reeve, Emily, everyone else who showed up to work out, and anyone I didn't know was
helping organize the workouts.

The staging area was getting pretty crowded when I got there, so I lined up relatively far back. I pushed through a lot of riders when we started, and then positioned myself for the right-hander with the bank. But it turned out that our field was going all the way out to the grass climb/asphalt descent at the West end of the course. Whatever - I did that. I kept catching people, which is an unusual sensation for me. I managed to get places on asphalt straightaways. I managed to get places on turns on grass. I started wondering if I'd
actually hamstrung myself a little by starting further back than I should.

Then people started catching me. Some days, you hunt the rabbit. Some days you are the rabbit. Although, I actually passed most of those people again later. For the latter half of the race, I was catching some spots and losing some spots, so I probably just stayed put.

There was a sharp right-hander after the announce truck onto grass. It was narrow and banked. That was really fun. The left-hander from the asphalt over a couple of rollers was fun too. Nice.

I always try to put in one last dig and finish at my real max. Not my maximum sustainable for xxx minutes or anything like that. Just max. I've had a number of people tell me after races that once they saw me
get out of the saddle, they just gave up. It gets me 14th out of 20 instead of 15th but hey - it's a race. I started to today, then thought it was a little soon. Some other guy tore by before I decided I was close enough. He pulled an "Andrew" on me.

So I was catching people in a lot of turns, and catching people on asphalt. The singletrack wasn't long enough for me to catch anyone, necessarily, but I was narrowing gaps or opening them, I think. I
don't know my final place, but I do know it was somewhere in the middle. Other people had to be faster than me on something. I think if there was one thing I had a hard time with, it was straightaways and climbs on grass.

Guess I know what to work on for next time...

So I got 31 out of 64 finishers in that race. Not bad for something I don't see as my stronger discipline, and certainly better than any of my outings last year.

Here's me on the course.

Action Mom has always been my biggest supporter, so I wore her company jersey.