Saturday, December 1, 2007

USGPCX #5 - Portland, OR

I think I about cracked today. Holy lord. Still not feeling like myself and have an itchy throat. Crap!!!!! But despite that I went from 40th to Top 10 in one lap and burnt every match possible doing so. I just could not hold one and went into "I only have one pace now" mode which doesn't do you any good with the talent of these ladies. Needless to say, I gave away spots left and right to end up 17th. Not my personal best but the fact I made it all the way up to the top 10 is a sign my fitness is going in the right direction.....for peaking in June of course!! :) That is what I agreed to with my coach and we are sticking to it. This CX bit is just the first order of business as I make my way into peak fitness next summer. Unlike most of these gals who went straight from mtb to cx, I got my month of sitting on my tail right before the CX season. And I had to take it because of those dang ribs. It is all good. I am actually doing better this year in CX vs last year and the field is deeper. So I guess what I saying is that all is well and I am not crushed with the result. BUT that is NOT to say that I don't' strive and hope for better!!

Snow in the morning, rainy conditions and a bit of wind to top off the misery were a part of the women's race today. Today was muddier too than yesterdays pre-ride but it was runny mud for the most part so it wasn't too bad. I was really confident in it which was a nice change of pace from last years Portland race where I found myself riding a cx bike for the first time ever in mud.

And the bike changes today......oh my the bike changes. All I can say is that I need to work on those big time. BIG TIME. There were people practicing their exchanges with their loved ones in the parking lot prior to the race. That needs to be me. I had about 3 or 4 exchanges which didn't help my intentions of staying in the top ten shall we say. Oh well. The guys at Challenge Tires (Don especially!!) pitched in to help with all that. I kept them on their toes but they maintained a coolness about them. Thanks again guys. Support like that is incredible!!

A couple sections today were so loud with spectators that I thought me freaking ears were going to blow out. Crazy crazy crazy. Cow bells, yelling, hooting hollering. I remember one dude saying "Eye of the Tiger!!" (what does that mean?) Another said after I almost bobbled and fell into the fence but caught myself, ""You just made 12 people all yell "OOOOHHH" at the same time!!!!"" Others were shouting out the best lines down the next muddy hill "go right go right!!!" But you never know if the guy shouting at you is the girls husband who is behind you so should you actually take that advice??? Better be careful! :)

When I called home to tell Chris that I had survived the Portland madness he had some great news for me. He's pregnant. Kidding. Ok..... Apparently it snowed a good 4 inches in the valley there for his cyclocross race and he came in 2nd today! Nice. Chris is really great at anything requiring skill and technique on the bike. Then add the extra suffering that those kind of conditions require and you have got yourself a Chris. Way cool!

After my race I was spent. I almost barfed after crossing the line, couldn't feel any of my toes, had a coughing fit that sent my diaphragm into spasm. THAT sucked-weird feeling. Never had that happen before. I was hunched over not knowing what to do but after 2 minutes it released itself. What the?

After heading back to host housing I think it was the near end for me. I was exhausted, dizzy, hot and extremely tired. The team wanted to head out for dinner but the thought of moving myself and navigating all over Portland again did not appeal. I stayed in and let the nausea pass and once it did I should have locked the refrigerator doors. Holy crap I was like a Professional Eater sitting in the kitchen the rest of the night. Boy oh boy. Body was needing something to replenish and rebuild, that is for sure. But all this was a sure sign that I had given all that I had out there. Gotta do it again tomorrow and it has been raining since our race ended too. Mud mud mud!

Oh yeah, I am famous. Seeing that pic reminded me that during the race today a HUGE piece of bark or something flew into my mouth. Oh gross. Never would have remembered that until now either. And lets talk about being so in the purple zone that you don't know which end is up.....I must have taken a spill today because there is now a knot on my knee. I am confused because I don't remember that AT ALL.


flahute said...

More small world stuff ... I used to work for Donn Kellogg (currently at Challenge) in the late 1990s at Vetta in San Francisco.

If you see him again after getting this, tell him that Steven Sheffield sends his best.

Kathy Sherwin said...

Cool. The bike world IS small. I certainly will see him and will pass this along!