Sunday, December 14, 2008

US Cyclocross Nationals - Kansas City, MO

On the start line: The calm before the storm.

As many reports have read, today started out balmy and turned into a freezing wind by the time the women's race started. The temp went from 60 to 30 in only an hour and a half. That is why I always pack everything and anything that I own cycling wise. Yeah its annoying to schlep that stuff around everywhere but it always pays off at least once, especially in cross season.

Despite the freezing wind at everyones faces, the crowds still remained for the race. I think they all about blew out my ear drums too. I couldn't hear myself think it was so loud in spots. But that is assuming I was actually thinking at that very moment in time during the race too.

At least I wasn't gonna miss my pit guy, Ross, in the crowds. Easily found. Easily. It is always good to have a "no brainer" because sometimes you role into the pits (which I did NOT have to today at all) and you can't even mutter what your name let alone find someone. In fact I could have spotted him from the moon I bet.

Heading out for a lap to check out the course conditions prior to the race:

And this is what I found. Tacky and dry. Fun!!! Ok, I also found some run ups and one barrier section too.

The race started and I had a great position right off the bat. That'd be a position near the front. But the front position didn't last spectacularly long as we made our way up the mini NORBA course. The wind forced many of us into small groups right away. I luckily found myself with plenty of energy despite what I have been going through with my family these last few weeks and I was pleased that I was able to attack and counter attack too throughout the race. Today was really nuts in that way. Almost like a World Cup race in that if you slowed for a second, the girls were on you like flys on....well you know what. So you HAD to attack and you had to maintain or increase your speed with each lap.

And "That Emmett!!!" I love saying that. Well, I could see That Emmett (that'd be Kelli) creeping up on me each lap. Slowly getting bike lengths closer and closer to me. I tried to ward her off and once she made contact with me I tried to wear her down by attacking. No such luck with that though. She was able to sneak past me just enough to round out the Top 10. That Emmett!! : )

At one point during the race, think it was the second lap I remember thinking that I couldn't feel my lips. That is a weird thought in a middle of a race but it goes to show how cold it was too because my lips for whatever reason are always fine even in the most severe weather. I also couldn't feel my hands at that point but I guess all that changed later in the race because nothing has fallen off yet.

In addition, my left hand did AWESOME with the cold. I was pretty happy with that because I was told that it may be an issue with all the hardware in there now. Guess it wasn't an issue although I still do have circulation problems, but to be expected for a while until it fully heals I guess.

And I have to give a big shout out to all the spectators who yelled for me out there. I swear I was hearing my name on every corner of that race which is so nice because you forget about your pain for just that eensee teensey bit of time and instead find yourself asking "who in the sam hell do I know in Kansas!!!" Or Missouri or whatever.

Overall, given what I have been through emotionally with my parents since the day I got off the plane from the Southampton's race I am pleased with my result (not ecstatic). And maybe I am even more pleased with how I felt out there because I didn't feel like junk. I felt good and I gave it a solid effort every step of the way during that race and that is all you can do when life wears on you as it has done to me. You don't know what you are going to be able to bring to the table in a situation like that. And, while I am very capable of placing higher I have to give myself some credit and realize that for me just to make it to this race was a victory in and of itself.

Some well dressed sharks showed up to watch the races today.

And so did the couch potatoes

"Go "guys with no clothes on in 20 degree weather. Can you say RED bellies.


And my own personal cheering squad, Andrea, Elise and Mike

Easy now....

Ali giving it all he has in the Elite men's race after a solid 2nd place finish yesterday!

More of Ali duking it out today

And Bart throwing down. No, not throwing up.

And after the race I did something that I meant to do last year. My mom grew up in Kansas City and I really really wanted to go see the house she grew up in. Last year with all the snow on the road it just wasn't a smart idea to go do that so I regretfully didn't. I was hoping this whole time that I would be given another chance to make up for not going and I was given that chance. So after the race I made darn sure to go by where my mom, grandma and aunt(s) lived.

What a cute little house and I will emphasize little. Four people in that home is beyond me and quite impressive I might add. Maybe that is where I get my affinity towards smaller homes (I live in one) and don't really have a desire for otherwise. Or maybe that is because I probably don't even make enough money for the government to know I exist.

After getting back safe and sound from seeing my moms house Mike and Beth, my INCREDIBLE hosts, were kind enough to treat me again this year to some good ole fine Kansas City BBQ from Jack Stack Barbeque. Beer, BBQ, Onion Rings (yes, I had ONE), Cole Slaw and Beans. Luckily I was sleeping alone tonight!

Afterwards I was convinced to start my off season workouts with some Dance Dance Revolution. You heard of this thing? Yeah, me neither.

Ok, so I don't do too much dancing but after a few yummy dark beers I will!

Step 1: Learning is fun. I am all smiles and so is Elise as she does everything she can to teach me well.

Step 2: Getting serious because I suck and I don't like that ONE bit

Step 3: Yell at the TV because I am sure it made a mistake, not me!

Step 4: Take pulse and realize that you are really only good for cycling as you are completely worked over.

We were in there so long that the windows fogged.

Oh and I forgot to mention that Mike got to chum up with Katie C (winner of today's race) while she was warming down. She told us that her grandma got to watch her race for the first time ever. Luckily gram had ring side seats in a car that was parked right on the edge of the course! That is truly special!

And I will sign off with a very huge THANK YOU to Mike, Beth, Elise and James for being so great to host me again this year in their wonderful home. Thank you thank you thank you!

1 comment:

Utah Mnt biker said...

That is the perfect outfit for the pit. You definitely wouldn't miss that!