I didn't know what the heck to expect today. It had been 2 months since I have competed and a lot has happened since then namely my mom passing.
I was off the bike for 1 month total with only a few sporadic rides in before my mom passed unexpectedly. And after getting things "settled" with the estate and to some extent, my life, I started to train again with what time I had left to do it in.
So I am kind of wasn't ready to be racing yet since I officially started training 5 days earlier but here I was getting ready to do this thing! I was a bit uneasy about it all because I had no idea what to expect. Not training can be a good thing when done at the right time but it can also be a total and complete disaster. As for any high end training?? Yeah....maybe I did that like 2 months ago and we all know you lose that faster than fast if you don't train it. So not only was I going to hurt today badly I might suck too. Awesome thought prior to a race eh? A thought that I haven't had in a very long time. Not a great feeling.
I got to the venue early and just took a chill pill. I mean what is a girl to do? I have only done what my body has allowed and whatever...it is what it is and I have done what I was able to do when I could. I have unfortunately had bigger fish to fry this last month or so.
I lined up on the line getting ready for go time and getting ready to do my first race pace effort on my new pretty Ellsworth Roots bike (notice the flat section of the top tube to allow for easier carrying/shouldering up hills- NICE).
The start took everyone right into the wind and I thought since I didn't know where I stood fitness wise that taking the 3rd wheel would be smart since I didn't want to stick my nose in the wind right away either. So I did just that as planned, taking 3rd wheel and as the leaders turned into the 4th corner all I could hear suddenly was squeaking brakes!! Next thing I knew I was hearing the sound of bikes hitting each other as everyone slowed suddenly causing quite the pile up including myself and Tiffany. About 6 people went by us as we gathered ourselves for now what was going to be the chase to get back on the group.
At least at this point I had Tiffany, who is a superior sprinter and criterium racer to share the work with. She rocks. We fought and pulled our way past everyone again to get near the front which is always quite an effort. We got to the race leader at the barriers/run up section on the back side of the course and this is where I found out that all my cyclocross practice every Thursday was a super good thing. I dismounted for the barrier and passed the race leader in the least suspecting place for me to do that in - the barrier section! I was psyched.
From there I just put my head down and hammered around the course for the next 40 minutes. I really wanted/needed this win for soooooooo many reasons. After asking my mom for help while I was leading the race I realized too that it was up to me to put the effort in. She can't help me with the physical part but I will say that I felt effortless the rest of the day on the course so bless her for that! If every race could feel like that I would be happy.