Sunday, December 13, 2009

US Cyclocross Nationals - Bend, OR

When you expect nothing, sometimes you get SOMETHING. This was a good race for me. I didn't know what to expect, got to the venue, horsed around long enough to not get a full warm up in - nice and then raced my pants off.

What truly was I expecting from today?? I was starting on the 6th row, hadn't raced with any of these women since mountain bike season and here I was having missed about a month of training in the last 3 months and had no idea what my fitness was like or where my head stood against racing with the nations best. I wanted to race and do my best but who was to know how that was really going to turn out!

The course hadn't changed much from the day before except that a lot of the snow and slush had melted leaving some nice tacky track.

We lined up with me feeling so far back from the front row that I felt like a sardine (there were girls lined up behind me believe it or not!). It was great to see everyone again I must say too! I missed everyone this whole season while dealing with my life tragedies. Oh and a big thanks to Darrell Davis who was kind enough to take and carry all my nasty warm up clothes while I raced. Details, details. Ok, they weren't that nasty cuz remember...I kind of botched up my warm up.

So my whole goal today was to just move up in the pack and get as far up there as I could.....if I was fit enough against these girls to do that. So much was running through my head but overall I was pretty calm considering today was a total crap shoot.

The gun went off and I got a mini nap in before our row was ready to hit it hard for 40 minutes. And at that moment I started with a vengeance and let-er-rip!

I felt surprisingly really good out there and was so happy to be working my way through the group of 87 women with each lap. I honestly couldn't believe it. As I passed people it gave me even more fuel to gun it harder. On the stairs I felt like I was gliding up them effortlessly and I was able to ride the "ride up" with more ease than normal.

I had worked my way around about 5 girls during that particular lap and was ready to pass the next one on the ride up and she fell over into me, knocking me down and off my bike! They got a picture of it here. I didn't get all bent out of shape about it as we untangled the bikes. But as the others passed us it was going around in my head that I was going to have to re pass all of them the next lap again. Rats!!!! But that is racing for you.

When the last lap was called as "one to go" I was extremely disappointed because I still had lots of work to do, I was having A BLAST and I was getting places in the pack!! I have never felt like that on the last lap either....usually you are wanting that last lap to come sooner rather than later and not delay it!

I finally crossed the line in 21st. No, not a top 10 but a great way to start and end the season all in one day.

That night it was all about drinking wine and packing up for my flight out of Portland the next day. This cute little deer even stopped by our house to say hi.

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