Brookside was as good as ever. They made a few changes, all to the good. The concrete steps are a mainstay and I still am not prepared for running or climbing. How do I fit this into my day/week? The start is uphill on the pavement. I worked hard to gain ground from the back. Since I didn't race the first weekend I was behind everyone else that did. I'm not positive, but think I was somewhere around 6 or 7 in the hole shot (maybe 10). There was a nice off camber section that was longish with a nice left hand turn uphill. Somewhere along this (I think at the turn) a cyclist in front of me hit her brakes, she didn't stop but slowed quite a bit. I was too close and bumped into her rear wheel. As is customary, the cyclist in front is unscathed. I however, flip. My chain falls to the outside of my chainring and by the time I get up and get the chain back on, the last place cyclist is now about 400 yards ahead of me. For about 30 seconds I was so dejected. Almost ready to give up. Then I start talking to myself, as I do and begin to pick up the pace. Now, mind you this is the beginning of the race. It starts to rain, ever so lightly. I'm not sure how long it takes, but eventually I pass 3 people and wind up not dead last. So, I won! I didn't quit, I raced hard. I worked very hard to make up as much ground as I could.
One of my friends came in 2nd in the Mens' Cat 4 Master's. I got to cheer him on some and snap a photo or two at the start. I took some video throughout the day and I cheered on everyone that I could once I changed and put my bikes up in the van. There is just something about being at a CX race. Cheering and heckling, watching everyone else suffer just like you did during your race.
My phone died while taking video. I jumped in the van after the last race and drove to the venue for Sunday. St. Mary's @ Fort Harrison State Park. I paid to get in the park and drove around until I found what I thought was the area for the race. I put on a dry/clean kit and started riding around. I saw some spray paint on the grass, but couldn't figure it out. Then I see some single track. I start riding it. There's about 3.5 miles of it. It was fun, flowy with some technical areas not well suited for me and my cross bike. When I come back out the guys are staking the course. They are all very nice and happy to let me pre-ride. One of them even asks me to ride the double track/fire roads and let them know how it is. More rain is predicted overnight. I said I thought I would be fine, hard and challenging. They left it in. I leave and find a hotel. Spent too much on it, but I didn't care. I had been up since 5 and stood too long at the race. I needed elevation and sleep.
St Marys was so much fun. It was definitely a power course, almost completely flat save one area in the double track. It rained all night. Everything was saturated. When I got to the venue, preregistered, prepped and pre-rode I discovered the course was already different from last night. The Cat 4 Master's Men go off at 9:30 in advance of the Women's race @ 10:15. The course changed even more once they raced. There were many places where the grass was mud, the double track had been best to take the high side earlier, but now riding the low side with as much speed and power as you could muster was the best. I fell three times in this race, once on the double track. That is where I think I bent my rear der (again). After that fall I could not shift back to my big ring. I could not get the speed or power necessary in my small chain ring. I lost too much ground. I wound up finishing better over all on Sunday than Saturday. I need to stop falling down!
I spoke to the LBS about more aggressive tires for mud. I am not ready to spend that much money to still not podium for socks. Ha ha Okay, I know I'm not going to win cash racing CX. Even if I did it wouldn't pay for new tires. We'll see how this weekend goes and how the weather is too. If we keep getting more rain I may need to do something so I don't slip slide all over the place.
Mom is at my Sis's place this week. A nice respite til the weekend. The dog seems to be better. She's not barking at everything that moves anymore. She still chases the cat given the chance.
I came to a realization today (slow learner) that some people will never be a friend. Or maybe a friend like I want is a better way to say it. I don't control anything in this world. Not even my own thoughts, though I try to be better at that. Some people are friendly, maybe just because it's good business.
I should've done my holeshot workout tonight. Actually, I should've stayed home and worked. But I needed something different so I took a long walk. Almost 5 miles. It was a beautiful evening. Roses are still blooming, squirrels are gathering nuts for winter. So many people were outside; walking, running, riding bikes, pushing strollers, etc. I watched couples hand in hand. I saw a little one fresh with learning to walk, but instead was running on tip toes in front of her Mom. Dogs walking their humans (that's what really happens you know). It was pleasant and peaceful. I let the hurt from my realization earlier fall away. I sat and had a nice greek salad half way through my walk, then came home. I saw such a beautiful evening sky. Here it is. The clouds look like the opening is heart shaped.
I am filled with a huge jumble of emotions right now. But need to get through this work deadline of Thursday. Then there's a double weekend in Dayton.
I hope everyone is taking time to breath in some fresh air and enjoy as much of nature as possible.
peace to you