Two extremes – two race reports!
Two race reports to report on today.
2 weeks ago we had the inaugural WIZARD CROSS race at Warner Park in Madison. The course was spectacular – some nice technical bits, flat, power oriented. Motivation was high for this race and I made sure to put off other things to make sure to get plenty of riding time in for it.
A cool morning with chills quickly heated up as soon as my field was off. I got a real good start and made some key passes in the first few beginning corners. By the time we had hit the hill a selection and gap were made, and somehow I was up with the top group of ten riders.
The pace was ruthlessly fast from there on out. Passes were made. Sometimes by me, sometimes by others. With a move before the technical hill section I was able to get clear-track in front of me and just leave others behind in the corners. (Yeah MTBing and Motorcycle Track skillz!) This advantage was tossed away when I hit that oh-so-present limit of my technical ability over the barriers. With just a little too much speed after my dismount I slammed my bike into the barrier and subsequently knocked my chain off it’s coddled place among my chainrings. Whoops.
According to my mom who described it as an, “Amazingly fluid transition from chaos to order” (I’m only half embellishing here) I was able to swing the bike from one shoulder to the other as I ran with it and put my chain back on while rounding the corner to keep the damage to only a few spots lost.
The damage, however small, was done. My place among the top ten would be no more.
I chased, I attacked, I think I even threw up in my mouth a little. All that wasn’t enough though. I held on for 13th place, best finish so far this season. In touch with the top ten all but for the last lap. No anger here – I was rewarded for pushing the envelope in trying to make up as much time on foot when it was impossible to pedal harder. The gamble didn’t pay off.
Legs were sore for 2 days after that race. I think it went well.
Sun Prairie CX Race didn’t go as well.
Stress of packing up the house, looking for a place to move, keeping things straight between home and work led to a little more time off the bike other than commuting. Cold and wind made for great weather (not lying, I love bad weather races) but the soft ground made me feel like I was going backwards the entire race. I attended an amazing performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by the Lyric Opera in Chicago – so 6 hours in a car probably didn’t help me the day before, nor would being off my usual race-day prep of what food and water I’m intaking as well. Mentally I was there – physically my body didn’t have any spring to it for the race.
The start was brisk as always, but even with a 45 min warmup I just couldn’t get the legs to jump. Got stuck behind a rider who I couldn’t bring myself around till it was too late – the field had split and I wasn’t in the lead pack. The 6 of us riding together held on for a lap and I put in a push to get to the front in the windy part. It paid off – my gap after that continued to grow. I was off in “no-mans-land” for the remaining two laps. I caught up to a rider, but had another one bridge up and pass me. No errors this time – just went as hard as I needed to so as to stay ahead of the group behind me.
Finished this one 16th. I was a little let down by my performance, but it’s racing – some days you don’t have it. This week will be a lot better with training, diet, and focus.
Looking forward to it though. As soon as I get photos from my family who attended the last 2 races I’ll make sure to post them up – these text-heavy posts aren’t as fun. 😉