Well its been a while since I've blogged . . . . I guess the most recent important entry should be about the cross race I did up in New jersey. The original plan was for me to race both days, but because the only hotel in and around Trenton was the Marriot and because I'm not too good with money I had to leave early.
The course itself was pretty flat, but intensely muddy. There were two road sections, one set of barriers, and one set of three steps. The rest was thick, playdough like mud and grassy sections that were in the process of being churned into mud.
During callups I thought they had forgot my name, but I soon realized that I was to start at the very back of the pack - 106th place or so. During the first lap I wheezed and moaned my way past as many riders as I could - grabbing wheels and then abandoning them if I felt strong enough. Sometimes I would try to coax the rider in front of me to close a gap or whatever, telling him "You look strong today man, get up there!" It seemed to be working, and I continued on until about one to go, where there didn't seem to be too many people still in front. Not sure where exactly I was, I called to a spectator and asked what position I was in . . . . when they yelled back "There's like 8 or 9 in front of you!" I was pretty psyched bc I thought that I was mid pack and that I just couldn't see the rest of the riders. Ended up finishing 9th, which made me pretty happy.
Afterwards I rode back to the hotel, showered, and then threw the bike in the shower and tried to clean off as much mud and grass as I could.
18th - I did yesterdays workout today - I must have ADD when it comes to looking at the schedule. I need to get together to do the workouts with the more experienced guys because I'm sure I'm doing something wrong . . . . but the effort was there so I pray that counts for something.
19th - Caught a ride to Quantico this morning, then rode back in a light drizzle. After work I rode home and was pretty beat. Seems like everytime it rains the real crazy drivers get out and see what they can get away with.
Still felt great to be on the bike though . . . . its like therapy at times . . . . .
20th - Switched the rest day with the workout so I can be fresh for Sundays Race . . . . looking forward to cross and all but the long winter rides hold as much appeal right now. Last E ride I went on I had a feeling that the team will be a pretty strong contender next year . . . . . so I'm looking forward to all of the preparation and then next season putting a hurt on all of the teams who were slacking during the off season!
21st - Did a short ride with Jinks today to open up the legs for tomorrows race. Tomorrow will be the first race on the newly built cross bike . . . hopefully its life span will be longer than my Bianchi's . . . .
22nd - Todays race was hard, but satisfying. The hard parts were:
The course itself - which was similar to DCCX, with alot of short, steep inclines, and a sand pit that could be ridden, but required significant talent to do so.
My starting position - 61st - which was pretty much in the back of the pack.
The efforts required to work my way up to the top 10 . . . . I had to dig pretty deep at times. I tried to play it smart and let other riders do work that would advance my position, but that didn't really work too well. The really big effort came when I moved from 11th to 10th, which really almost did me in. If it wasn't for Jinks screaming in my ear and giving me constant updates I might have curled up somewhere along the course and slept til the race was over - it was that tiring.
The satisfying -
Eating marshmallow feeds (frowned upon by a few, but better than beer feeds I suppose.)
Finishing 10th, which was a good day for me.
Watching the womens race and dreaming about meeting a cat 1 or 2 girl.
Getting to absorb more and more from Jinks . . . .
Tuesday Nov 24th - Worked out on the trainer this morning. Worked all day, then rode home. Right now I'm so dead tired its not even funny. Hope to see some team guys soon!
Thanksgiving - Rode with Joe and Ben today - really a tempo ride to work up an appetite. Quite foggy today, and just cold enough that you would only feel it when you stopped. A bunch of family went to Suffolk to celebrate and all, but I wanted to just get a ride in and recover before the rest of the work week. The high point of the ride for me was when Joe announced a sudden sprint on the bridge coming back into town (near the shop), and then proceeded to annihilate me. I rode home and spent the rest of the day with my feet up.
28th - Did a hard ride with Steve, Bill, Joe and Greg. Because of the intensity I have been spending the rest of the day recovering and hydrating so that I don't do anything embarrassing tomorrow.
Todays ride only made me think how I need to ride with less excitement and more smarts. Bill said something along those lines to me before it started . . . . . thats my immediate goal for the season.
Va States - During the ride down all my pops would talk about was how I shouldn't let the team down, especially since this was the championship and all. I thought about it and got pretty fired up, and went into the race with the attitude that I was going to bring home a win for BWR. I was in a mini frenzy at the start line almost jumped the line when the instructions were being given . . . .
Alot of my family lives near where the race was being held, so like 10 of my relatives came to see what cyclocross was. I didn't want to look like an ass, so I vowed to go as hard as I could . . . . . . From the get go I went with an attack. There was a long road section close to the start, so I put it into the 53 and hammered with every watt I could muster. The course itself was pretty muddy, and had alot of short inclines that were designed for motocross, or so I was told. The attack strategy worked, and the only chaser was a guy with a UVA kit. I would drop him in the road and flat singletrack sections, but he would work his way back in the really muddy parts. Once we were neck and neck with about three to go, and I waited to see if he would attack . . . . . but he sat on my wheel, so I figured as long as I could keep a distance of 25 meters I would be fine. I would glance back from time to time to see if he was in pain or what, and if he looked tired I tried to accelerate a little bit to make sure I could keep the lead. I would have gone with a more conservative strategy but I figured I should at least put it all on the line. At the end I was planning to do a cool pose when I crossed the line, but I wasn't sure if there was another lap to go or what . . . . all in all it was a good race.