Monday, December 15, 2008

A Perfect Season

I finally coaxed my photographer into joining me for Kisscross with the lure of the after-party at New Holland, so for the first time this season I actually have some photos of me in the race. To celebrate that, I only added photos of me or my bike to this post.
This was what you'd call a "deluxe" cyclocross venue. It took place at Holland Municipal Stadium and the course, which had been plowed ahead of time, wound around and through the field. There were no barriers, but they weren't really necessary. Between the flight of stairs at the beginning of the lap and all the mud suck, there were plenty of opportunities to get off the bike without barriers.
At one point I thought my DFL finish might be in question. There was another girl racing who was actually behind me for a while. I think it was her first cross race and I thought my experience would help me. As it turns out, she was smarter than I was. While I was grinding through the mud getting bogged down and wearing myself out, she was spinning past me.
According to my husband, I was trying to ride in too hard of a gear and if I would have shifted I would have been able to get through the deep parts that sucked me in a lot better. Instead, I ended up pushing and pushing until the pedals just wouldn't turn any more and I had to get off my bike and run.
I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but this race was the closest I've come to a DNF. I was dying before I got to the end of the first lap. And for once it wasn't my weight or being out of shape that almost did me in, but my inability to shift. The thing is, I just don't think about shifting when I'm out there. Thinking takes more energy away from breathing and it's not something I can handle. My husband swears that next year he's putting me on a single speed for cross and then it won't be an issue.
At least I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I am never going to beat Billy again. However, when I mentioned my hope that next season some slow little kid would race Kisscross so I could have someone to beat again, my husband looked at me disdainfully. "Next year, maybe you can beat some adults," he said. Okay, there's my challenge.

In all seriousness, being last in every cross race this season really beat me down. I actually did much worse this year than I did last year and no doubt the weight I put on had a lot to do with it. And I do want to get better so I don't become so discouraged that I quit. So, I'm putting it in writing, here and now, before I chicken out. My goal for the 2009 Kisscross (not snowcross) season is to finish in the top half of the Cs in every race. To do that, I just need to train and lose 50 pounds. Let the losing begin.


amit t. said...

its a brave journey

Ali B. said...

Ooo.. great cx recap and pictures! ... oh how it made me shiver & feel thankful I was warm & cozy inside my little house.