Friday, December 11, 2009
Winter has arrived with BLAST. With it are all the fun things that makes winter in Chicago so enjoyable....hats, gloves, many layers, cracked skin,( I have looked like Rudloph for 3 days with a red nose.) And the gloves....I can never manage to find a matching pair... I have to say though, I do like the snow. It makes winter a little more fun to be able to go out and play in the snow. I'll take 30 and snowing any day over 2 degrees and dry.
My first cyclocross season has come to an end. The last race was held at Montrose in the city and Brr it was very cold and winter like, but the snow just missed us by a day. For a newbie to cylcross I was reminded frequently that it was a "cakewalk" with the weather this year. Most of the races we wore shorts and short sleeves. I wonder what it would be like to race accross the snow? Since my main weakness in cyclocross seems to be riding through sand......as evident by many wipeouts at Montrose, riding through snow could be interesting. The last race was fun and I have to say of the races I did the most technical. These courses are harder to use your fitness as a strength (give me the hills and hard run ups!), especially when you wind up on the ground 2 x in the first lap. I finished up 8th in the series using a couple 9th places, then 6th, then 4th, then 2nd place finishes to score points to move myself up in the standings. I had only intended on giving a few races a try, but I got hooked and it was great having a new challenge, racing in some different places, and racing against different people (many of the girls are crit racers) Many thanks to Rob Kelly for helping me with some great workouts and teaching me how to do starts, barriers, and run ups, along with Ara and the other Bicycle Heavan guys for all their useful tips, and to Thomo for the awesome run workots, they were a huge in having the high end fitness. Of course thanks to Adam for helping with the kids. There are races every week,and if you want to do well, you better show up each week which means they had to be carted along for a few of them. They must think their mom is nuts!
In the midst of the end of cyclocross, it has become full blown Christmas around our house. I LOVE Christmas and have gone all out already. I am sad to report though that we broke down and got a fake tree. :( For the first time ever. It is frustrating for an Oregon girl to fork out big dough for a tree that is lame, drops needles, doesn't smell Chritmasy enough. The fake one is very perfect looking. We kicked of Christmas by spending the weekend after Thanksgiving in the city, going to Macy's, the Walnut Room, Daley Plaza tree and Santa, and seeing the Zoo Lights. The kids had a blast and the city was nice to us.
Now I think I'll break out my snow shoes, for some snow shoe running, and show up to a few more swims per week in Naperville. My poor cross bike is toast. It wasn't in great shape to begin with, thanks to several years of Ride n Ties....and literally throwing it to the ground to my partner. Then add many rides through MUD this fall. I'm not really looking forward to indoor trainer rides. Other than 1 short session per week, for hard intervals, I have managed to stay riding outside. I'll give the biking legs a break for a bit. But, Mt. Lemmon is calling me. I want to see the top again this spring!