Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back on the Mainland.... is moving on at a really fast pace. I luckily returned to really nice fall weather and warm temps which makes facing reality easier . Returning from a week away at "paradise island" and we are half way through October, the leaves have turned more and are falling, and I am searching for gloves in the morning when walking Jack to school. When away in Hawaii, you are in another world so far away from real life and even though it was only a week...the dogs racked up a huge bill at the kennel, Jack got bigger, and I fell to number 22 in the CCC standings!!! Ouch, a mechanical in race 1, missing a race being kona bound and others cat ing up with some points left me in 22nd on the Sunday flying home from Kona :( That does not make a competitive girl happy. Luckily I had a double cross weekend to try an score some points and do some catching up.

Saturday's race was way up North in Wauconda at Psycho cross (how cool is that name). The course was very flat with long straight sections. It was a crit or road racers dream/ not very technical. The trickiest section was some dirt/ gravel transitioning to a grassy dip. There was also a flyover in the middle of this course, but I have grown to love these and use them as a chance to pass people running my bike up the stairs.

I had a good start at this race (finally) and stayed with the lead pack until the soft gravel section going into grass where I lost contact with them. When you start a race like this you are redline from the go, I feel like I am dying and how can I possibly make it 45 min. Somewhere though in that first lap I found my groove and road strong catching a couple girls. As the laps went by I could myself gaining on 2 of the girls ahead of me. I kept ...close ....and by this time...I was feeling good and wanted 1 more lap. I have to say I love the 45 min of cat 1,2 3! I finished in 8th amongst the field.

Sunday's race was in Carpentersville. This was my first race ever last year, and I was remembering how clueless I was when I showed up to the start last year. They had the course set differently and I got there early enough to check it out and warm up the legs. (its hard to believe you can get sore from 45 min of work!) This course was more technical with off camber steep downhills, tight, narrow turns and a bmx style pump section coming out of a hard left turn into soft dirt. I had a good start (getting better) and again was with the leaders until a tricky tight uphill section when 1 of the girls went down right in front of me causing me to have to clip out and go around her on an uphill!!! Damn again off the lead girls. BUT, this course was trickier and had enough power sections that I tried to hammer and attack on. At the tricky dirty pump and bump section I managed to get through quite quick and would go ahead of girls here (go figure did I miss my calling as a bmx'er?)

Again, as the laps wore down I found myself catching girls and feeling stronger. I found myself cat and mousing with a couple girls. I tried to pass on the hard sections and never let up. I raced so hard and again the 45 min did me good. I could have used another lap because I was getting oh so close to catching 1 more. I finished 7th and really had raced to the point of my lungs and legs almost exploding, yet with a huge smile on my face because that was fun.

So with 2 more decent races under my belt in 1 weekend, I moved to 11th. This is more tolerable but I want to move up higher than that. The fun part about racing in a series is to see how far you can go. Its not about getting a time or distance on 1 event, its about racing week after week and scoring points.

I am truly having a blast doing these races, I had set my whole triathlon season up around doing as much of the series as I could and I don't regret saying no to going after other options 1 bit. I passed up on some races and travel and other triathlon stuff to help afford a new cross bike.......and it is all worth it because my Cannondale Super X is like a dream :)

Ride on!

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