Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CXNATZ and Rockin the W in 2012

Huge shout to Ali Engin/ Endurancepicture.com

Racing a bike outside in January in Madison is a frightening thought but rolling up to the starting grid of Cyclocross Nationals on Sunday with the best CX bike racers around had me shaking in my muddy shoes. I haven’t been that nervous for a race since maybe my first Ironman which was like a million years ago. It was only a 40 min bike race which to my triathlon friends might seem like nothing. But on this day, it would be like seating yourself at the back of the pack of a swim start at US PRO nationals triathlon and having your result count against 1st place. My start positon in the elite race was like 73rd out of 82 . I needed a telescope lens to see the top women on the front row. There was so much energy at the start it was a complete rush and so amazing. The support guys for the other girls at the back were awesome at calming us down and just saying go for it and try to beat your starting position. Most of us had 0 UCI points which puts you at the back of the bus, but I was so pumped to just be on the starting line and had worked so hard all season just to get there. I have never started a bike race of that size and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but just as I imagined, it was a lot like a mass swim start in triathlon

After a lot of warm up, rubbing embro into my legs, peeling of layers, stops to the porta potty for nervous peeing, and scraping mud off the bike, the whistle finally blew and the start was so fast for a long stretch on pavement at an all out sprint. Yes, I bumped elbows more than one time and once we hit the grass and mud it was chaos. Girls were going down, sliding into the stakes holding up the course tape, or crashing into each other. I managed to slide through without going down which meant I met my goal for the day! (shh, I did wipe out in the warm up and got to start the race with mud on me) The mud was thicker than my Thurs race and super rutty making the ride rough and crazy. At times it felt like you were riding through cement. I felt amazing on the big hills and the stair run up (my favorite parts of that course). I rode as hard as I could,while trying to keep the wheels on the ground (an interesting combination in mud) but the officials started pulling us off the back. I would have loved another lap and I did beat my call up number.

Thank you! Eric Goodwin

Cyclocross for me started 2 years ago as a fun way to stay in shape in the off season, however, I have grown to love it as much as triathlon. I’m sure my tri friends think I’m crazy riding my bike out in the cold and mud, and I’m sure my CX friends think I crazy to swim and run, and not race bikes much in through summer except for some 56 mile TT's. But trying to be the best I can at both is what makes it fun for me, and I really can’t remember the last time I was truly burnt out. Now I am starting my conversion back to triathlete and there will be some ugly swims and runs for awhile. My coach Scott Iott has been through this with me once before and always has some good tricks up his sleeve to turn me back into a triathlete.

To top off my whirlwhind weekend of racing with trips back and forth to Madison, Friday I found out I was selected to be on the WattieInc Elite team for 2012. My phone started chirping at me like crazy when I was trying to hammer out some work. When I applied for this I was looking for some fun new ways to spice up the 2012 race season and have to confess wanting a sweet race kit was part of the motivation and was actually quite shocked when I found out I had been selected.

So, in addition to being a TBC coach/athlete, I am super excited to be a part of this edgy new team. There are some amazing sponsors providing support Thank you to them for the opportunity to rock!, check them out here : http://wattieink.com/2012/01/2012-wattie-ink-elite-team-roster-announced/

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