And so begins my journey from ½ IM triathlete that can TT 56 miles, to CX racer who needs to go to redline and beyond for 45 min all out (AO!) It’s a little like Extreme Makeover, bike racer edition. These couldn’t be more opposite, but I love the challenge of going from one extreme to the other. It hurts a lot at first, gets a little ugly, and my legs have no idea whats going on, but its all part of the fun. I would get bored if I just did the same thing all the time. There will be bruises, blood, and most definitely dirt and mud.
|from this...photo Matt Green|
|to this....phtoto Ali Engin|
For the past few years I have made finishing as high as possible in the Chicago Cross Cup. I think I have landed 5th OA in the W cat 123’s for the past 2 years. This year though, I am up for a different challenge, my goal is to get a higher start position than 67th (last year!) at nationals and race a few more UCI races to get experience racing at that level. Why not, I paid the $$ for the license. To do this I will miss some CCC races and will miss a few more CCC than usual due to a yearly trip to Kona, and a few other trips this fall. The CCC is pretty competitive these days and missing about 4-5 races doesn’t leave you the chance to score lots of points or finish very high.
The first few races will be tough and what I remember from last year is the feeling of almost dying and possibly not being able to finish the first lap, and then by the 3 rd or 4th lap I was ready to race! As the TT legs start to turn into CX legs its all starts to come together (hopefully). My hip tendonitis seems to be happier on the cross bike as it is finally starting feel better. I still haven't tried running, but am not talking about that right now. Another difference in cx is getting the legs used to spinning more at a higher cadence. I tend to TT with a lower cadence than maybe ideal, but it works for me. In CX there are tons fast accelerations, tight turns, off camber hills, dirt, mud, sometimes snow and ice, barriers. All of which make it completely different than triathlon and completely fun.
And so why not jump right in! Go big or go home as they say, and this is definitely it. With a handful of rides on my cross bike, some of which were recovery rides right after Vegas 70.3, this weekend will head to Madison for a big girl race and kick off my season at USGP, Sun Prairie.