Monday, November 11, 2013

Loving Cyclocross,Choices, and....Keeping It Simple

The trails have been awesome

I love cyclocross, its no secret. I have been having so much painful fun with this year's CX season! Last year fizzled out with my hip injury leaving my without much CX since 2011.   I am remembering how much I love the complete switch and 180 from triathlon to cyclocross. It can't be more different in so many ways.  I love and … need that. In 70.3 and Ironman races spectators cheer you on, encourage you, "you look awesome you can do it, you are an Ironman!"  In cross, they heckle you! Its dirty, its crazy, its balls out hard and then everyone has a good time.  I love it also because its simple. I don't even have a computer on my CX bike right now.  There is no need for a pre race plan, or nutrition plan. I don't eat gels, sometimes a swig of gatorade when its warm, but more often hot chocolate, or some regular Coke before the race. After a triathlon season of driving to work feeling like I was having  panic attacks on how to fit in training around a full time job and life, or nearly falling asleep from getting up at 4:20, the short and sweetness of CX has been awesome.
Yes, I rode through mud in a TUTU at Halloween Cross

With my new team PSIMET (which includes some fast women racers and a heater in a tent!)  along with a a now VERY competitive women's CAT 123 field  in Chicago Cup,  the CX fire is burning strong!   I had some bad early races with crashes coming off of triathlon, and missed a race to enjoy the beauty of Ironman World Championships and Hawaii. This year if you if you fail even just a little, you lose. Lose points and its harder to catch up. Is it because I'm forty-$# now, or because the field is so deep that crawling to the top of the Chicago Cross Cup Overall standings has gotten tougher.  I have been top 5 of women's CAT 1,2 3 field in the CCC twice.  Right now I"m hovering around 15 th.  If you want to place high in the CCC you have to win, do well in every race, not crash out in starts of early races, and not miss races to go to Kona.  
 PSIMET Women at Sunrise Park
Thank-you to Mathew Cane, who been out there snagging some great pics of the women's 123 races! I think he is getting hooked on covering cyclocross races!

I love our own local CCC. It helped me fall in love with CX and get better. Fierce local races every weekend for the past 3-4 years. I have always hated to miss a race. But this year I've ready to move on a little and try some bigger races again.  Along with trying to keep it simple and wanting to do all the CCC races to place as high as I can made this decision tough,  but I've  decided to put on my big girl bibs again, skip the double cross CCC Indian Lakes races for JINGLE CROSS. So I'll kiss all my work at crawling my up in the CCC goodbye. I'm heading to Iowa to see the Grinch, experience Mt. Krumpit, and race with some fasties.

Triathlon is on a big back burner for me right now. But it is never completely gone. There is a triathlon ghost living in our house.  So I have been biking a lot, running some and swimming is a far distant memory. To get up at 4:20 to swim, I have to have at least a race in mind to train for and right now I don't  I have no clue what I want to do next year. Something adventuresome will come to me, but for now I'm loving CX and will be playing in dirt, mud and probably snow soon until early January finishing the season at Nationals in Boulder.


GoBigGreen said...

You sound so happy! I love this post:) I never quite got the bug but i do have my Cx bike and ride it around of course:) Good luck, you badA$$ 40 something!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Yes, I am enjoying a few cross races this fall too. I think next year I will do the whole series. I really like it and missed it these last few years. Good to see you out there!