This weekend I was finally able to race again. I wasn't 100% better, but I was willing to give it a go. We had our race at a vineyard in Madrid, Iowa. It was a technical course with lots of tight turns and some ridiculously large and soft gravel to try and ride and turn on.
John did really well in his race. He got 2nd and the winner was a crazy fast guy from the Denver, Colorado.
My race was weird. I was still a little sick and hadn't trained at all in the last 2 weeks. Plus, I don't know if I had the wrong tread on my tires or if it was operator error or what, but I kept sliding out like crazy on almost every turn. Errrrgggghhhh! The weird part, is that I did really well. The woman who always beats me, wasn't anywhere close to me and only one woman out of both the master's categories beat me and she was in the younger category. I'm still not sure how that happened.
I had the best start ever. In cyclocross races, you usually start in a wide straightaway, and at some point you make a tight'ish turn on the course. Everyone sprints as hard as possible (Not my strong suit) to be the first person through that turn, so you don't stuck behind the bottleneck of riders that usually happens. Being the first person through the turn is called, "getting the hole shot". I have never been fast enough to get the hole shot...Before Saturday.
|Thanks for the photo, Kim Pierce.|
Of course, once I got through first, I had no idea how to pace myself. Normally, I try to hang onto whoever is in front of me and hope for the best. Once I was in the lead, I had no idea of my pace. Was I going too hard so that I would die in a lap or two, or was I going too slowly, so that the whole race would soon all be whizzing past me? No one caught me for the first part of the course. The 35+ woman got me at the 2nd set of barriers. Not long after that I had my first crash. I went down hard and said a bad word, very, very loudly. Oops!
I hit my butt and my shoulder really hard and broke my left shifter. It took me a bit of time to get up and back on my bike, and only one person passed me. Whew! I battled that wonderful woman the whole race. I slowed down after I crashed on a turn for the second time and slid-out multiple times after that. I really think that the woman I battled could easily have beaten me, but she is in it for fun and stopped quickly for a beer hand-up once and never fought me when I passed her. She claims she could only hang on by sucking my wheel, but I think she was just being nice.
Anyway, she was in the younger category and it wouldn't have affected my place in the oldest lady category either way. By the end of the race, I was 2nd overall for both master's categories and 1st for the 45+ women's category.
I was happy to be done, happy to have won and happy that John was going to a bachelor party that night, so I had the whole house to myself, with only the cats to annoy me. I coughed and sneezed and was exhausted, but I hope that my cold will be completely gone by next week and I can figure out the tread issues on my tires.