November 10, 2010

What A Waste...

It's been a good year.

After finishing one of my best seasons of competition ever, it was time to turn my focus to cyclocross. It seemed natural, and I can usually do okay in the races. After all, I have a nice cyclocross bike. I have some technical skills that most roadies don't possess. I run more than most cyclists. But mostly, I was stoked to race cross because for the first time in a long time I knew I would have all of my fitness right at the end of the season with Vikingman the first of September and XTERRA the latter part. Most guys are getting pretty worn out by fall, and cross is something they can do for fun. I'd be doing it for fun also, but hopefully fresher than most.

The theory was coming together. And nicely.

My plan was to do all of the Ogden-area races and maybe slide down to SLC for one or two at Wheeler Farm. Total of maybe 6-7 races. Race Master 35 C since I am an old man. Have fun and mix it up.

The first Ogden race was at the Weber Fairgrounds. After a slow start my momentum built and I started passing lots of other guys until I found myself in the second group of five to bridge up to three leaders. They weren't really going anywhere very fast, so rather than keep losing time I took a flier in an attempt to either up the tempo in the chase group, bring out the stronger guys to help bridge or at least shed a couple of the weaker guys. Only one guy went with me, and he had just about enough to hang on to me, until he dropped off.

So I was in this limbo land. Stuck between the leading pair and the remnants of the chase group that was sort of reforming. I just kept drilling it to stay away and was gaining slowly on the leaders by bunnyhopping a couple of the log barriers and generally riding like a madman. By the last lap, however, I was paying for my efforts, but hanging on to my position.

With just a couple of turns to go until the finish, I hopped over the final barrier and saw one of the lead pair struggling with his chain. He'd put his bike down too hard and dropped his chain. I flew by and ended up crossing (sic) the line in second place, about five seconds off the winner.

It was pretty clear that my fitness plan had worked. I had the fitness to actually compete. Until... October.

Goddamn October is the toughest month of the year. It has surpassed even December. Work is insane. Eight birthdays including Wifey's, Smarty Pant's and Ma's. Plus a couple of bad weather days, encroaching darkness, and a rainy trip to Moab. It was a perfect storm of events that led to next to no riding, running or swimming for a month.

A month with only a handful of runs and rides. I don't know what I have left in the tank at this point. I'm going to try and get out to race this weekend. The weather is supposed to be cool and the rain should have the course in ideal shape. And it's in Ogden.

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