Yes that is right, 3 races in 2 day was someone’s bright idea. I think it might have been mine. What the hell was I thinking? Ugg!
First sorry for the delay in the post on the race report. Typing is not really the easiest task for me, well anything that requires the use of my left hand really. If you read this post and this post you would know that I have crashed a few times in the last few weeks, well in one of those crashes I messed up my thumb and finally went to the best hand doctor in town (he is also a Louisville bike racer and husband to an awesome team-mate) and he told my I tore a ligament in my thumb and have to wear a silly looking brace (see pic below) for up to 12 weeks. YES 12 WEEKS and it is my left hand. Yes I am left-handed. The good news is he understands the world of being on a bike and did not put too many restrictions on me. Thanks Doc.
Okay back to the races. Starting on Friday night I had signed up for CX clinic with a pro CX’er Ryan Trebon. Ryan came to Louisville to teach the clinic and race. Super nice guy and he was great at the clinic. Then I headed over to On Your Left Cycles for there grand re-opening in a new location. Did not stick around too long as I still had to get ready for the big day on Saturday. I got all my stuff together and headed over to Civil Racers. My bike got a bath and was all pretty with the help of CR, he says you feel faster with a clean bike. Most of the time I just go along with what he says in the smile and nod kind of way when it comes to bike stuff so I washed my bike. He also helped me put some spiffy new PINK bar tape on my bike earlier in the week. That is what really made me feel faster. I know I am such a girl.
In the cyclocross world CR is also known as Little Cesars because he eats it the night before almost ever race. Why mess with what works? So we had some Little Cesars’s pizza for dinner and called it a night.
6:30 Saturday morning came way, way early. I had all my stuff together so that was a plus. I get in the car and CR tells me I better eat. So I do. Not sure I even tasted it. The whole drive is a little blurry to me. I just remember telling myself over and over again it is just a bike race, it is just a bike race. Why the heck are you so uptight about this calm down, you are crazy, calm down, stop being so nervous. Yes that was what was going on in my head.
We got to the course super early so the CR could help with last-minute stuff. I see people I know and try not too look too crazy or scared. A friend somehow helped without even knowing it by saying all the right things to me and making me sound like I knew what I was doing (Thanks Barb). I found a place to change, got my number, and warmed up a bit and pre-rode the course for my first ever CX race that was going off at 9:30. It was only to last 20 mins. We figured that to be about 2 laps. Well it got started a little late and since nothing but pride was on the line we were told we got to do one lap. So one lap as hard as you can go.
Call to line up. Oh boy here we go. The official gave us directions and said on my whistle go. I had one goal at this point, Hole Shot. I looked down, waiting for the whistle. Tweet, we were off and I got the Hole Shot! And that was about all I can brag about in that race. There were 2 other ladies in that race with me and for the most part we stuck together. At one point so close that as W dismounted I ran right into her (she had the tire marks on her back leg to prove it). Good thing she is a good sport about it and just laughed. I came in last but that was okay. I tried hard and got my first taste of racing. Nerves settled. Or so I thought.
I still had another race to go at 11. I cooled off a bit and said hi to a few people. CR parents arrived and I went to say hi, and like a true momma she took one look at me and said,” honey you do not look so good”. Damn them mothers for always knowing something is not right. I told her I did not feel so well but was okay for the moment. I then walked away for a bit to just breathe, then I tossed my cookies and it was not pretty. Damn it, time to race again. By this time my family had arrived to cheer me on. A big step for my mom who is not 100% behind the me racing bikes thing. She is getting there.
Puking helped a little. I was on the front line again and there were lots of great teammate in this race with me and my good friend Rachel. Goal again was the hole shot. I did the same thing in this race as the last. The whistle went off and I went for it. There is a little debate whether I got it or not but if not I was damn close, like less than an inch. I already knew the course and felt good. A few people passed me but still some riders behind me. In total we did 3 laps. I felt okay on all of them but think I can do better. The last lap was one of the more fun but I think that was due to the hecklers, a common staple at any CX race. I was promised a beer by a few of them when I finished.
I came to the finish line and gave it my all just to see if at the end of a race I could. I did okay on that as well. I crossed and thought I got third. I will take it for my first race. I got off the bike and just about felt like I was going to pass out. I cooled down and it was time for podium.
I walked over waiting to hear my name. They call up the number one person (she is an awesome Cat 3) and then my name. Yep my name, not 3 like I thought but #2. Wow woohoo go me. I was so excited. I won some great socks, chain lube, and confidants. Overall I liked the race and was ready for more and to take on tomorrow.
Now time to sit back and watch the other races and cheer/heckle the rest of the day.
Day 2 was not as exciting as day 1. I knew what the course looked like with the changes and was not all the excited about it. For some reason I let it get in my head that I did not like it and was not going to do as well as the day before. I was tired and a little stressed and just not in it. I raced at the same time as the day before, 11am. I tried to take a little nap in the car before I had to start getting ready but it really did not work, so I got up changed and got on the bike. I ride the course super slow and still do not like it. After a little more warming up it was race time. I was again on the front line but there were a few more of us and it felt very tight. The whistle went off and well I just did not have it to get the hole shot. I guess I just need to be a little more aggressive, something I will have to work on. But I just did not feel comfortable knocking someone to get to the front. From that point on it was down hill. I stayed with the group for about half a lap and then was in the back. On lap 2 I found out we were doing 4 and was hating life on a bike at the point. CR was yelling at me to go and all’s I could get out was “I can’t breathe”. This is how I know my fitness sucks or well it is not where it needs to be. I should have been able to hold on a little more, I should have done better. My bike handling skills are decent for my first year but I get beat every time in fitness. Learning more and more about myself and what I need to work on.
I finished dead last in the race. Ugg I was not happy with the finish and deep down felt I could have done better. Maybe not the brightest idea to do 3 races in 2 days but it was over all fun. I learned a lot and know what I need to work on. I know that I do enjoy the sport and the good changes biking is having on my body and mind. I am excited about my next race, not really sure what the race will be but it will be soon.