Jay and I jumped in the cruck after work on Wednesday and headed south for the Henderson Hacienda for our first Thanksgiving together! (usually I'd be up in MN w/ my fam & he in Iowa with his). Bob and Dorothy put us up for the long weekend and kept our bellies and hearts full of warmth and goodness. We got in late and headed to bed after some short visiting and a solo request: Don't wake us up before noon! And sure enough, we got to sleep for hours! Before this, I think it had been months since the last time we slept in on vacation or the weekend, and it was splendid. I felt so very rejuvenated that I couldn't help but beam with joy.
We went for a short ride in the cold before dinner. It really makes me think of what I really love about my bike....riding with Jay. Even though we may go some number of minutes or miles without saying a word, just being with him is bliss. After a good hour or so of riding and practicing our cross skills, we headed back for a warm shower and some hot food.
Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! We had a table full of ham, potatoes, fresh baked breads, and a great Bob-made pumpkin pie. Jay and I got to spend so much time with his parents, it was wonderful. We laid low all day and night, getting some R&R near the end of the racing season. On Friday morning, Jay and I grabbed some breakfast at our fav spot (Hyvee), test "rode" some buckets and wheel barrels for some post-wedding-ceremony excitement, and got another great ride in. We laid low by the house, waiting for the rest of the 612 Crew to arrive. Jay took Zach and I out to the home of CSC's newest acquisition, Jason McCartney, for some great company and stories. After a few glasses of wine, we wished Jason the best of luck in his upcoming training, and he wished us the same for the weekend's endeavors. After we parted, we met up with Leslie & LaLa, Margo and HardDog, and the Grumpy's clan to tear it up at the local pool hall.
Come Saturday, we were all in race mode, even though the temps were below freezing and snow decorated the course...quite a change from the 60-degree temps of last year. Zach & I did the beginner race along w/ a great number of my fav MN racers - Dana, Lynn, Jordan, and Kris B. were all with us, representin' MN well. The race was great and somehow I felt AMAZING! My bike felt so familiar beneath me as I navigated it over obstacles and through the twists and turns. My body mysteriously felt wonderful as well, giving little to no resistance to anything I asked. I don't know if it was the 2 days of riding with Jay, or the extra hours of sleep, but something was perfectly lined up for me to ride a fabulous race and finish in 5th place of 21!!! This was my first Cross race of the year that I've finished in the top 25%! All year I've focused on trying to get into the top 50%, and this blew the rest away.
Jay at the top of Mt. Krumpet
The rest of the crew did great too! Zach finished right around 20th on Saturday, Jay was hurting too much after the Single Speed race to take on the 35+, but he raced so well, none the less. Kris Brazil took 2nd place in the W-Beginner race, Dana Budenbaum 11th, and Lynn Boirsky 12th. Margo Herman looked amazing, representing the Black n White in the Elite Women's race, taking 14th. Aric Hareland kicked some great mid-western tail in the Men's Elite race, taking 13th.
Against Jay's will, we laid low Saturday night, still cold from the day's temps and worn out from some hard races. On Sunday, though, we were rested and ready to go. Having done so well on Saturday, I figured I'd completely blown my load and had nothing left to give. So, to keep my wits about me, I just focused on finishing my last race of the year. Come the start of the race, though, I was blown away to see myself behind Kris, Dana, and Lynn off the front of the pack!! There we were, all 4 MN gals, tearing off the front of the group, setting the pace for the race ahead. The course was reversed and the morning's frost was starting to thaw, making the turns and hills hard and slick. I took a couple diggers due to a simple lack of experience, but I was having a blast. (Thanks to Jay, Leslie, Jimmer, and the rest for cheering so much! I absolutely loved it!).
Aside from my beliefs, I felt amazing yet again. Jay has been working all season to get me to spin it out in a harder gear and now I see why. I finally listened and found myself tearing down the straight-aways, and popping out of the corners with ease. (thanks for being such a great teacher, Sweetheart!). I was duking it out with 4th for quite sometime, losing the place to a gal on the last lap when I went down on an off camber downhill. I caught up to her on Mt. Krumpet, only to get gapped off when she bombed the downhill that followed. I kept close on her tail, but never got by her. I finished proudly in 5th again and loved every moment of it! It even got me my first coverage on BikeThrow!Kris Brazil won the W-Beginners, Dana (9th) and Lynn (12th) had great finishes as well! Zach kicked some major butt, taking 11th in his field w/ a pulled muscle! Nice job, Kid! Jordan Cullen got back to back 4th place finishes. Jay got out and rocked a back2back Single Speed/Master's combo! For a man that never gets to train, I am blown away all the time by the things he can do (he took 6th in the SS, and 22nd in the 35+). Way to go, Baby!! Margot rocked another great race, taking 12th in the Women's Elite race. Bella Maria did great, too, finishing within the top ten both days, and Linda Sone rocked everyone's socks off when she went from 9th to 4th in Rock 2! Aric Hareland made the B&W proud, finishing 16th of the Men's Elite.
It was another amazing weekend adventure for Jay and I! We got to eat some great food, spend some quality time with Jay and his parents, and of course, we got to get our bike on in some wicked fun races. Jay, I don't know what my life would be like without you...thank you for every day's adventure! D&B, thanks for a great weekend!