Saturday was the Ham Lake CX. Or maybe it was a crit in the woods - I'm not really sure. All I know is that it was FAST!
True testament to what a noob I still am, it was news to me when Jay recommended that I treat CX races like criteriums. Honestly, I had never really thought about it in that format. Heck, I've never even thought of drafting in cross races, so you can imagine the silent moments that followed such statements on the drive up.
Jay's great about not pushing any training regimens or theories on me. He'll just throw out ideas until I start digging into his brain for more. Me, I typically drink each lap and run it sub-max. I never thought to do otherwise. With the Crit idea in mind, I made a challenge to myself to drink only every other lap. Heck, you don't drink in crits, right? Or did I? I don't remember - it's been a LONG season.
I got a great start position and tried my hardest to sneak into the trail as far up in the pack as I could. The pace was insane from the get go and I rode the wave, attempting to get ahead of as many people as I could as soon as possible. When we hit the road, I jumped on a wheel and held tight. I was riding great, coursing through the wooded trails, over and around obstacles....trying only to survive, not think.
Other than focusing on my barrier skills (which is what I focus on each race, and b/c it's my favorite part of cyclocross), I completely impressed the heck out of myself by only drinking twice. The lazy night home the night before my have helped me be more hydrated, but not letting my mind beat me was even better!
With 2 laps to go, Becky got on my wheel and rode it. She rode it so gracefully, she even coasted when I sat up to rest. I tried to lose her on the trail during the last lap, but couldn't finish it off solo. I still don't have the endurance yet. Me, I come from a hockey & rugby background, where all I needed was a solid minute or two of intense effort, then 5 minutes of rest, repeat. Never before have I done anything like bike racing requires, so I still need to teach my little lungs and heart a thing or two.
With a quarter lap to go, Becky came around me. She didn't get far, though, as I jumped on her wheel and rode to the finish after her. With little energy left, I couldn't out sprint her, but was happy to finish behind her after the fight I had put up. I think that was the hardest I'd ridden a Cross race all year - how could I be disappointed?
Well, honestly, I did get a little teary afterwards, knowing that I hadn't finished top 3. Yes, I know I am not there as a rider yet, but a little gal like me can dream, right? I want so badly to get a fab finish like that just to impress Jay (and myself), even though I know he's proud of me just for being out there. Someday.... until then, I'm still so happy to just finish!
I got 7th place of 13 great women! I am quite proud of myself indeed.
Jay did great, aside from a kickball injury earlier in the week, taking 12th in the A1's.
More Hollywood/Silver Cycling & Friends Results:
Aric Harlan - 3rd
Jay - 12th
Super Todd - 5th
Snides - 5th
Jimmer - 8th
Matt Muyers - 12th
Greg 'Stick' Lavick - 15th (Lavick tripled up again, taking 17th in the B1's, and 5th in C1's)
Matt Healy - 31st (Matt doubled up, taking 18th in C1's, too)
Dave Herbert - 4th
Linda Sone - 1st
Margot Herman - 4th
Lunatic Biker - 46th
June Sayers - 3rd
Lynn - 9th
Jordan Cullen - 1st
Great job everyone! Thanks to the SPBRC & Peacock Groove for putting on a great race!