And so it begins…

Let’s face it, my 2011 cyclocross season was a total bust. I carried a lot of stress last year, had a long bout of insomnia and tried to increase my intensity to quickly. There’s no way to go but up, right?

My short-lived summer was great- lots of long road and mountain bike rides, plus a little hiking too.  My team started CX skill workouts in early July (yes, you read that correctly) and by the time August hit I realized that the season would be here before I knew it. Ugh! The tail end of summer was a little “rough”  training-wise because the weather was (and continues to be) unusually nice. Who wants to do trainer intervals when it’s 80 and sunny? Not me!  I bet a lot of people slacked off in August.

The first race of the year is always the Labor Day Cyclocross Championships- this time on a new course at JBLM (military base). Thankfully they didn’t make us wear targets and tell us to “ride real fast”.  LOL. With my car packed the night before all I had to do was put my bike on top and drive.  I only managed one preview lap of the course, which in my opinion was really rough for a CX- potholes, rocks and sticks plus loose dirt and some sand. Not an issue for me though! I put in maybe 20 min on the trainer, did a crap job of pinning my own number and made it to the start just in time. As with every first race us gals pondered “why are we doing this?” out loud. It’s like a ritual or something. Oh, and don’t forget about the excuses. Here’s a list of the most common ones overheard on Monday:

1. “I barely rode at ALL this summer.” Whatever- I saw all your bike ride pics on Facebook.
2. “This is my first time on the CX bike since last year”. I’m sure it is.
3. “Wow, this course is so long I barely remember where the barriers are”. That was mine 🙂

BTW the only legit excuses are kids and injuries.

So back to the race. I had the holeshot for maybe 5 seconds until Courtenay and Kristen blew by. Then Lea. I knew I could kinda hang on her wheel but man, she can sure pull away quickly.  I just rode my own race, keeping tabs on the girls behind me and wondering how far ahead the next girl was. Then I look up and see Lea running her bike. Bummer!! Lots of opportunities for pinch flats on this course so I chose a higher PSI over comfort, which is what I usually do with clinchers (my tubulars are not set up yet). I spent the rest of the race staying just far enough ahead to seal 3rd place. Should have rode faster- 2nd place wasn’t that far ahead of me. Next time!

Overall I felt pretty good- lungs Ok despite the crazy dust and honestly my legs weren’t really tired afterwards. Maybe I should have pushed harder. I think I’m going to try the singlespeed race after cat 1/2  next weekend…looks kinda fun with the beer handups and all.

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