Yesterday was the super cool, awesome, first-ever Washington Women’s Cyclocross Festival at St. Edward’s park. I had planned on going to show off Baby A and ride the “cross-a-thon” which is basically a mock race that you can take at your own pace. I just got cleared to ride on Friday which was great timing.
Lucky me, I started the day off well-rested. Baby A slept for a total of 9 hours the night before, broken into 4- and 5-hour segments. This is a big deal for us considering we’ve had a couple long nights in the last week. I hadn’t prepared at all for the event because I’m just too busy during the day. So Eric got to work swapping out my wheels and brake pads while I fed Amelia and prepped my gear. I opened my bike gear drawer for the first time in ages and haphazardly put together a race bag. Um, what do I need again? Unfortunately none of my team clothing fits yet (ugh) so I had to dig deep in the drawer to find something that I could wear. I felt like a total newbie in my “civilian” cycling apparel but whatever, it worked.
Gear- packed. Baby- well, getting Amelia ready took a long time. Just as we’re getting close to being ready she’s hungry again so everything has to stop for ~20 minutes. She is a lazy eater too so this felt like an eternity. I can already tell that I’ll need a serious race-day plan for future events.
Once we parked at St. Ed’s I grabbed my bike so I could catch the last 30 minutes of the cross-a-thon. Long story short, I misread the website and couldn’t join in. So my only other option (if I wanted to ride the course) was to race and the next event just happened to be the mom’s race. The rational side of my brain said, “Let’s be honest here- you haven’t been on a CX bike since October”. The irrational side said, “You know you want to…”.
So yeah, my second ride post-baby was a race. I pre-rode the course as my warm up and my lungs were on fire within minutes. My handling skills were less than awesome and I hesitated at the barriers because I was afraid of pulling something. I was sorely reminded that I haven’t done any exercise other than walking since winter. Oh, and I was so unprepared I had to borrow a gel from Molly (thank you- big help!).
Women were staged according to the age of their children. What a cool idea. Seeing that Amelia is only 7 weeks old I was in the back with a few other 0-12 month ladies. We all started together and the racer in me took over as I moved through the group to get a better spot. Not bad, but I got passed by a number of women shortly afterwards. No big deal, this was all for fun, right? Ha. I can’t stand being passed so I pushed as hard as I could to keep my place and even passed a couple ladies. I think we did 4 laps total and by the end of the second I was getting slooooower and slooooower. This was fine because it kept me from doing something stupid. The last thing I need is a broken wrist/arm/collarbone.
I’m pretty proud that I actually finished. For a while there I was getting really down about “not being myself” so it felt great to be doing something I love again. Yay!
Don’t expect to see me on the CX bike again for while- I need to build up some endurance on the road and do my physical therapy exercises first. Even though I felt pretty good today I want to ramp up slowly so I can enjoy an injury-free season. Overall I’m really glad I raced…and can’t wait to tear up the Master’s category later this fall!
Here I am (thanks for the pic Woodinville Bicycle):