Welcome back to cyclocross

A long time ago (June) I had planned to race the entire CX season. Yeah right! By September I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been working with an amazing PT and my abs are healing nicely, but I was still feeling cautious. I finally decided that I’d do the first race in October but we ended up with a scheduling conflict and no babysitter. Doh.

So that’s how the soul-sucking SCX course became my first race back. Ouch.

My race was at 1:30 and therefore we had a leisurely morning. We rolled into Fall City around 11:45 and as we got closer to the venue we started noticing all the CX bikes covered in muck. Hmm…I thought golf courses were supposed to be neatly manicured? Once we found a parking spot I jumped out of the car, grabbed my bike and headed for registration. Along the way I saw a few friends (and strangers) who told me not to bother pre-riding the course. Judging by the muck on everyone’s bike and the long bike wash line, I took their advice and headed back to the car for a trainer warmup/baby feeding session.

Time to line up. It was weird being in the master’s group. I felt so…um…mature. LOL. There were 16 of us, a pretty decent field size for categories 1-3. After a short delay we were off! I haven’t done any hard riding and this was a total shock to my system. Ouch!! I also haven’t spent time riding dirt, let alone mud, so my handling was terrible and a few ladies caught me on that first downhill (which really wasn’t much of a hill at all). I guess I’m afraid to fall now. After that the course was just a series of twists and turns on that soul-sucking mud. I wanted to chuck a handful of dirt at the heckler yelling “There’s no walking in cyclocross!” but alas, I was too tired.

So then I come around a corner and see the run. I guess some people rode it but I was not one of them. Ugh! Per my PT I am not supposed to be running yet so of course what do I do? Shoulder my bike and run. Ok, it was more like ‘heft my bike onto my shoulder and do a spirited shuffle” but whatever. That stuff was deep!  The last lap was demoralizing…my core was getting really weak and I even tipped over while trying to dismount on a hill. Ugh.  Believe it or not I finished 5th and even passed quite a few Cat 3’s along the way. Not bad I guess.

It was weird (and awesome) to see a baby out there cheering for me. I still can’t get over the fact that we have a kid! Big thanks to Eric for lugging Amelia and my gear around the course. And many thanks to all the other folks who cheered for me, what a great welcome back to cyclocross.

In hindsight I’d say that course was probably too hard for my first race back. Too much of a grunt for my weak muscles. There’s no way I would have known unless I showed up, right? I took two rest days so I’ll see how I feel tomorrow at Marymoor…right now my abs feel like I did a few hundred crunches and my shoulder is a nice shade of blue 🙂

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