Today was the last race of the CCC. Typically I’d be excited about the series finale and state champs but not this time. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m glad the season’s over.
I have lost a tremendous amount of motivation in the last month or so. This series is tough because there is a race *every* weekend so you never get a break, plus and it’s not a “best of” series that allows you to drop your worst race. Considering I’ve been racing since August maybe I’m just burned out.
Yeah, that’s it- burned out. Mentally and physically.
If you’re an athlete you know that your mental game is almost as important as your physical one. I started the season with a little hesitation simply because I was new to the Chicago scene. The weather is different. The courses were unfamiliar. I didn’t know who regularly places in the top ten. I was also a little frustrated because I knew I wasn’t going to be as fast as I used to (pre-baby that is). Plus it irked me to get passed by a cat 3 racer, even though I knew I wasn’t returning to CX at the same level I was before Amelia was born. And finally, we just don’t know a lot of people here yet. Part of the fun of CX is seeing a huge group of friends every weekend and we just don’t have that right now. I miss my Seattle friends and teammates. I’m one of the, ahem, older women in my category and I kinda can’t relate to the single, kid-less 20-somethings who have zero responsibilities. <<—Grumpy old lady rant. I really wish there was a Masters Women's category here!
Physically speaking, I was never in shape in 2014. The winter was spent figuring out the whole working mom routine and spring started the chain of events that led to our move. Then we arrived here in late June, a time when I typically ride a ton…which didn't happen this year. I lowered my standards quite a bit for the reasons (or excuses?) above but it's hard not be competitive once the whistle blows. The bottom line for this year- I had no base and couldn't hold my speed. I had some fantastic starts but never held onto them for very long. Did I mention that I miss my old training routes and partners in Seattle? I have neither here.
I missed the last four CCC races due to travel. Ugh. So, to keep up the momentum I decided to race the Detroit Invitational over turkey day weekend. Half race and half spectacle, this event was a blast and I will add it to my calendar every year if we're in town. The course was actually fun- it had a couple legit run-ups, a ride through the abandoned velodrome and a great toilet bowl. Then of course there was the tequila. Racers wanting to bypass a section of the course could opt for a small shot and some heckling from The Bandito. I am not a fan of shots but I ended up taking six trips through that shortcut. I *really* wanted to win, and got really close to the leader at the start of the last lap but I had nothing left. Was the tequila to blame, or simply the fact that I'm out of shape? The world may never know…
So what happens when I've only ridden 4x in the last month and show up for States? Nothing good my friends. First, I didn't want to race- we spent the night in a nice hotel downtown and I was in shop/tourist/eat/drink fancy coffee mode. Plus- and I am not making an excuse here- but holy crap it was cold today. And windy. While lamenting over the fact that I didn't bring my winter gloves, I reminded myself that 34 degrees is still not as cold as Nats in Bend a few years ago. That was my pep talk. I didn't warm up much (other than huddling over a propane heater LOL) and seriously almost missed staging. Ugh. Total shit show. I had another good start – after a few beat downs from the Schneider sisters, I feel like they tend to keep the pace slow on the first lap, which they did again today. Then….I started feeling worse and worse. Miserable actually. Sick to my stomach. Hands literally frozen after 10 minutes. I decided to pull the plug…not my usual MO but it felt ok today. And I'm still Ok with it at the end of day. I'm just done with CX for now.
All in all I had a good season and am looking forward to major improvement in 2015. So I'm going to hang up my skinsuit for the year (after washing it of course!), enjoy the holidays without gaining too much weight and re-invent for the spring and summer when I come out of hibernation 🙂
Thanks to Cyclocrossracing.com for helping me race my first full season since AKA was born!