Friday, September 12, 2008

Running Behind

Well, this past Wednesday was the first of the 4 Cyclocross training races hosted by Ned Dowling and the folks at Biowheels of Asheville. The race was held at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. I have to say, I was very nervous on the way over the mountains as to how things would turn out but also happy and exited that it is the beginning of cross season. On the way over I questioned my fitness level, I'm fit, but not in race condition and was even wondering if I should race the 30:00 "A" race.

Upon arrival and seeing the course set up with lots and lots of turns and a ride/run up, self said to self "you gotta go 45" then you'll have a benchmark. Even though this was only a training race I still got the jitters lining up with about 20 other riders. All but a handful that were Pro's and CX3's. Mike and I took our rightful place in the back with a few girls. Girls that looked like they could beat us. The start was pretty fast and we all got gnarled up in a big wad at the first narrowing of the course. Why is everyone pulling away from us? next thing I new I was even behind the girls. As things usually go for me after a few laps, things settled down, and people started coming back to me as I pushed to catch them. Realizing that this is a training race and not wanting to burn matches I'll need later in the year, I went hard but not to hard. I eased of and let the people go that I was gaining on. I did however get into an impromptu competition with one of the ladies. I caught her and passed her, and a few laps later, as I was getting lapped for the second time and moving over as a courtesy to the faster riders the girl on the MTB went passed me. Now racing, even a training race, is more fun if you have someone to compete with. I certainly can't compete with pro 1/2 guys and most of the CX 3's, but it was fun to push a little harder and swap places with someone on the course.

The course was the perfect training venue, all the elements that you need to master were a part of the course. Hills, ride/runup, lots of tight turns, sweeping turns, a long flat, a transition from grass to pavement, pavement to gravel, and of course two sets of barriers. Anyone who is a beginner needs to do the next race on September 24th. Far better to hone skills at Wednesday Night Cross than at an actual race.

All in all I didn't do to bad:

  1. made the 45:00 (back hurt toward the end)
  2. felt good the whole time
  3. rode the ride/run up each time (dabbed once at the top)
  4. didn't get beat by the girls
  5. wasn't last
  6. and, Dwight Wyatt didn't lap me.(close but no banana)
I can tell that I'm definitely behind where I was last year, but maybe I'll be in better shape toward the middle of the season when things really get tough. It sure is good to get a race in and back on the CX bike.

PS: go here read my bud Dwight's blog. He did a much better job of descriping the experience (especially the snot), plus there's pics!

No comments: