To the surprise of many of my non cycling friends the competitive season does have an end and I have now reached that point! It’s been two weeks since I got back from Cyclocross nationals in Boulder and the time has been busy and exhausting. It seems the travel never stops whether it’s racing or catching up with friends. I believe it’s a good thing though, I want to pack as much as possible into life and wouldn’t have it any other way.
The build up to nationals was better than last year but still not ideal. It’s been 10+ years since I’ve been really sick. The kind where you can’t get off the couch and you empty the entire contents of your body… but this fall I had the chance to go through this experience twice! The last time being the week before nationals. Not good prep and I think it left me a little low on energy the week I was out west.
Usually altitude does not affect me much, even being a sea level dweller. I dropped into Boulder about 24 hours before the first race and was feeling good. The bike got a SS conversion the week before I left with the BEER components eccentric bottom bracket adapter that lets you run a 24mm crank in a 30mm shell. Pretty nifty. I opted to go with the XX1 crank I rode for MTB season fitted with a new 38t ring. 38x15 was the ratio, the biggest in the front row. My philosophy was “crush the open sections and run everything you can’t ride.” It worked… kind of. I rode up to 2nd place at one point but the thick mud and my SPD pedals didn’t get along to well. Between Braden and I whoever got clipped in first in the last couple corners was going to get 2nd. It was him… by a long shot on the clip in. I still almost caught up on the last 400m of the course but couldn’t get around him for the sprint. My goal going out to nats was a podium and I got that so I was pretty pumped.
|3 up sprint for 2nd|
Then weds night it was a long drive down to CO Springs where the Swanson family was gracious enough to put me up for a few nights. I got a few chill recovery rides in around the Springs and got a little tour of the SRAM facility with Neil. I could tell the body was drained though. I was sleeping 10+ hours at night and still exhausted. Not a good feeling but I tried to put it out of my mind.
|Recovery day outside CO springs|
Saturday I toed the line for the Master’s 30-34 race, the last time I will be eligible for this race. Master’s racing shouldn’t start at 30 anyway! On the running scene it started at 40 which seems about right to me especially because running careers decline about 5 years before cyclists it seems.
I got a pretty decent start for me, better than the SS race. By lap 2 I was up in 3rd leading the charge of the chase group but I think I dug a little too deep with the eyes getting bigger than the legs. BOOM. I was done. Mentally I tried to hang on but the mind was fighting the body the whole way to the line for 8th.
I always kind of figured the elite race was going to be whatever I had left and the answer was “not much.” 38th spot. Oh well.
Now Heather and I have some traveling to do and some offseason chores to catch up on. Time to bust out the running shoes and splitting maul to brave the latest polar vortex or whatever they call it these days.
|Making some firewood!|