Monday, November 23, 2009

Tardy Race Reports: Part I.

So I got a little behind on the race report writing. Correction: extremely behind. Six weeks and six races behind. That's a lifetime in cyclocross racing. Yowch.

Nationals is Friday. Six weeks ago, this was the big event. The pinnacle of the race season. The end-all, be-all of my racing existence.

Now, its simply the very expensive punctuation mark on what has been a racing season full of some expected frustrations, some unexpected setbacks and many moments of great joy. At this point I'm just happy to have gotten to this point with my sanity and bicycle intact.

I left off my race reports at Halloween Weekend in Astoria. So that is where I will begin again.

Saturday Race, Halloween Weekend: On a scale of 1 to ten, I'd give my performance in this one about a 6.5. I finished sixth, but gained two spots in the last lap only because of the mechanical mishaps of the riders in front of me. Still had a hard time with breathing and had to avoid pushing myself to the point of coughing spasms.

What made this race even remotely fun was that I caught up to Mindy in the second lap and we rode most of the race together. Which primarily involved me chasing her down, crashing in front of her and chasing again.
But it was good to have a friendly wheel to latch onto when the race got mentally tough.

The course, which was muddy and slick to begin with, became more so when the skies opened up with a coastal monsoon ten minutes before start. Mayhem ensued.

I made a poor decision to try and stay with Nissy Cobb for the first half of a lap. When I could no longer hold on and needed to recover, I lost four spots that I was never able to regain.

The first run-up became unrideable fifteen feet from the top.

A second run-up caused a lot of people to go down. I made it riding twice, but not without some moments where I could have easily ended up on my back sliding back downhill.

I did not cause this, although Mindy wants to use this as proof that I'll take my own teammates out in the heat of the moment.

I went back and forth with Margi for most of the last lap. She got the better of me right after this picture was taken, but then had a mechanical 100 meters from the finish line.

I was glad to get this race over with.

I had gotten to the point where the fact that my breathing/snot problem had not subsided in four weeks was so frustrating that I wanted to put my bike in a ditch in hawk a huge loogie on it. Its hard to attack or chase when you're drowning in your own phlegm.

Couldn't spent too much time dwelling on this, as valuable time could be lost pouting instead of preparing and drinking for the Halloween party.

The FTs went as Jersey Whores. From the 80s. Ironically, we bought our "costumes" from a store that sells these "clothes" to people who were not alive in the 80s.

(Fuck ya lets go to the mall.)

You know you want to see that full length.

Then there was some of this:

(My hair kept getting better as the night wore on. Note confused Mexican Wrestler in the background. This poor man dates me and spends a lot of time being confused.)

And some of this:

And, as a result, I was glad when, the following morning, we decided to bag "racing" and "sweep the course."

After the race, we kicked some Sorella butt in a dance-off.

It was a good weekend. Someone got punked bad on Sunday night...not sure if he knows it yet.

Tomorrow: State Championships and PIR.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Getting To It, I Promise

To those of you have have emailed/IMed/Facebooked me about the last two weeks of racing...I promise to get that written up this weekend. Here is the short story of the last 14 days:

1. Sixth at Crusade #5 at Astoria. OK race, was still having a hard time with the lungs being clogged and staying ON my bike.

2. No idea where I finished for Crusade #6. The HV gals rode together at the back of the women's race dressed as french maids. We are in race videos here and here.

3. Took an entire week off for personal reasons. No commuting, no training.

4. Won the Category B State Championship on Saturday. Ricardo also won his race and my mom was there to watch, so it was a big day. The course is now my all time favorite and the folks did a fabulous job of running the event. The trophies they provided for the winners set the bar high for state championship events next year.

5. The win Sunday meant a mandatory upgrade to the A's. I didn't get "the email," but I know the rules and figured that lining up with the B's on Sunday would have been bad form. I raced singlespeed instead and finished 110th out of 140. I had a blast. It was fun, really fucking hard and there was no pressure.

I'll post real race reports and photos this weekend. I'm going to put my big girl pants on and race with the A's at Barton this weekend. As long as I remember the "no pressure" mantra, it should be fun.