Sunday, February 8, 2015
Back again! Fall Updates
In a nutshell the fall was good and ok. When I last posted I was looking forward to the cross season ahead and I had a few longer MTB races up my sleeve as well. Crossnado, Cxmeur, SCCX, VT50, Grapes of Wrath, Wilkes 100k, and the 6 Hours of Cathedral Pines were all lined up for a good season end. The problem, like I mentioned earlier is that since I had surgery I felt like I was just behind in training. I put on a few pounds and I never really felt like I was riding well. This beat me up mentally as I just knew there was more in the tank but just couldn't put it all together. CX was good as I could still put together short hard efforts, but it's hard to mix that with my heart in the endurance game. Those two disciplines are just really hard to bounce back and forth between. My sights were set on the long MTB game and if the cx efforts suffered so be it.
Crossnado, CXmeur and SSCX all went reasonably well. Actually better than I thought they would go. Considering I had very little CX prep leading into the races I was pleasantly surprised with how I did. 9th of 14 at CXmeur, 7th of 10 at Crossnado, and 12th of 19 at SCCX. The first two I was putting down a good effort I just wasn't in cross form. The mindset was good as I tracked down people throughout the races, I was just too heavy and too out of practice to do much better. I knew I could have had much better placings if I actually focused on the CX game.
The Grapes of Wrath race was a battle of attrition. Upon arriving at the venue it was already pouring for the last couple of days and I knew it would be horrendous conditions. I decided to give it a go anyway. It was a 6 lap race, with each lap consisting of 3 smaller loops. So by completing 18 loops you would finish the race. This was absolutely grueling. Each loop started with a steep climb that would just shred your legs apart all day long. Like I said before it was wet and greasy everywhere else. On a dry day this place would be pretty techy in spots, but then at the grease on top of it and it made for a super hard course to ride. Off the parade lap at the start I took off and put my head down to see who would chase and come with me. I could see a few others at the top of the first lap pretty close and I needed to keep the pressure on. I rode steady and consistent and didn't look back. Towards the end of the first lap I couldn't see anyone but I could still hear the clanging of bikes on rocks so whether it was myself playing games or someone not too far away, I didn't want to worry. I kept my head down and kept pushing myself harder and harder. 3+ hours later I came across the finish line and never saw another soul near me for the entire race. I had won it. It was a great feeling of accomplishment and a very proud moment as I sat on the finish line and it was a while until the next rider came through. I found out later that I was the only rider to have finished 6 laps. Everyone else either quit or had a mechanical. That blew my mind...and made me ever more proud of what I had just accomplished.