photo courtesy of Dan Farnham
On Saturday I made my way up to Norfolk, NE for the first annual Skyview Cyclocross Classic. I was feeling pretty worn down from the busy week I had at the college last week (which explains why I haven't been posting much lately). I was feeling pretty run down so I wasn't sure how I would do but I was looking forward to racing my cross bike again. This time I went up early enough to race twice. Since I'm just a Cat 4 this year I was eligible to race the 3/4's race and the 4's race and since the 2nd race was only $10 it was a no brainer to do both.
I got to the race course and got myself registered for both races and was changed and out onto the course to warm-up. The course was about 2 miles long and was a wide open circut with a couple of barrier sections and few grinder hills that I knew where going to hurt during the race. I really liked the way the course flowed but was feeling pretty stiff without a lot of snap in the legs. I had only ridden twice last week so I wasn't surprised. Then it was time to line up. Here's how it went:
As I got lined up for this race I noticed that there was a few fast riders there and a lot of people I didn't know. I knew Matt Gersib and having seen him race at the mtb races this year knew he was going to set a fast pace for the race. When the gun went off I got a good start and was able to stay right up front where I decided I wanted to be for the race. I wasn't going to sit back and let everyone get to far away from me and have to try to pull everyone back later. As we went through the first lap I was able to stay in second position right behind Matt but shortly after the beginning of the 2nd lap I was starting suffer a bit with some side pain. I kept up the pace for most of the 2nd lap gettng mixed in with some other riders and changing positions around with some other riders but by the end of the 3rd lap I was starting to feel the affects of my lack of saddle time in the past 2 weeks and couldn't sustain the pace and started to see some people pull away. I started to slide back but kept giving it all I had which wasn't very much. At this point I was sitting in 6th position and the race became more about damage control for the second race and not lose any more spots. I made a push really late in the last lap to try to catch the 2 riders in front of me but came up a tire width short of the 5th place rider on the line.
When the race was over I felt awful. I went directly to my car and was really light headed when I got off my bike. I got into the car, layed the seat back and just layed there for about 10 minutes unable to get my heartrate down and I was still feeling light headed and could barely talk to my wife who had called on the phone. After a while I started to feel a bit better and had about an hour left before my next race so I sat up and started to drink a bottle of heed and get a little food in me so that I had something to burn during the next race. I sat in my car and stayed warm. The temps were pretty cool and I just watched the race that was going on between my races and then it was time to go warm up to do it over again.
I went into this race with the expectation put on myself to race well but after the last race I wasn't sure what would happen. When the gun went off I went directly to the front and started to lead the group. I was hoping to be able to get an early gap on the field and hold it for the 30 min. race. Things didn't go as planned. I led the group for the entire first lap pulling everyone through the long straight section into the wind that was towards the beginning of the 2nd lap. After that I was pretty spent. The effects of the first race and the lack of training had taken over and I just couldn't hold off a couple of hard charging riders behind me. I traded another guy back and forth for 2nd place but he lost me on the first barrier section and I wasn't able to get back up with him finishing the race in 3rd place.
Overall for the 2 races I was content but not happy with how things went. I felt that I could have done better if I had been able to prepare better in the last couple of weeks leading up to the races. Hopefully I can get things back on track before the state chamionship cross races in 3 weeks. I don't think I'm going to be able to get any more races in before than. I don't even think I want ot at this point. I just have to much stuff going on and more things starting and I just want to have a little time to rest and then get in some good training before any more racing happens. Later.