Monday, September 27, 2010

Race #56: Battle of the Minds

And I lost. But I'll get to that later.

Bridget and I were sad to miss the second race of the OVCX season, so we headed to Louisville a week early to keep our form sharp and race in the Shawnee Cross. This was an interesting course with some long slightly uphill grinders (into a headwind) and real ginourmous downed trees for barriers, 3 of them! I really dig it cause it's like old school Cross, back to the roots.

My pre-ride was disastrous. I found every hole on the course and bobbled every remount. I was on the starting line feeling like I was wasting my money racing that day. The gun went off and I stunk it up and fell immediately backwards. The ladies started with us and I ended up jumping on Nikki's wheel just to keep myself from pulling over and crying for stinking so bad. I told myself to chill out, sit in and see what I can do.

About lap two we connected with a group of 3 or 4 riders. I sat there and bided my time for that sweet uphill into the headwind. We came around the corner and I ATTACKED! It felt wonderful to get some momentum. By the end of the section I looked back and no one was able to respond and I opened up about a 8 second gap. So I continued to push. I got one guy here, another there, another there until I caught up with a guy named John on the Papa Johns Team.

I was behind him on this off-camber section just before the finish line. I just stomped it! I caught up and went past into the pavement. Only this guy was different that the others — he was stuck to my wheel like glue. So I pulled for a lap, let him past and I decided to suck his wheel like a total jerk until that last off-camber on the last lap.

He knew what I was thinking too. So he began to slow. I kept looking back seeing another guy closing the gap to us. Sit in and hope to win in a sprint or take up the lead and hope I don't get too tired? I took up the lead. But I pushed it really hard trying to drop him to no avail. He ended up passing me on the final log barriers. I was gassed enough that I let a 8 second gap open after the barriers when I bobbled just a bit under the pressure. On the line I was able to bring it back to just a few seconds but I blew the opportunity to attempt to grind it out with a really long sprint.

I kept my lap times with my Timex and they were approximately 5:33, 5:15, 5:18, 5:13, 5:21, 5:19, 5:16, 5:17, 5:15, 5:22, 5:12! My last lap was the fastest, feeling a bit better about my fitness for the hour. I love races like this that test your will and your mind, hopefully my season will have a bit more of this!

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