Sunday, 28 October 2007

Cyclocross tails

It's been a bit of an odd fall for me. A little bit of a rocky road to recovery, my last year of school (yippee) and many other trials and tribulations. Yesterday was the final race of the season for me, the last Alberta cyclocross race, and we finished up in style, the women's field anyways. My local Calgary based team, Terrascape Racing, hosted the event and strongly encouraged the wearing of a costume for the race. We had a tiger, Pamela Anderson, a couple of Juventis riders with orange hair, and I was a devil.

Considering that fact that Provincials and Nationals are over, we had really good turn out to our second annual race.

Coming back after taking two weeks of zero physical activity, it was very obvious that I had no high end left at all. On the positive side, I was very well rested. My first cross race was the Jim Horner UCI event up in Edmonton in which big hitters Wendy Simms and Kelly Jones showed up to, as well as the extremely fast local Pepper Harlton. Finished up in second place there, and refueled with a huge pasta dinner for the United Cycle race the next day. Was a little creaky getting going the next day, and very slow to start. Worked hard the entire race to reel in Pepper, but the powerhouse trackie/xc skier Tara Whiten was far from my grasps, and again I finished in second place.....but I won a pumpkin pie, so I was the real winner...hehe.

After a week of more riding (mainly too and from school) and lots of stretching, I came into Provincials the next weekend feeling pretty good. It was a really good course for me, rough and technical.....and with a lot less snow than last year, it was a really fun course. Battled with Pepper for the first couple of laps, and felt strong enough to put the gas on mid way through the race to take my first win of the season.

The following weekend, and last minute decision like last year, I made the trek out to Kamloops for Cyclocross Nationals. Waiting till after my school and Dallas's work were finished for the day, we left Calgary late and made it to Kamloops near mid-night. Spend the saturaday relaxing, doing homework, drinking coffee and doing a couple laps of the course. After a huge delicious Greek dinner, by 9pm, I could barely keep my eyes open, so I feel asleep and ended up having almost 12 hours of sleep....yeah, 12 hours....that was so nice.

I felt really strong at the start of the race, I could tell that my intensity was slowly coming back. Had a great start, but the first corner got the best of me and I went down hard. Quickly picking myself up, I was disappointed to have lost contact with the leaders, but fought hard to move up from around 15th to 4th place. Riding with Jeanann McKirdy and Kelly Jones for a couple laps, I found the energy and started pushing to see if I could catch the lead group who was pulling farther and farther away. I had put about 15 seconds into 5th and 6th, and found myself doing a 10 foot power slide on my butt around a greasy corner. Despite the fact that I gathered myself together quickly, I had lost any advantage I'd made. Riding with the Jeanann and Kelly for a lap, I pulled myself back together and forced the pace again. Wendy road an awesome race and took the title, Alison Sydor took second and Lynne Bessette finished third. I couldn't repeat my podium performance from last year, but I'm really happy with fourth place.

And now, this past weekend, raced the final race of the season. With Loni Kettle from Jasper breathing down my neck the entire race, I had to work very hard for the win. I'm always excited when she shows up to a race, because you know it's gonna hurt :)

Done now for the season, had a beautiful easy three hour road ride today, can't believe we're still having great weather and it's almost November...can't complain. But I am ready to start skiing. Oh yeah...and only six weeks left of this semester..yippee.