Every year, about this time of year, I'm powering down, coming to end of my racing season...I get excited about probably my last big race of the year....Cyclocross Nationals. I've had great prep coming into the race, and I was really looking forward to it.......though not really looking forward to spending the weekend in Toronto. Within 12 hours I already had a parking ticket, almost got smoked by a car running a red light, got so turned around (yes even with a GPS) on the one way streets, and I'm wearing my 700 fill down coat....big city life is not for me.
Warm up was great and the start of my race felt great. I found myself in with the lead group, behind Wendy, Katy Cutris, Pepper and Natasha. I managed to squeeze around Natasha and grabbed Peppers wheel......at which point I found myself being repeatedly t-boned in corners, rubbed into the tape and yelled at by Natasha...hmmmm. Mistake number one by me during the race...at this point I should have just attacked and moved away from her, but I was so shocked all I could say was "I'm sorry"......FOR WHAT, I didn't do anything!! She managed to push around me on a long steep climb and I held onto the back of the lead pack, just out of reach for the first lap. I'd bridge up on tight corners and loose ground on the steep climbs.
By lap 3 I felt a little bit of a bonk coming on......Already...yikes. Catharine Pendral had come from far behind on the first couple laps to overtake me going through the start finish. I tried to jump and stay with her, but by this point I was definitely in trouble. From there on I road completely by myself and I watched as my hr dropped lower and lower with each lap.... definitely a sign of a good bonk.
Can you really bonk in a 40 min race....I just proved to myself that I can. I managed to hang on to a disappointing 6th place.....not so disappointed by the 6th place as the field was really strong, but definitely disappointed by the 2 and a half mins back from Wendy who battled Katy to the line for her 4th Canadian National Champion jersey!
Looking back at the race and my prep going into the race I can easily see a large number of things that I did wrong, even though I know better. These definitely aren't excuses, but errors that I made in my race prep, which for some reason I neglected to take into consideration. Lessons learned the very hard way.
Today, Sunday, is Nationals Revenge, and it's exactly what I need. I'm well rested and well fed today, so I'm already off to a better start :) Wish me luck!