Finished 24/64 in the C1 race. Hot day, painful race.
Ow. I mean oof. I mean, they don’t call it the pain locker for nothin’. The first race of the year always hurts and always makes me with i’d started running for a month before so my lungs don’t explode after the first 10 minutes. Not that that feeling changes as the season goes on, it’s just a matter of re-acclimating. What we have here is a failure to condition.
I went to the race with my friend Ted, who is racing his first season of cyclocross in many years, and doing it singlespeed. Cyndi came along too, and it was the first CX race she’d watched. We arrived plenty early to register and pre-ride the course, and i was all set to go when i realized that i didn’t have my helmet with me. After a few frantic minutes, i was able to borrow one from Dag (actually from a racer with him who’s name i’ve forgotten, but many many thanks to both!!) and got around for a couple of warmup laps.
The first 1/3 or so of the course winds through some trees in a fairly open grassy area, very flat, pretty easy riding. I later realized that i was really meant as a recovery for the short but tough hills in the last 1/3 of the course that left me gasping for air across the start/finish line.
The rest of the course had a double barrier at the bottom of a moderate runup and turn downhill, then a flat open double barrier on the back stretch (which i’m sure the Bs and As hit quite fast, i was slow), then through some wood chips and a couple of hairpin turns and a gentle climb. Back at the top, there was a big curve back around to the hill, a fast descent and fun giant berm turn, then another double barrier and the short steep climb to the finish.
I ran up the hills the first lap because of traffic but otherwise mostly rode them, even though it was slow going. My heart rate was definitely the limiting factor moreso than my legs, so grinding up the hills was a good strategy. No problems with the bike, just a little rubbing on the chainstop in the big cog, but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff to prevent another drop.
I don’t think i’d do much different in the race other than set up a water handup. It was a pretty warm day (80s F) for cyclocross, and hard to keep maxed out when i’m hot and dry.
I’m taking next weekend off for Fiona’s birthday, then racing the following week at Lake Rebecca. That race is usually my first of the year, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes this year having one race down and (hopefully) a little training between now and then. I really like that course.