Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back at it (cross)

I have no pictures to share from Whirlybird (you don't really need to see my muddy race number or a gratuitous shot of a Nutella-drenched post-race waffle, do you?)...
I don't have much of a race report to share, either.
It (the race/my race) went down quite predictably, all things considered (haven't raced cross in three years, have downgraded to Cat 3, riding once a week at best, blah blah blah...):
Lined up in the last row.
Didn't experience any jitters or nerves.
Clipped in and just went when the whistle blew.
Passed a handful of women, duked it out with some really fast & wily juniors (young enough to be my kids), got muddy, stayed upright, and doggedly dug in for a solid forty-five minutes.
Upon finishing, I soft-pedaled around the wet grass with a goofy smile on my face...it felt really, really good to be back.

I had kind of given up on any notions of racing cross this year...it hasn't really been in the cards what with a myriad of reasons/excuses (I'm broke, I haven't trained at all, I'm barely riding, all my energy is devoted to my kids/therapy/staying afloat).
Still, a spark was lit whenever my dad talked about his race, whenever I saw a little cyclocross action on my Facebook feed, whenever I saw my cross steed hanging dejectedly among all the other bikes I don't ride these days.
When I got the official okay to downgrade (not just "okay"...a get-back-out-there-and-enjoy-it okay), I figured why not?
So, last Friday night I packed up my gear (and then packed doubles of everything, knowing a wet race was forecasted) and went to bed thinking, "I'm waking up early to race."
At 3am, a steady rain woke me...I imagined the muddy preview of the course, hurriedly changing into dry gear, shivering and soaked on the starting grid...Admittedly, none of that sounded remotely appealing to me and I went back to sleep wondering if I'd have a change of heart come morning.
Well, morning came and I burrowed into my warm blanket as the rain fell, thinking, "Staying in bed would be the easy thing to do."
I didn't want to do the easy thing.
So I raced.
Out of shape, out of sorts, out of my comfort zone (I find I barely have a comfort zone lately, anyway).
It was awesome and it breathed a little life back into me, which is really all I could have hoped for.
A win, in my book, even toward the back of the pack.


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