Operation Race Myself Into Shape Continues
I haven’t exactly come into this season with an optimal fitness for racing cross. The end of summer/beginning of Fall saw me tapering into little riding or other training. That means it is time for “Operation Race Myself Into Shape.” This is not the easiest approach to racing cyclocross but it is better than not racing.
Race one, Cross the Domes, was a serious shock to the system but the first cross race of the season is always a bit of a shock. This was perhaps more shocking than normal but one has to start somewhere. On the plus side I felt that Cross the Domes suited my strengths with some off-cambers, no huge climbs, and some stairs.
Up next for me was the first race at Cam-Rock. I actually saw my first cross race ever at Cam-Rock and then did my first cross race ever at Cam-Rock. For those reasons I do have a certain fondness for the race even though it doesn’t really fit my strengths unless it is muddy (like last year). This year people said to me “it’s a dirt crit” and “you have to be on the gas the whole time.” Neither of these things are good for me ever but especially right now.
I will put this race down in the category of a great workout which hopefully helps me build towards ski season. I was off the back from the word Go and that was that. I had a poor start and was gapped off the line. I closed in on the back some on the bumpy downhill but once the pedaling started I saw the back of the field pull away. I put in a solid effort for where I’m at right now which is really all I want to do right now. I felt strong on the run-up actually and am sad to say that my strengths are definitely not the biking sections. Any section that just requires lots of watts into the pedal are not sections I will do well at right now.
On the plus side this week did seem a little less shocking to the system than last week so I have at least mentally adjusted some to the pain that is cyclocross racing. This week’s race was a little bit hampered by my rollerskiing incident. Although once you start a cross race the pain in your lungs and legs overshadow anything else. The only time I really felt that all my scrapes bothered me was going over the barriers as it wasn’t very comfortable to bump into my elbow.
Now today, Monday, I can feel the aches and pains a bit more. I have some nasty bruises from my crash and the hand I landed on is really stiff and achey. Luckily everything looks to be healing up though and as a courtesy to my co-workers I’m well bandaged and wearing long pants and longsleeves.
Up next is FurtherCross at Badger Prairie. I’m excited to race close to home again but I can’t say that I’m a fan of Badger Prairie as it is another course where power is important. I’ll be spending a bit of time at Badger Prairie though with the race on Saturday and work day on Sunday. In between those two I’ve got a USGP Volunteer Appreciation Party and hopefully a longish rollerski. Because the Birkie is only 138 days away and so there is still time to be prepared for that.