Whew! That weekend went by a little too fast. This was my second weekend of cross this year. I must say that I enjoy the back to back racing, the intensity (for whatever reason, it makes me laugh – I am sick), the spectators, and the courses that are bumpy, off camber and twisty.
Saturday – CO Cross Classic
I was a little stressed on Saturday due to my broken crank. I thought I was going to have to race my hardtail at a UCI Pro Cross race, if that’s even allowed…and I guarantee I would have gotten lapped! We had a team breakfast – huge thanks to Lance and his lovely wife for cooking up a feast! It was fun to mingle with my teammates, meet and play with their kids, and talk a little bit about cross. James Huang heard my distress call about my busted crank, and saved my butt by lending me an extra crank. By the time everything came together, it was a little after 1 PM. I hurried out to the Boulder Res to pick up my number and also get my rear brake worked on because it kept getting stuck shut. Time escaped me and I only got a 30 minute warm-up, but I was loaded with cortisol and ready to go!
The field was large with super fast women from around the country toeing the line. I recognized most of them from mountain biking, or recognized their names from road racing. It was cool to have a group of about 40 at the line, all competitive. I was one of the last people to get called up due to the fact that I haven’t done any UCI Cross races this year. I was feeling timid when the whistle blew and not riding aggressive as I normally do. Maybe it’s those weird curly bars I’m using and I have visions of getting tangled. I think in the back row, I chill a little bit just in case I need to avert a crash in front of me. When I get to start at the front, I am more aggressive and push harder off the line. Anyway, I took my few opportunities to pass on the first lap. I used my bike handling skills to rip through the deep gravel on a straight away and make up some spots by passing a train of girls who were riding in the good line. I wasn’t happy with how I was doing with the sand sections. In practice, I rode them almost every single time. When you add traffic, things get more tricky. There were large groups of spectators which was also great. At endurance mountain bike races, simply due to the fact that there isn’t too much to see on a 100 mile loop, there aren’t really people cheering for you (except for the boys I try to hammer. he he) Having people there cheering you on makes things more fun!
Racing with one of my best friends, Nina Baum. She helped me get more into racing. I met her when I first started mountain biking with the UNM team. It was fun to have her up in Boulder, and for some sick reason, we are both smiling through the pain.
I kept a hard, steady effort and had fun. Inevitably, I lost a few spots near the end of the race. This is a pretty common theme. I don’t do any sustained anaerobic efforts during my normal mtb race season except for a couple 20 min Boulder Short Tracks, so it makes sense to me that around 35 minutes, I start to slow down. When you are doing a 7+ hour mountain bike race, going in the red can cost you…. big time. That fitness will come with more cross racing, and next year I’ll try to prep for cross a little more (and not go 3 months without going over my LT! haha)
I finished up in 20th place. Not my greatest, and I knew my head wasn’t in the game as much as I would have liked. It wasn’t for lack of trying.
HR profile is on my last post.
Boulder Cup – Halloween Cross
This race was AWESOME!!!! There were tons and tons of spectators lining the course, some in costume. The thing about this race that was the most special to me (and from the day before) were the cheers from the spectators and my friends. I was hearing “yeah looney!” or “Go Sonya!” or “SUFFER! BREATHE HARDER! (from Lance who runs Hudz)” haha. Great!!! I loved it. Even a guy in a full body green leotard (jasper) all over the course.
I got to line up in the second to last row this time which was actually a little bit better. I’m still pretty timid in the back. I can’t be crashing since I leave for Brazil NEXT WEEK!
Since it was Halloween, and I couldn’t really cover up sponsor logos on my skinsuit, I had to come up with my own costume rendition. I came up with my pink mustache socks i bought in Portland in July, a stick on mustache, and a bow tie.
Unfortunately, the stache only lasted one lap. I sweated the thing off pretty quickly which was a bummer!
The course was a little more fun for me with some tough switchbacks that proved to be slick on the grass at that angle, but I held the rubber side down! I was overgeared with a single chainring up front and hence a little inefficient, but I did my best! There was some carnage on the course.
I decided that since this run-up hurt so much, I’d have fun with it and maybe forget the pain for a second.
…so I charged.
If you can’t win, be a crowd pleaser.
I lost a few spots on the last lap (AGAIN). I also had some issues with my rear brake sticking, much like the day before. I had no modulation and it was cinched shut on my wheel on and off. Oh well, extra training! I didn’t want to stop and mess with it…I would have lost more time. It’s all part of racing.
Saturday, I’ll be doing one more cross race before leaving to Brazil. It’s called Schoolyard Cross. Maybe I’ll get lucky with Sumo Poker!! The man, Dave Towle, will be announcing. DON’T MISS IT!
The rest of this week is geared at (pun intended) riding more regularly and consistently than the last couple weeks. I’ve been sort of flailing with consistency. It’s tough this time of year… I’ve been training hard since last November and racing since February. That makes for a long season. I just have to tell my legs to work… every day. The Claro Brasil Ride starts Nov 14, and I’m leaving U.S. soil on Nov 10. The 325 mile, 6 day stage race will wrap up my 2010 mountain bike race season (and best season ever!) and I’ll continue with cross when I get back and recover!
Lots of great things to conquer!