This weekend was the first time I actually felt like I deserved to be in the pro field. This first year as a pro, and really a rookie to cycling has been mentally difficult. I’ve been really disappointed with my race performance and incredibly frustrated with the rotten meat sticks known as my legs. I’m happy to say that for the past couple weeks, I have felt pretty good on the bike! I was beginning to think that I would never feel good on the bike again, and just have swamp legs forever! I guess coming on late is better than never.
XC was good, coulda been better. I was exhausted all last week and was feeling like maybe I shouldn’t race snowmass. Of course, I had line up in the back row since I have been slack about the Norba series, but amazingly, I started passing a ton of people on the first climb. I was pleasantly surprised that my legs had some kick in the them! By the time I got to the singletrack and looked back, I was in shock!! “WHOA! Look at all the people who are behind me!” I thought in disbelief. I had a pretty sufficient gap on the train of girls behind me on the singletrack climb. They slowly started to catch me and were right on my heels on the technical part of the singletrack. I don’t pride myself on being a fantastic technical rider, so I was as aggressive as I could be. Much to my surprise, I wasn’t getting passed on the descents or technical sections! I think I turned into a decent technical rider in Wisco a few weeks ago. To make a long story short, I was in about 32nd and was so excited and focused on going fast that I forgot to eat and drink. Bad, bad, bad. About 70 anaerobic minutes later, my body crashed…hard. Suddenly I couldn’t really pedal and was sapped of all my strength….aka the BONK. The rest of the race I spent groveling. I downed 3 honey stingers at once which was another rookie mistake. That stuff is just too sweet. Yuck. The whole second lap I was trying to hold the chunks down. I guess my stomach can’t handle that much sugar at once. I fell back to 44th place, but that’s okay!! I got to see where my potential is at for the year and that was worth everything. Live and learn. I was glad not to flat…just 3 weeks before I double-flatted on that same course at the mountain states cup and had to drop out. I was not a happy camper.
STXC: Super fun course, but my legs were trashed from bonking the day before. Basically I would hammer up the climbs and pass people, detonate, and do it again the next lap. My goal was to stay in 10 minutes and I managed over 14! There were some dual slalom bumps too. Here is a pic I stole from cyclingnews. I think Ross Schnell is the funniest guy ever. He may actually be my new hero. Check this out! He’s super fast, but still has a great time. Cycling needs more personalities like this! Check out Nick Martin’s blog for even better coverage AND videos of Rad Ross. (see link on the side)
Super D: I was a virgin Super D-er till the weekend. Chris Jung convinced me to try ‘er out, especially since it was free. I have been avoiding this event all year thinking I couldn’t descend. After watching the men’s ST, I rushed to get ready and hopped on the lift. I got off and took the road down to the start and PSHHHHHHHH!!!! My front tire flatted. Of course I didn’t have anything with me to fix it, and no one else did either. I was laughing at the irony that I flatted on the WAY to the super D, and fortunately someone hooked me up with a tube and pump. I didn’t have any tire levers, and those Bontrager Jones tires are great, but a real bitch to get off. A chivalrous old French man took the reins and helped me out. He was grunting in aggravation, but I was very thankful he saved me. He wanted payment…kisses on both cheeks. No problem! I even ran into him later and got to practice my French on him. So the Super D went really well. I lined up with16 other pro women and was feeling very intimidated. There were some pro Dhers on freeride bikes and pro women. I was an IDIOT at the start. Rookie mistake number infinity. I thought I’d run through the grass and avoid the chaos. That slowed me down even more and I was 2nd to last getting on my bike. I started passing people and was pretty surprised. I was thankful for the short climbs because I passed a lot of people there. The descent I was trying to survive and go as fast as I could. Unfortunately I wasn’t taking the best lines because I didn’t pre-ride the course. I guess that’s kind of important, especially since I lost a place by not taking the inside lines. I ended up 10th which was a pleasant surprise to me. I will be doing more of those next year.
I am super stoked about cyclocross. The one race I did hungover last year was pretty fun! I have a weird false sense of confidence about ‘cross races… don’t get it. I need to be humbled and it will happen soon! I am very impatient to get my bike…. I need to learn patience because sometimes I am incredibly impatient.
I struggled today being back at work with the engineers. There are some cool guys that work there, but for the most part it’s a bunch of geeks walking around with thick engineering glasses trying to make conversation. Today I’m pretty beat from the weekend, so again, my patience and sweet charm is dwindling. Sarcastic comments were on the tip of my tongue today, but I bit it back. I try to tone it down at work and seem like a nice, professional, sweet engineering girl. Riiiiight. At least tomorrow I get to transfer to Boulder. NO MORE COMMUTING! My 36 lb beater bike, Frank the Tank, is going to get lonely, especially with a new cross bike I’m going to ride around a lot!
you’re singing my song (except apparently you’re singing it much faster)
like you, i can’t wait for ‘cross season… also, i might be much happier if i wasn’t surrounded by stereotypical engineers… or if i wasn’t an engineer myself (bme as well).
anyway, you have a nice writing style. i look forward to the next update