Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Missing out on pie...

Rockburn Cross was sponsored by Dangerously Delicious Pies this year.  Lots of people discovered how great they were at the stand selling pie.  A few 6th place finishers even got a free pie.  I missed it by one place. But alas, I am not sad... I don't need pie when there are margaritas and chocolate molten cakes in my house.

I have been to a fair few practices at Rockburn.  I know some of the corners well.  Last year, I had an absolutely abysmal race there - even though our team was sponsoring it.  Perhaps I was still tired from a week of mountain biking in Spain.  Or could it have been that just 36 hours prior I was dancing on the bar?  Nah, I'm going with the long flight home, complete with 3 hours of dehydrating delay on the runway and an overnight in a sketchy airport hotel near JFK.  But anyway, I wanted to do well at this rendition.

A crash on 95 held up a lot of volunteers, so I helped at registration again most of the morning - except for when I got out my big mouth (having left the camera at home and cowbell in the car) to cheer Shea, Mazz, and Allan - the 3 LSVers we had in the 9am Cat 4 race.  All finished in the top 30.  Mazz did that while crashing at least three times.

I put in two laps right before the elite masters race - legs were tired but not dead (!) and loving the changes they made to this year's course.  Got on the trainer for a spinning warmup - ugh, okay, legs not so good.  Cut down the number of hard intervals in my warmup - just not enough juice.  But I did get to watch Karl take out some tape and stakes at the hands of FatMarc.  I love cross.

My race - I was amped at the start, but in a weird way.  Didn't feel like I was wasting energy worrying.  I had decided in my morning shower that the goal was truly to go race my guts out and let the cards fall as they may.  I also really wanted to be on the podium after missing by one spot on Saturday.

A few hundred yards of pavement for the start, then a few hundred yards of grass before - you guessed it, a sand pit.  I wanted to head into the sand either first or behind someone I knew wouldn't crash.  When the whistle blew, I had another good start (okay, seriously, if there were an award for hole shots...! maybe pie for the hole shot next year?! oh wait, I won't be racing Cat 4 anymore) and hit the grass first.

As I was headed out of a careful ride through the sand pit, I knew the effort to get ahead early was worth it - I heard Melani crashing and slowing up a few others in the process.  Soon we were off into the woods for some good fun and by the time we hit the hill, I was second with the leader in sight.  Good for my head - my stomach, however, was not happy with the whole racing my guts out thing.  At the very end of the lap though, I crashed.  Not hard, but hard enough to lose a position to another local who is really well matched with me.  I got close but never got that 10 second fumble back.

For lap 2, I actually got to stay within sight of the leaders for a long time.  First time this has happened... hmm... all year.  But for every second I made up riding muddy hills and sweeping turns well, I lost on the  climbs.  I dug deep to pass a few times near the barriers, only to find I didn't have enough matches left to keep the intensity on some of the power sections.  I wound up 5th, losing a position in the last lap.  Ah, well.  6th place might've gotten pie.  I got a t-shirt and some coffee.  And some ridiculously colorful leg warmers...

The cycling community around here is so much fun - I realized watching a few of the races that I personally know almost a quarter of the guys in some of the fields.  And want them all to do well.  They return the favor  - I pretty much didn't go around a corner yesterday without hearing someone cheering me on.  Another fantastic November weekend in the books.


  1. for the record:

    1. Karl beat me on this day.
    2. Karl tried to pass me in a corner. My ass was too large to have the both of us in the corner. I told Karl later, I hoped we'd pass me in the straight after the corner, so I could have tried to stay on his wheel...

    no karl's were harmed during this race.

    fatmarc hearts karl.


  2. For the record:
    1. Karl was ahead by the next lap.
    2. All jostling was inspiring - please repeat next time I'm on the trainer warming up.
    3. I don't think it has to do with the size of your ass so much as the stake was in the wrong place. clearly.