Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I have no off season...

They skiers I know keep their lives together in the summer.  The cyclists I know get their 'honey-do' lists done in the winter.  Most years, I don't even have an off weekend between the end of the fall cross season and ski season.

In December, I raced Fair Hill. On a Saturday.  It was a great course but my legs and head were checked out for the season and my result indicated that.  Ah well, at least I had to wear more than a shortsleeve skinsuit at ONE race this year.  It was fun - three bikes, three people, two dogs, and a minimal number of extra wheels.  That's right, I said two dogs.  I'll write more about Oz sometime.

Sunday morning after an early morning run, we drove to Vermont.  Ski instructor camp.  I'd never been, even though it's a big deal and almost a third of the Ski Liberty instructors make the trip.  Can I just say - I love starting ski season with strong legs and endurance!?

After nearly a week in Vermont, we drove back late and I did one of my favorite things on Saturday - lead a hiring clinic for a small group of new instructors.  Only this year, the resort wasn't open yet.  Warm weather meant we were confined to a strip of white on the beginner's hill and a lift open just for us.  The weather didn't get colder after that... and the resort didn't officially open until December 30th this season.

But wait, how cool is that - I had like 2 weekends of an offseason.  I rode my bike.  A lot.  More training hours than November or October.  I played on the rocks at the Shed. A lot.  I rode with friends on the road. Long rides in the wind. Long rides in 60 degree December balminess.  Long rides in chillier weather.  I didn't get enough science done, but I thought about my science a lot.  That helped, actually.

Right now, I feel great.  Life has been busy but balanced.  But the crux of ski season is on me.  I have some travel coming up for training and personal skiing, then some more likely for PSIA events.  Plus every weekend, I teach beginner skiers, beginner instructors, and all the gang that's been around for years.  Yikes. Time to hold on until March.

I have some big goals this year for cycling.  If you see me on the slopes, ask me how my training is going.  I don't want to forget who I am the other 8 months of the year!

looks good on paper, but...

I wrote most of this post right after Cap Cross in December but just didn't feel okay posting it yet.  I just finished it and here ya go.

 What I learned about cyclocross this weekend: I love the gals we race with.  What a good group.

Cap Cross. Two years ago it was icy.  Three years ago, so windy that popups were rolling through the parking lot.  This year - sunny, 55 degrees, perfect weather to spend outside all day.  Technical course with a bunch of power sections.  Awesome fun downhill.

Toeing the line with 16 other women.  How cool is that?!  We're routinely getting elite fields >10 in the region now.

I had a good start, coming off the second row and sitting about 5th heading onto the grass.  Hoping to make the early selection and stay in the draft across the bridge.  A rider ahead of me started to wobble. I went wide.  She went down, so did the gal behind her.  I looked over and in a split second when I normally would say something to the effect of, "C'mon Erin, get back on it, let's go," I saw pain.  Not sure how my brain knew it other than instinct, seeing as I was already almost seeing stars from the start.  A half a beat later, a wail of excrutiating pain.  Crap.  I checked my speed a bit. Talked to the woman behind me.  But kept going.  I'm not sure what else to do.  But I couldn't get my head back into it.  Couldn't go as hard as I can nor as aggressive.

By the time we got to the end of the lap, they neutralized the race.  The ambulance was immobilizing a badly broken ankle.

We milled around.  As a group, we decided to basically parade the restart without contesting.  Didn't mean we went slow, but we didn't pass aggressively, sprint, or do anything particuarly competitive.  The cash for the day went to Erin - a group decision - to cover her deductible. 

I've decided it's okay that this affects me - upsets me even.  She's a friend and we were doing what we love.  It's okay to lose the killer instinct for a couple hours.  That's why we love the community.

Update: Erin is just now spinning with no resistance.  She's got some extra metal in that ankle, but will be back next year, no doubt.