Sunday, November 23, 2008

Whew..I'm tired! O-Meet and Cyclocross today!

Our day started at the crack of dawn, having to get up at 5:30 a.m. and load up to head to our Sope Creek Orienteering meet. Once there, Chris, Kim and I spent about an hour hanging bags and then stood around and got cold for the next 2 hours. It was a chilly 29 degrees when we got there, so I was anxious for it to warm up. Julia arrived a bit later and I got her and Kim squared away on registration so I could leave and head over the the State Championship Cross race.

The race was on a fairly twisty, power course with four dismount sections, including one long sand pit/rooty climb/90 degree barrier run section. I, of course, had only a so-so start, mostly due to lack of effort on my part...but I'd rather ease into it and not burn all my matches off the line. Once we hit the sand pit section, I moved from 6th to 3rd just by booking it through the sand and barrier combination. I powered up the next climb and hit the pavement with first and second place just a few seconds up. I closed the gap really quickly and figured, hell, since I've got the momentum, I'll just pass them and keep on going. The three of us soon got a gap on the rest of the field and I ended up leading our happy threesome for about three laps. I couldn't really size the other two up, as they were behind me, but I wasn't gapping them - so I figured they were feeling strong. I didn't feel like I was handling my bike very well in the corners (uh..MAYBE BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEGLECTED YOUR CROSS BIKE FOR TWO YEARS!!!), so I needed to stay in front and save enough energy to give it all I had on the final sand pit/barrier section.

On what was supposed to be our 3rd lap from the finish I picked a bad line through a loose corner and wiped out. (Above pic was taken just before "the crash"). Thankfully I didn't get run over by the two behind me, but they attacked big time while I was down and got a gap on me. On our two to go lap, I just tried to ride steady and save something for the bell lap. Unfortunately, we all got lapped by the Men's B leader on that lap so our race was over upon completion of that lap. I had completely forgotten about that little caveat of cyclocross, so I was a bit frustrated when I learned the race was over and I wasn't at least able to give it one last big push. A non-GA resident ended up winning the race, so I ended up with the Silver Medal for the Georgia State Championships. Not bad, but its a lot more fun to be on top of the podium! I may have just created a monster that I've dipped my toes back in the CX pool, I want to jump back in! With a little bike handing practice, some intervals, and perhaps not spending 4 hours in the gym lifting the week before, I might have a figthing chance : )

After awards I had to jump in my car and head BACK to Sope Creek to spend an hour running around and picking up orienteering bags. All I could think about was food and a coke, but sadly I had already gobbled up every scrap of food in my car. I had to resort to chugging a bunch of egg nog the moment I walked through the door. After Chris got home he said the meet had near record attendance so they all had their work cut out for them while I was off riding around in circles.

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