Monday, November 16, 2009

Paulding Meadows Cyclocross

Another week of having a it has taken residence up in my lungs so I spent the greater part of last week coughing up crap. I've decided to go for the Series Overall in cross, so I have to make an appearance at the remaining races...hoping to be healthy by Barnsley Gardens next weekend.

We raced at Paulding Meadows park, which is the site of the very first cross race I ever did back in 2000 or 2001...before all the cool kids were racing cross. The course this past weeknd was the best I've raced on at that park. Very twisty and some super fun, fast, swoopy downhill sections. The sand on the backside was interesting, but it was pretty packed down by the time we raced so it was fairly benign. There were some muddy sections too, mostly on downhills, so I opted to ride my mountain bike again. I knew I'd lose a bit of time on the paved climbs and straightaways, but I'd gain some time in the mud and have a heck of a lot more fun on the downhill sections.

I got a good start, either that or the other girls LET me have a good start, as I kind of have a target on my back after finishing pretty consistent at the last few races. I popped into the grass in the lead and was able to maintain it the entire race. I'd gain a few seconds in the muddy sections, which forced the other girls to have to work harder on the paved climbs to catch back up. I think this took a lot out of them, because after the first lap, I started to open up a sizable gap.

Riding the mountain bike made the course just seem more fun, as even with the fork locked out, it was a much smoother ride than on my cross bike. By my last lap, I had a 1.5+ minute gap, and I could hear the men's race leaders charging up behind me on the course. I only got passed by one guy, but it meant I was done on that lap so I eased up a bit on the final half mile, as my throat was starting to hurt pretty bad...that and my legs were just a wee bit tired.

When I finished, I was very pleased with the victory, but I felt pretty crappy. My throat was dry and irritated, so coughing was pretty unpleasant. The hot 75 degree weather wasn't helping either! After about 10 minutes of drinking fluids, my body settled back down so that I could retrieve my bikes and feed Jayden. I was so dirty that little chunks of mud kept falling out of my hair onto her while she was nursing. Thankfully she didn't notice and was just happy enough to be back in mommy's (dirty yet loving) arms.

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