Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Cross

I have really been feeling the fatigue of ramping up Base training lately.  Unfortunately my training induced stress is being compounded by other issues.  It seems that Allison's training has diverged from mine significantly enough that we aren't able to train together much.  She has been doing some trainer workouts after work which makes scheduling the day difficult (I really don't like doing indoor work if I don't absolutely have to).

The stress has gotten to me and I have been a jerk, which doesn't help things.  Sometimes it is important to remind myself that being a team means that although we aren't necessarily working side by side we are still working together.  We both need to stay focused to have a good season next year and we need each other to make that happen.

This last weekend was the Griffith Park double header known as Santa Cross.  Since Allison is done racing for the season doing the double header just wasn't going to happen.  Since I am still leading the points series I wanted to make it up for one of the days, but felt that putting in some solid riding with Allison on Saturday followed by a hard race effort on Sunday was my best option.

Saturday we rolled out into the cool morning air and put in a very good Base ride.

I really love riding with my wife.  

I took a short nap after the ride and tried to ensure that I would be as rested as possible for Sunday's race.  I know I am not on peak form so it is tough to head to a race with high expectations.

Since Allison wasn't racing on Sunday I dropped her off for a ride in The Gabes with Tonya.  A big part of me really wanted to be heading out on a rad mountain bike ride instead of racing 'cross.  About the only thing that helped me follow through was the promise of a sweet course at Griffith Park!

The course was challenging with a significant amount of climbing and some great technical stuff!  I however was not really up to the challenge on the day.  My hands and wrists have been getting worse and worse through the season and warming up on the course I knew I was going to suffer horribly in the bumpy sections.  My left hand was so bad I couldn't really hold the hoods to bunny hop.  This made for really slow going through the smaller barriers as I then was super worried about pinch flatting with no spare wheels!  I told myself to suck it up and thought of the text message I got from my mom who suffered through radiation therapy for her cancer this past week, "Pedal your ass off!".

Race recap...
First lap:  Decent start, didn't want to be on the front but was very close.  Hime swerved right going through the barriers and pushed me through the tape on the right.  I had to fight to stay with the group.  Then I made a really dumb mistake on a tight turn folding my front tire and pushing it out.  Remounting my bike the chain had fallen off.  I was no longer in contact with the chase group, Hime was off the front with a good sized gap.  I chased.

Middle of the race:  I chased hard.  Caught and passed people moving myself into second place.  Hime had what looked like an insurmountable gap.  I chased harder.  With about four laps to go Hime started making mistakes.  He crashed on a grass corner.  The gap was coming down as I was drilling it with Dave McNeal on my wheel.  I am pretty sure that at one point Hime had to pit and we had now formed a group of three.  I could now sit in some.

Two to go:  I attack going through the Start/Finish and take the lead.  It was mostly to see if I could gap them off in the corners.  I knew they would match my pace on the straight climbs by drafting.  Hime took the lead back going over the small barriers and threw a shoulder at me as he went by.  My ultra conservative approach to the barriers section was costing me a couple seconds every lap but I couldn't afford to pinch flat and my left hand was totally useless and could hardly work the brakes let alone bunny hop.  It looked like it was going to come down to a sprint finish.

Last lap:  Hime attacked brutally going through Start/Finish.  I matched it.  Going through the barriers he had about 2 meters on me.  Remounting I missed my pedal and it looked like I might have lost it at that point.  He had probably 10 meters after the barriers and I cut that in half by the top of the course.  I closed a bit more going through the tight grass turns and was within 2 meters again as we hit a high speed gravel right hand sweeper.  This corner seemed to be getting looser as the race went on for some reason and Hime pushed it too hard.  He went down hard.  The attacks had opened a small gap to Dave McNeal so from that point I just tried to stay smooth and mistake free.  I crossed the line a few seconds up on second and nearly 15 up on third, double fist pump, another win!

Race Results

Huge thanks to all the people that cheer for me.  Hime had a huge cheering section, but people like Carolyn Reeves and Brent Prenzlow were reminding me that there are people in my corner too.  I appreciate it very much!!!!!

This has been a very long season and it has taken it's toll.  I am tired and sore and nursing injuries while trying to start Base and finish the CX season with a SoCal Prestige Series Title.  Not sure how all this is going to effect me going into 2012.  I really hope I can carry momentum, get some solid base, and race well in the early season.  If that works out I think I will try to schedule a lull and then get back on form for Nationals.  Sounds like a plan, but I am not all that great with plans so who knows what to expect!  :)

Hopefully I can put together a "Year in Review" blog soon.  I think I know what I want to do with it, unfortunately these things often look better in my mind than they do on the interwebs...  If it doesn't get out before Christmas, hope everyone has a very merry one!

Till then, rubber side down and shredding (or rolling super steady, Base you know)!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a fun race to watch. Hime likes to bump a lot, he did that to me last year in the Master B races. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that any more. Good job on the win, you earned it!