Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jingle CX

On Wednesday morning I drove to my doctor's appointment as nervous as I am before a race. I was so happy when I found out I could ride outside again and race. I know the trainer and running are good for me and was really hoping it would help even out the six weeks of not racing.

We took the RV to my cousins on Thanksgiving and were on our way that evening with lots of leftovers, which was awesome. We got there between 12-1 p.m. on Friday. It was so great to be back on my bike and the new frame is awesome. The hand was sore and it was still difficult to brake with my right hand. Early in the race, I was able to pass a girl on the downhill, which rocked. As the race went on, the hand hurt more and I found that, if I didn't brake early on the downhill, I couldn't get my right hand to squeeze the brake at all. I didn't place well, which was disappointing, but was overall happy with how it went. I got some ice and iced my hand for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, it was raining. I rode the course, including Mt, Crumpit, and then found out that we wouldn't be going down the hill. I was ambivalent about it, knowing how much I suck at going up hills. The hand felt a little better. My start sucked almost as bad as it had on Friday night and I definitely could have raced better. I was okay with how it went but was hoping I would miraculously be back at my A game.

After my race, Christopher did the kids' race. This was a highlight of the weekend. He opted to ride his balance bike instead of his bike with pedals, which was a good race move. = ) It was much easier for him to get over the logs. He won a stuffed reindeer -- Clarice from the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon. He loves it and put the teddy bear he got at Jingle CX two years ago in the box with Clarice.

Then, things went totally downhill. The awning had blown off the RV before Christopher's race. Water started leaking in the RV and got into the electrical system, shorting out everything. No power to the fridge, no lights and we couldn't bring the slide out in. Tom was able to manually get the slide-out in but, he had been miserable the whole trip. We left to go get some caulk to fill the hole and ended up just driving home instead. We got home around 8 p.m., I think.

I decided to go back and race on Sunday. It was probably not my best decision but I have always loved this race. I was so bummed that I couldn't go last year and so excited that I had gotten the okay to race. Plus, I knew we'd probably get to do the technical downhill on Sunday. While my speed sucks, I am usually good at the technical aspects.

After loading up the car and getting Christopher to bed, I went to bed late and 3:30 a.m. came way too early. I got there earlier than I expected and, as a total bonus, found that my rain jacket and water bottle were still at the start, after forgetting them there the day before.

I prerode and found my hand was feeling better and that my brakes needed tweaking. The SRAM guys tweaked them three or four times for me. My start was a little better but then I just kept sliding backwards. I have the hardest time getting up Mt. Crumpit. Even walking, I have to really concentrate to keep from sliding back down. I braked way too much on the downhill but I was still concerned with the braking power of my right hand. I figured going too slow was better than taking it too fast and then not being able to use my right hand to brake. I wasn't dead last but I was only one off. I was pretty disappointed but knew that my exhaustion definitely didn't help.

Tom had decided last week that he didn't want to race since he's been sick and he didn't want to take parts off of his road bike to fix his CX bike. He couldn't get a refund so he transferred Sunday's entry to me. I sat in the car shivering with the heat on until everyone was lining up. We started and it was so obvious that my body was not up for another race. I figured I'd do a lap or two, get lapped and get pulled. On lap 2, I got lapped and happily thought that would be my last lap. I didn't get pulled. That last lap was so painful. I was DFL which I was totally fine with and was happy I came back and raced.

The Specialized Crux frame is awesome. I have no toe overlap and the frame seems to fit me so much better. I had no issues braking or shifting during the races -- well, except for hand-related issues. My old Crosswolf tires, however, sucked in the mud and I can't wait to get my PSIMET wheels. = )

I got home exhausted and then decided to check CrossResults.com. Even with the six weeks off the bike, I've done more than 20 races this year. I knew I had raced well that Friday night at the Golf Barn and CrossResults.com confirmed it. I actually have an upgrade point! Then, I got hyper which made sleeping difficult and Monday even worse. = )

I'm psyched to do Montrose. I'm going to do the 30+ as a warmup/preride, since it's hard to sometimes get those in when I'm volunteering at registration. I also plan to do at least one of the 4A & 4B; and, hopefully, both.

I'm registered for both days of Badger CX and the New Years races. I'll likely do the Afterglow. I'll probably do the age group race at Nationals but am unsure about the B race. If I did it, I would likely have to leave really frigging early that morning and I'd have to figure out how to get Christopher to school.

For biking, I think my hand is quite close to being 100% back. Now, if the rest of me could hurry up and get there. I still am having issues typing but realize that it will take a little time since I couldn't move two fingers for six weeks.