Monday, September 17, 2007

"Good Intensity Regardless of the Final Outcome"

So that's the verdict on this weekend. I was totally exhausted yesterday by some must-be-there life events, too much driving, and not enough sleep. And my big scheme to race masters cross at Suckerbrook then the Postsmouth Crit, with accomplices Sue McLean and Rebecca Wellons, hit a roadblock as a result of my ignorance on the age-up, age-down, cat-up, cat-down rules that govern women racing in men's races. In the end cross won out, and I scrapped an entry in the Portsmouth Crit to stay and race two cross races. Sue left me at Suckerbrook to go to Portsmouth, I camped by the welcoming Wojcik tent (prepared for snow/hail/rain/freezing temperatures with my enormous airplane bag, wheels and everything). I also set the record of time-at-venue: 8am-4pm. In the morning, I helped a bit with Rebecca's women's clinic, super fun and good to realize that after nine years or whatever of doing this sport I've learned something. There were probably 30 racers in the women's 3/4 race! Sue, who is a fantastic starter and shrewd racer, pulled off the win, which gives her the upgrade points needed to return to her rightful Category 2. Finally, at noon I raced the men's 3/4. I started hard and fought for two laps, then settled in. Given how regional women's racing mostly involves riding alone, riding in traffic is so useful, because that's how it is in the national level racing. I even got rammed and cut off a bunch of times - fun stuff though I took a beating and tweaked a muscle that resulted in my going over barriers as though on a pogo stick. The course was pure horsepower with a few off-camber turns and a big sandpit, dry and fast - totally different from last week. In the women's race, my legs were cold and I did not jump well off the line, but I was going to be fine. Then probably 20 seconds into the race I flatted. In retrospect I probably could have finagled a semi-backtrack into the pit, but instead I rode a long stretch on that flat and was last by a long shot before reaching the pit and getting a wheel from Mark Wislocki. So the race was all about trying to charge back up through the field, quite a hard effort. I guess flatting is one way to divorce yourself from being preoccupied with a result and focus on the racing! Chasing down Sara Cushman - these rivalries crack me up - but she held me off and that was it. 5th place. Kate from West Hill won, Cris Rothfuss, then Amy Wallace. So glad I will have tubulars next week - thanks Richard Sachs - because I can't waste my time in the big races getting flat tires. Not so good that I ruined a Ksyrium SL rim... I loved Rebecca's blog tribute to cross from last week, but I would add to the downsides the equipment carnage that can be part of this sport. Paul Weiss photo of Amy about to best us at the start.

1 comment:

gewilli said...

I mentioned it elsewhere but, when you weren't with the rest of the women through the sand pit i wondered "Where the hell is Anna?" "she was at the start"

then walking back towards the start there ya were. Waaaaay back.

Not like back a bit... but like WAAAAAAAAAAAAY back. Minutes.

and whadda ya do? Ya freaking work the course over. Amazing. I didn't get to stick around much longer than 3 to go but you were impressive out there.

Very inspiring to see you dig so deep after being so far back.