Monday, September 20, 2010

And it all comes down to this

Nate and I at Chili Greens. photo: TK
Last years 'cross season ended abruptly with a broken bike during the first lap of racing at Jingle Cross. Then I decided to get serious about this whole thing just before new years. The past ten months have basically been a build up to this week. Forty five hundred miles, 160,000 feet of climbing, all for this.

The '10-'11 'cross season kicked off in full force this last weekend. Steenbergcross in Belgium, StarCrossed on the wast coast, Verge series on the east coast and even a few races in Kansas and Missouri.

My favorite time of year has really arrived. We had a great CX practice last Wednesday with Troy and Nate coming up from Lincoln. Then it was time for arm warmers, knee warmers and a vest for Saturdays sprint workout. Wednesday was a perfect test for me and was just what I needed. I clipped barrier on lap one left me chasing Nate as well as the rest of the group. And chase I did, so much so I destroyed myself for the remainder of the evening. Session two started good but by the third lap my legs were toast. My superhuman effort in the first session was too much. Lesson learned, I now know how hard is too hard.

Saturday I tried something new. Instead of just doing my seated sprints out of corners, I followed it by five hill sprints on foot with the bike shouldered. This is part of my old school approach to training. You might as well practice doing what you'll be doing in a race, simulating as best you can. It felt good.

So that leaves us at week one of the 2010 'cross season. Friday morning, Nate, Troy, Jeff, and I leave for Madison. I've never raced a 'cross race as big as a USGP, let alone started the season off with one. Glancing over the start list, I find at least 3 guys that finished top ten at nationals last year. This will be my first Masters race too (35+), which is only 45 minutes. The shorter time should be a good way to usher in the new season. Guys who scored points at last years USGP get call-ups this year, which puts me third row at best. I'll take it, better than being sixth or seventh row.

I'm one bike short, but thanks to Jesse, he's letting me borrow his Hakkalugi as a B-bike just in case. I spent the better part of last week, prepping wheels and going over everything making sure every last detail is taken of. What's second frame and fork (not a problem), long sleeve skin-suit (not a problem), Mad Alchemy embrocation (not a problem). Everything else is accounted for. So it's time to hit the road. Eleven race weekends from now until the end of the year, 22 races. The adventure begins.


mw said...

that's alot of racing and travel.
keep your head up.
get lots of sleep but don't skip sex.
eyes on the prize.

sydney said...

Good luck to all of you headed to Madison. I'll be watching the results and hope to see your names near the top.