After the big blow out that was the 2012/13 CX season I was pretty refreshed and went straight into training for the summer MTB and road races. I've been playing with my Quarq power meter and have been blown away by the quality of training you can get out of it. It's pretty amazing. But, with the weather being crap I hadn't spent any time on the MTB since the Dakota 5-O last labor day.
By the time the trails finally dried out it was, you got it, about a week before the opening round of the Nebraska Lottery Psycowpath series. I made it out mid-week to make sure the mountain bike, ahem, still functioned. I was left with a less than stellar feeling going into the weekend. The bike worked great but I felt like crap. I was left wondering if I'd been spending too much time on the road playing with my new training toy. I managed to pull myself up convincing myself that nobody had been riding their MTB either so the playing field was level, right?
It was going to be an interesting weekend. Local fast-man Kent McNeill was off his usual high fitness level, as was Cam Kirkpatrick from Des Moines. Steve Jarrett was out, Kevin Limpach was out, Nate Woodman was out. The front end was looking pretty lean. One thing for sure was up and comer Brad Auen was definitely not off and was most likely going to be the guy to watch, along with teammate Greg Shimonek.
The weekend started off with a two pack of sprints creating a mini-stage race not a stage race weekend. Saturday was the 20 minute one lap time trial at Jewell Park followed by the 20 minute Short Track Cross Country at Swanson Park.
Did I mention I was nervous? Pretty typical. As I like to say, I'm motivated by self doubt.
The TT went off without a hitch. I ran through the course in my head on the ride to the park pin pointing the sections of the trail I would attack and the others I would recover on. After only one close encounter with a tree I rolled across the line in 16:15 setting a new course record and taking the win ahead of Brad and Greg. My nerves were slightly calmed.
|Photo: Emily Hoesly|
|TT/STXC Podium (L/R) Kent McNiell, Greg Shimonek, yours truly, Brad Auen, Noah Marcus|
Photo: Emily Hoesly
|Alone at the front in the Cross Country|
Photo: Anne Savery
|XC Podium (L/R) Jeremiah Grell, Brad Auen, yours truely, Greg Shimonek, Jason Gaines|
Photo: Emily Hoesly