I must say that today was interesting at the very least, with highs and lows in equal measure. I showed up with high hopes, but realistic expectations. I was on vacation last week in Albuquerque, NM, had some good rides and a good showing in their first series race, but Tuesday was all travel and the rest of the week has been one of little sleep (I'm still on Western time) and no time to ride what with the panic and anarchy of being out of work for six days (maybe now would be a good time to ask for that raise). Anyway, the warm-up / course familiarization was demoralizing with labored breathing, heavy legs and an unusually low heart rate, and it didn't get much better at the race start. I got a good start and was top five to the barriers, but I still have a long way to go with my running skills. I think I was probably out of the top 10 by the log run-up, and the hill was labored and slow. But I just kept it steady and by lap 3 things had turned around. Finally... My pedaling got smoother and I started passing some riders which gave me the motivation to keep pushing. Gerard caught up to me going into the final lap, but I was able to glue myself to his wheel, only losing it in the tight turns when I nearly washed my front wheel out. I could feel another racer close behind so I dug deep and hammered the rest of the way in.
This is season #2 for me in Cyclocross, and every race is a learning experience. I still watch with envy as the leaders leap the barriers with ease and lope up the steep run-ups, but it lets me know what I need to work on. I'm beginning to understand my strengths as well and am learning how to use them to my advantage. Best of all though - this is still the most fun I have ever had on two wheels. I am a lifelong 'Cross convert. There is still a long way to go in the series, and maybe I will have one of those magical days and reach the podium, but even if I don't, I already am planning on how to make myself stronger and faster for next year. Now if I could just solve that work/commute/family/yard/bills conundrum and ride full time!!
See you at Ft. Yargo!
Theron "Badger" Colucci, GTC RacingLawrenceville, GAtkcolucci@firstname.lastname@example.org