Monday, October 27, 2014


DCCX is a fun course and a fun atmosphere, though it never ends up being as close-by as it feels it should be. It was a great morning out there but the race itself was a disappointment for me. I had a good starting position but everyone flew right by in the first stretch and I felt like I was gutting it out the whole time.

I had a few moments that felt good, caught a few of my fellow stragglers and had a crew that happened to be there from Team Z cheering for me as I ran up the big stairs, but mostly I felt pretty slow and my left foot hurt whenever I dismounted (4 times per lap for 2 sets of barriers, the big stairs, and the zig zag on the hillside, which was too dusty for me to be able to clean this year).

Turns out I couldn't walk by Monday morning because that left foot had a 4th toe that was infected. It's good to have an excuse or at least a reason. So I ended up taking the whole week off - I barely even walked, didn't ride to work, didn't walk the kids to school until Wednesday or Thursday. Friday I played some tennis and felt pretty sprightly. I even looked into racing, but the cross race was way out in Harrisonburg, which I didn't want to go out to.

We took the kids hiking in the Shenandoah instead, which was great, and now I am reminded that sometimes you have to take some time off. I am wondering if the toe was just the body forcing me to take a few days. Either way, back to racing next week.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hyattsville CX

A beautiful day for cross last Sunday at Hyattsville. I am fairly sure this flat course the zigs and zags across grass the baseball infields doesn't suit my strengths very much, as I am tentative on tight turns, am trying to learn to pass more confidently, and seem to do best on the somewhat technical bits, very few of which exist at this course.

In the end it was a fairly good day. My start was average though on the first set of tight turns the woman right in front of me somehow managed to wipe out and block my whole route through. I kind of wanted to try to ride over her back wheel, but was, honestly, probably going to slowly to pull it off. This might be the first indicator that my attitude to cross racing is changing a bit. The other indicator is that on the turns I was actively thinking about what lines I might take to keep people from passing me. This is not the triathlon way, but my Cross friends seemed to view it as progress.

Anyway, I managed to pass a few people and a few people passed me. There is one short technical section on the course, just up a hill, over a log, and down a gravelly slope. Everything I did to improve my position in the race pretty much happened in that tiny woody section, as I was riding the log and didn't mind hitting the downhill fastish. Which brings us up toward the end of the race.

We had 5 laps on the board, but after last week I was almost certain that I would get pulled again after 4 so I raced it like my last lap. There was a woman that I was going back and forth with through laps 3 and 4. She passed me on the barriers and I would pass her on or right after the hill. She tried to pass me on the barriers near the end of lap 4, but I managed to hold her off and leave her 20 yards behind or so...as we started lap 5, since we didn't get pulled.

I guess that's your prize for racing the penultimate lap like the last one.

Soon after we went by the judges I noticed that they had opened the course for warm ups right behind us. We were the last 2 on the course and I felt like I had a good chance of holding her off. Zig zag zig zag and then into the hill. Up and down and out onto the grass where I skidded a bit ont he first corner. Am I getting too confident and taking the corner too sharp? Again on the next corner. Flat! Arggh! The woods were my savior, but then they took it away as well.

But then again, as long as I finished I could only lose one position, so it was time to run. Not a fun run, but 12/28 I will take.