Sunday, May 31, 2009

race report: Cyclonauts Racers Criterium, 23. May 2009

The Thursday night before my birthday, I ran into my fellow racer and CrossResults nemesis Natalia at a party. We talked about upcoming races and concluded that we were both on the fence about whether to do the Cyclonauts Racers Criterium that weekend.

Friday I e-mailed Natalia asking if she had decided, as I was still on the fence. She said, "Yes. Let's go!"

Saturday morning at 6 a.m. we loaded up my car, left sunny Somerville, and drove southwest toward the thunderheads hovering over the Stafford Springs Speedway. It was still spitting rain when we arrived, but cleared up after we registered and picked up our numbers. We set our trainers up by my car, opened the hatch, and warmed up while blasting The Pixies' Trompe Le Monde.

* * *

As we lined up at the start, I muttered to the people next to me that my birthday was the following day, and that my birthday wish was for everyone to stay upright. "Awwww!" said a fellow racer. Given the way things have been this spring, she knew I wasn't kidding. About 3/4 of the course followed the speedway; the remaining quarter was a chicane that cut across one of the pit strips on the inside of the track. Heading into the chicane shortly after the start was a bit awkward, but it also saved my ass, as I was having trouble clipping in.

After that, though, things went pretty well.

Let me backtrack a bit: the first couple months of my season were a bit awkward. I was in okay shape, but mentally... ugh. Finally, after a lackluster day at Sterling, when I was drinking a much-needed Mark & Stormy and moaning about how I was not looking forward to Sunapee, my friend Ken told me, "You know, if 'cross is your focus, you don't really need to worry about those long road races if you don't want to. Road riding, crits, mountain bike racing, and time trials will keep you in shape."


Cyclonauts was great: some of the bike handling in that race was sketchy as hell, but my head somehow snapped back in the game, and I spent the race reacting--exactly the mental and physical training I need for 'cross. If I felt myself falling off, I told myself how to catch back on, and immediately did it. If I saw another rider become sketchy and a potential obstacle, I worked on moving away. For forty laps, I stopped thinking about anything other than being on that broken oval, and it was exhilarating. With a few to go, Diane barked at Julie Lockhart, "Julie, this is your last lap!" and Julie barked back, "You betcha!" Something about that orderly exchange made me deliriously happy to be racing road again. I wasn't able to get my shit together to set up a sprint, but I didn't DFL either, and I crossed the line feeling better than I had in weeks.

Then I went home and cleaned my house.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

race report: Sterling Road Race, 9. May 2009

I had a terrible race individually, but we got two teammates into the top ten despite half the peloton crashing. That about sums it up!

I came home with my tail between my legs, then went out to a bar and revamped my training plan with a little help from my friends. To be continued...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Embro Bingo: The Saga Continues

me: haha I keep getting hits on the embro bingo page
Lodrina: Yea I mighta sent that to coworkers
me: SNORT oh no
Lodrina: Well one of them sent out the hipster bingo thing
Lodrina: and was like
Lodrina: "when are we hanging out and doing this?"
Lodrina: and I was like
Lodrina: "yo.. that is sooo last week"
me: YES
me: we win scene points
me: they lose scene points
me: we are their scene nemeses
me: on

Sunday, May 3, 2009

overheard post-bike race, 3. May 2009:

"Yay! The weekend is over! Now I can relax."