Tuesday, March 29, 2011

sometimes, you see something small and beautiful on the side of the road...

... and hours of winter base miles suddenly seem worth it.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

2010 redux.

Ed. note: When we last left our intrepid hero, it was the autumn of 2010, and she was procrastinating on her race reports. OOPS.

Soooo, um, yeah, about the rest of that 2010 'cross season...

Providence Cyclocross Festival (October 9-10) was a fun weekend. I literally growled when I passed one of my crossresults nemeses in the penultimate lap on Day 2--obviously, it was all in good fun and jest, because making animal noises at LTHR is awesome--but then she came from behind at the end and nipped me in the final sprint for 6th. D'oh. Still a great race, though.

I made my annual return to the MAC the following weekend (October 16-17) to race Granogue, and was really glad I did. The Granogue 'Cross organizers put on a fantastic race at a beautiful venue, and they've been doing it for a decade. The only thing that sucked was something that was completely my fault: I had my car keys in my jacket pocket, and dropped them on the course during warmup. OOPS. Fortunately, Richard Fries and a guy from the Cat 4 men's race found them for me, meaning that I was able to get into my car (and my clean skinsuit) prior to my race. I called it "The Miracle of 'Crossmas." As far as racing went, I just missed the podium both days, with 6th place, but was delighted with the results considering that I'd also started five rows back both days. And, when I wasn't racing I got to hang out with my out with my MAC friends Jess, Vinnie, Steve, Jen, and Ken. All in all, a great weekend.

Downeast Cyclocross (October 23-24) was the following weekend. I carpooled with David Wilcox, and when I showed up at his house to pick him up, I noticed a bag full of tools, including a hacksaw, sitting on the doorstep. I was worried that we were going to have a Misery of a weekend up in Maine, but it turned out that he just had to build his new bike. Whew. He and Brams took care of that, while Lodri and I set up a Thai food buffet on an ironing board in the hotel room. Good times...

... oh, and racing! My legs were DEEEEEEAAAAAAD that weekend, but Crossresults had five top tens on Day 1 and two wins on Day 2, so it was still all good.

Canton Cup took place on October 30. I love the course at Canton because it's sweepy and fast, but also has a lot of running sections where you get to take barriers or other obstacles at momentum. Because the course at Canton's so fast, not nailing its few barriers, obstacles and technical sections means crashing, losing your position, and likely never getting it back--I learned that twice the hard way during last year's race. This year, I arrived early enough to preride the long lap twice, and it made a huge difference. Also, at the start line, the officials told us we were doing three laps, so I quickly planned a rough race strategy (fight for position in the first turns of lap 1, stick with it in lap 2, gun it in lap 3) and stuck with it. I rode a perfect (for me) race, got second, and was PSYCHED. I won some armwarmers, some socks, and a sweet pint glass. (I accidentally broke the pint glass during the first week of the offseason.) For more on the race, see the previous post, which I wrote a few days after the race, but forgot to publish until now.

The next weekend (November 6-7), I traveled to NoHo for Cycle-smart International. I had a freaking fantastic race on Day 1, finishing at 5th (out of 75 starters) behind my friend and longtime nemesis Nancy Labbe-Giguere from LadiesFirst Racing. On Day 2, a traffic jam in the first turn of the race screwed things up a little bit, but I was still OK with 11th.

Plymouth 'Cross (November 13) was the next weekend. Given that I'd spent the previous evening imbibing at a skinsuit party (not kidding... it was AWESOME) at the abode of team captain Colin, I'm not sure how or why I thought the race might go well for me. It didn't.

I was sick as a dog for Lowell CX (November 21) but decided that it would be a good idea to race anyway. It wasn't.

One of my favorite races, Baystate/Sterling Cyclocross, was the next weekend (November 27-28). I was just getting over my cold, but the race was still fun (read: I was almost as competitive as I'd like to have been, but not quite). Also, my spare wheelset disappeared from the pit on Day 1, which was beyond stressful. Fortunately, they reappeared on Day 2.

Immediately after I got over the cold I'd had for Lowell and was getting over at Sterling, I acquired a new cold. STRAIGHT BALLER. I spent NBX GP of Cross (December 4-5) sniffling on my couch and watching Friday Night Lights.

Sometimes a little emo sniffling and rest pay off: by the time The Ice Weasels Cometh (December 11) rolled around, I felt fantastic--so fantastic that I was in 5th at one point, and about to get paid. Then I dropped a chain coming down the flyover, and got dropped by the group I was with. I managed to catch up to and pass Rachel, and get back 6th, though, so I was happy. Then we hung out and drank beer, and went over to Colin's house and drank more beer, so I continued to be happy.

New England Regional Championships (December 19) started really well. Then I crashed coming down the flyover the first time. BrittLee thought I was dead, but I wasn't (even though I'd endo-ed and hit my head). Unfortunately, the crash had left my stem at a 10' angle to my top tube. Not having a spare bike, and knowing the fix would take at least 30 seconds, I opted not to pit. This made cornering during the rest of the race difficult, but I managed to fight back for a couple spots.

When all of that was over, it was time for the offseason. Hooray!