So THE Weekend has arrived, and I have to primo race events this weekend. Once again, I'm not nearly as prepared as I had hoped, but we'll throw what I have against the wall and hopefully beat a good chunk of people. I am interested to see how the legs will recover/respond on Sunday. They probably will feel pretty good, until I have to start digging deep, which is about 3 seconds after the start whistle. Should be a fun day.
But at the end of the day, I'm racing. I'm upright, healthy, and throwing it down. I can complain (obviously) about not having enough saddle time/sleep/good nutrition (pizza tonight), but the more I race, the more I realize it isn't a fitness contest, especially in cross.
Sure, there will always be hammerheads I can't keep up with because they are pushing 6.0watts/kg in a Cat4 race, and I'm pushing about 2.2watts/kg. But I can certainly keep that gap tight by doing a few things...
1) Start better. Make people pass you.
2) Stay off the damned brakes. Frickin' roadies are always lockin' em up every corner, so stay away from them. You can't be fastest if you are perpetually slowing down.
3) Rail the corners, trust the tires. If you are going to crash in any cycling discipline, cross is it. I've crashed twice hard this year, and the worst that happened was a partially rolled tubie and a elbow missing some skin.
4) Dig deeper, hurt fiercer, and make people work. When you are hurting, they are hurting. Hit them then, and will your place in the race.
5) Find more meat shields, especially on Saturday. 15mph out of the North, 35 degrees. Sunday should be better, 7mph out of the north, 31 degrees. Time to bust out the embro! Or leg warmers. Hmmm...
Have a great weekend, and keep me in your thoughts as I embrace my Cat4-ness around Riverside, MO and Topeka KS.