Monday, November 21, 2011

Shawnee Family RadCross

Yesterday was a mixed bag.  I didn't have high hopes for yesterday, but wanted to establish some sort of baseline to which I could improve upon for Boss Cross #4 and then, ultimately, the State Championships on Dec. 11.  I really wanted to give it everything I got, because Britton has implored upon me that if you aren't near death at the finish line, you left something out there.  I wanted to cross the line feeling near death, if nothing else.

It's tough to say what goes through my mind during a race.  The pain hurts.  Of course.  But other than that, I think it's the realization that my training is pretty bad.  I take too much time off and that negates nearly everything I do.  I definitely need to be more consistent going forward.  I think I've said that before.  So anyway, on to the race.

Lap 1 scrum through the sand.
The course was set up perfectly for me.  Lots of turns you can carry with speed, minimal climbing, and a good power course.  At 186 pounds, I don't need any extended climbs, that's for sure.  Before the race started, I'd been having a hell of a time getting my right foot clipped in, and my left foot wasn't that great either.  Stupid rookie mistake.  Check your equipment before the race.  So I needed cleat shims, but of course, who carries spares with them?  I wadded up some of the wrapper off of my gu shot, and then put it between the shoe and cleat, hoping it would raise the cleat enough I could cleanly engage.  Well, that didn't work.  It was better, but no where near where you would want it for a race.  But, I was going to race regardless.

Lots of sand.  The fast guys rode this, which was impressive.
I lined up what I thought was 2nd row, but ended up being third row.  I really love it when asses come to the line late, come through the front row, and just turn around making a 2nd row.  Douchebags, if you want a good spot, get there earlier.  That ticks me off, but I'm a pacifist enough not to say anything.  Plus, it's not like we're racing for big money here.  So the official blows the whistle, and we're off.  Bam.  I get around a few people, and am about 10th in a group of 40.  Not bad.  I just need to hang with the fast guys for a lap or two, and then I can probably hang in there for a top half finish.  I knew I had no base training at all, so wasn't expecting to go set some course records.  My cleat came to haunt me again and again.  I'd be JRA (just racing along, in this context), and bam, my foot would go flying off the pedal.  I'm glad I didn't sink one of my eggbeaters into my shin.  There aren't many things that are as painful as that.
Charlie Bartel and me on lap 1

Slowly but surely, I start getting passed.  I keep having issues, and I'm going redline fast.  I keep pushing though.  My legs hurt, and lungs hurt, I'm having fun but suffering terribly.  I notice that some of singlespeed guys start passing me.  They started 15 seconds behind my class, but there are some fast dudes in there.  I tried to jump on some wheels, but my legs fail me.  My mind is definitely faster than my body.

We were supposed to get 9 laps in, and I had about 2 laps to go when I burped my rear tubeless tire.  I knew it immediately, because my rear end was slithering all over this off-camber turn.  In hindsight, I probably should have ran a few more psi to keep that from happening.  I really need to pull the tire off, pull of the Stan's rim seal, build up the rim with some Velox, then reapply the Stan's.  That'll help keep the tire bead from sliding away from the rim hook, letting the air escape.

So I had about 5 psi in my rear tire, my cleats weren't working, and it was close to the end.  I decided to throw my first DNF.  Ug.  I hate to see that, but somehow, I still came away pretty happy.  I learned a few things, and still accomplished what I had hoped to do.  I just didn't finish.

JPeck and I looking into the future
I have two weeks to get some more training in, and to get my mechanical issues sorted out.  I didn't even come in the house before I was at my work bench fixing my cleat issue.  I think I got it sorted out, I just need to double check it in the next day or so.  My legs are tired today, so I know I got a good workout.  I am excited for the next race on Dec 4th, and hope to do well (at least better) there.

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