So contrary to my personal beliefs of push through the pain, I am going to be taking the next couple of days off. I have had some serious pain in my left hip for the past 2 months. It feels like I am pinching a nerve mixed with the tightest muscle knot you have ever seen. Some times the pain is so intense it takes me 5 minutes to go from seated to standing. The pain seems to be coming from my hip joint, deep in the butt area.
If anyone has any suggested stretches or plan of attack to get this thing under control please let me know. For now I am going to rest for the next couple of days. It helps that it will be raining with the chance of SNOW the next couple of days.
In other news; snow, SERIOUSLY!?! It’s November and I live in Alabama. This just doesn’t happen.
I have never raced at night. I am pretty sure it adds to the chances of me crashing by 50%.
The good news is that I won’t feel sac religious for taking a beer-up because it won’t be 10:30 on a Sunday morning.
Heckling is part of cross culture (whatever that is) here in the US and it should stay that way. Spectator engagement is what makes watching cross and racing cross so great. But as a heckler you gotta keep in mind that if you wouldn’t say it, throw it, or do it to a racer in the parking lot after the race then its not OK to yell it, throw it, or do it to a racer while they are racing.
Yesterday was my 3rd cross race of the season and the 4th of the series. Going into the race I made up my mind to “have a little a more fun” with the races. I have been finishing about middle of the pack in all the previous races and I knew that is where I would stand in this race. My plan was to still pedal my freaking brains out and grab every beer up I saw. Good plan right.
I got to Brookside early like I wanted to. I had heard via the internets that the course was a bit different. After registering and getting dressed I headed out to preride the course. All I can say is holy crap! You should always worry when the course designer was inspired by the Zonhoven Superprestige Race.
The product of this inspiration included a sketchy, loose downhill followed by a sandpit with a run-up in the middle of it. There were a total of 4 run-ups each lap for me. I am sure other guys could ride it but I race single speed and there was no grunting up those hills for me.
I had a semi decent start. Not bad and not good. I got stuck behind a couple slower riders and had to play a little bit of catch up at the beginning. After I got passed the section of endless run-ups on the first lap we entered the flatter, more technical section of the course. And then there she was, the beer-up fairy. Sticking to my plan I grabbed a cup and drank it down.
To my surprise the beer didn’t do any of the things I thought it would. I thought it would taste terrible, it was delicious. I thought it would make me want to puke, it didn’t. I feared it would make me much slower but for some reason I think I went faster. I continued to grab a beer every lap after. It seemed to numb some of the pain.
My performance was as I expected, 6th out of 10. But two bonuses; I didn’t get lapped and I beat the guy who normally finishes right ahead of me (even though I talked to the guy after the race and he said he was a bit dead legged that day). I live on to fight another day and to hopefully claw my way out of the middle of the pack.
I have to say I am much happier with my performance in this race than the first. Let’s hope the trend continues.
I got to the race nice and early so I had ample time to preview the course and get this diesel engine running. In my past experience with time trials I have found that I need to warm up for almost as long as I am actually racing.
I lined up a little in the back, but from how I raced last week I felt like it was nessecary. My start was loads better than the last time. I managed to work myself in with the guys I wanted to pace off of right off the back. I think the run up 100 or so yards after the start might have aided in this.
I stayed strong for most of the race, keeping to the lines I planned from pre-riding the course. Everything was going really well until about 3/4 the way through the race. I started making poor decisions and my bike handling skills went out the window. I ended up going over the bars on a technical downhill which slowed me up for a bit.
On my second to last lap I pulled back a little bit in order to save some of my energy to kick it on the last lap. During this lap I was lapped by one of the 35 masters, who killed it last race as well. Unknown at the time went from 2 laps to my last lap. Within 150 yards to the finish I got caught by one of the guys I was really wanting to finish ahead of. I hopped on his wheel until he jumped when the finish was insight. Looking back, he knew he was finishing and I did not. I figured I would catch back up on the run up.
I finished with more in the tank than I wanted but that was my fault for not knowing the rules. I know now though. If I get lapped again like that I am just going to try and hang on to the guy’s wheel for dear life.
I had a blast and was able to hang around to watch the other races. There are some pretty fast dudes out there. They were very impressive.