This weekend was interesting in that it marked the end of the 2011 season and the beginning of 2012, with little space in between. Now I'm enjoying a paid holiday and reflecting on some of the things involved in crossing over to the new year.
The irony of my recent promise to myself that I would not make myself show up at any races that I did not really want to do in 2012 (not really a resolution, but kinda) was that I ended 2011 with one more last race when I'd already declared myself done. The problem was that when I made that declaration, I thought done meant done. Wash the bike, put it away, no more 'cross except for maybe watching Adam at Masters Worlds. However, Adam wanted to race the ICX finale as a tune-up for worlds, and I didn't have the option of staying home. The Rodkey Ford Focus Express was leaving Saturday morning and not returning until Sunday afternoon after the belated Christmas celebration with Adam's family was complete. Staying home from the race was not an option, and I really don't like to be at a race and not participate. Plus, several people seemed concerned about my missing out on my ICX third place t-shirt if I didn't show up. I hoped that my two weeks of not riding or lifting might give me some sort of magic rested legs, but really I was just kind of weak and in shock of the hard effort. Meh, nothing ventured, nothing gained. At least I got my t-shirt and a couple more muddy tongue pictures for the season.
I also ended a relationship on Saturday. Even though I hadn't ridden my Anthem very much the last two seasons, I hadn't been really trying to sell it, just in case I ever had the sudden need for a full-suspension bike. However, the one time I rode it this year was on a day that I thought I might need a full-suspension bike (the Rangeline Rampage), and that ended pretty badly. So without really advertising, I'd found a few potential buyers in the last few weeks, and on Saturday, nine-year-old Will Johnson (if you race around here, you know the badass little kid in the DRT kit) become the proud owner of a new-to-him, slightly too big bike with pink cable housing. I have a feeling he will do it more justice than I ever did.
I used some of the proceeds to buy myself a new helmet, since the old one just concluded its third season. I figured I should wait until the mud-slinging was over so that the new one would get to stay clean for a while. I actually went to Bikesmith's to buy it, rather than just leaving a blank check on the desk at home like I do for most of my cycling purchases, and the salesman (my husband) tried to upsell me with a pair of Giro socks that perfectly matched the helmet, which perfectly matched my new road bike. Too bad my Speedway Wheelmen kit doesn't really match any of it.
I've also already entered my first race of 2012. I missed the Sub-9 Death March in 2011, because I was still only partially rehabbed from my surgery, but several friends did it and came back with rave reviews. Since it is so close and is Indiana's answer to spring endurance racing, my new Speedway Wheelmen teammate Val and I will be throwing our sparkly new helmets in the ring for the women's team competition. Given I haven't been able to stay on her wheel all 'cross season, but I have ten weeks to train, and maybe I can keep up when she's not actually *trying* to drop me.
Finally, I'm ending the abuse that I've been heaping on my body the last couple of months and starting the new year off right by starting a Whole 30 eating plan for the month. I had to delay the start by a day due to yesterday's holiday celebrations (stayed grain and dessert free but not 100% paleo), but since January is 31 days long, it will work out perfectly with the end of the month. I've been hesitant to try this in the past, because I'm really attached to butter, but since clarified butter is now allowed, I think I will make it through using home-clarified butter from The Swiss Connection in situations that really, really require butter. Also, since my horribly broken out skin the last month or so is an indication that my Gut-Brain-Skin axis is kind of pissed off at me, I'm also going to be avoiding nightshades and eggs and going heavy on the sauerkraut, bone broth, and cod liver oil. Hopefully, by the end of January I can look and feel as awesome as I did at the beginning of the season when I my diet was a lot cleaner.