After three months of trying to think of witty ways to say that I had a bad race, my first year of surviving the elite women's wave of OVCX/ICX has come to a close. The only thing left now is to think of a witty way to say that I had a good race, and frankly, I'm at a loss there, too.
So that's that. On the day that I more or less showed up to cheer on friends/teammates and also just to not be a quitter, the mud gods smiled upon me. Considering that I came to the starting line already planning my hand-up taking strategy and didn't turn down the (big) swig of peppermint mocha Kahlua something-or-other that was offered to me in the staging area (tasty), that was quite an accomplishment.
When the whistle blew and we poured into the rutted field where I had also shown brightly a few weeks ago, I found myself not falling off the back per usual. Even when gaps would open, they would close at the next turn, and I came to the first muddy run-up in a very respectable position. I picked off a couple of girls on foot and and continued to make up ground on the hill section, which was much longer and more technical than it had been at the ICX race. I fought hard throughout the race, and although I lost a couple of places that I had caught early in the race, I still managed good-for-me 22nd out of 27. That is soooooo not last place. I even managed to beat a girl who I've never beaten ever before and a couple of last year's "victims" that have been getting the better of me all season.
So that's a wrap. I definitely learned some hard lessons this season, but now I'm feeling more motivated than ever. I sort of feel like I had to just go ahead and fail this year to get it out of the way. Now there's no more fear, only new business to be taken care of. So after I have had a few days to let the CX buzz (hangover) wear off, I'm going to take my annual Christmas trip to Oklahoma and come back ready for a brilliant new year. See you on the other side!