Monday, October 20, 2014

Return to Cross

The past weekend brought an end to my three-week break from cyclocross and provided further evidence that taking more than one weekend off from racing in a row is pretty much a terrible idea. Of course, the fact that, with the exception of a couple of good but moderate-effort weekend rides, we became pretty darn lazy over the break did not help at all. We did, however, finish watching the last couple of seasons of The Wire.

So I knew that returning to racing this weekend would be tough. I actually got pretty stressed out about the fact that we were coming back to a double weekend that required us to be away from home on Saturday night. With the laziness, my parents coming to visit, etc. I’d really let myself slip into some bad habits of eating crappy food, drinking too much beer, and not getting enough sleep. Basically, I’ve been feeling pretty terrible lately, and I panicked a bit when I realized that my circumstances would not be very conducive to feeling better until we returned from Louisville after SSCXWC.

I guess the good news is that, despite my anxiety, I was able to move forward with the races and the overnight trip and still have a pretty good time. I basically just told Frank before left that I was having a hard time and was anxious about the weekend so that he would be aware, but I left it at that, because any further explanation would have just been useless complaining. As expected, I ate and drank things that made me feel better at the time and worse the next day, and a night of sleeping on an air mattress didn’t do my physical condition any good, but I got spend time with some cool people and see a “real” haunted house for the first time. So I’m proud of myself that I’m not letting feeling crappy make me fall apart and miss out on life the way it used to, but I’m still disappointed that I’m regularly turning to food when I need an emotional pick-up when a year ago I was fully convinced that I’d kicked my eating disorder for good.

 Anyway, the races went about the way one would expect based on the information above. Saturday’s Star Rock Cross race seemed to bring out only the strongest of the PACX Women’s 3/4 field, plus little old me. predicted me to finish solidly in last place, and when my body started screaming at me halfway through the first lap, I didn’t do much to argue with it. I had to scale back and soft pedal for a bit before I started to ramp my pace back up for the last three laps. This at least allowed to have a decent racing experience while I worked to catch and repass the two 45+ women that got in front of me during my blow-up.

Sunday’s West Chester Cross Classic was even more of a day just to be survived. I was completely unmotivated to engage in any sort of battle out on the course. I simply wanted to get through the race knowing that doing so would make the next one a tiny bit easier. I guess that is the one upside of not having a lot of people who know me at PACX races; when I don’t feel like trying, at least I can just not try in peace without anyone yelling at me about it. 

One sort of funny thing that happened was during the first lap I had passed the girl in front of me and was seemingly starting to close a gap up to the main field that I’d let open at the beginning. Then the girl came around me and said, “Let’s go get that group!” Ha, she definitely doesn’t know much about how to motivate me. By coming around and *telling* me that I needed to go faster, she pretty much ensured that I would not, but if she’d stayed on my wheel I would have buried myself trying to shake her and maybe even actually made it up to the group in the process. At least Frank has figured out that the best way to make me go faster to is to get behind me instead of trying to pull me along.

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