I sure can't complain about this past weekend. (But I will complain about my health!) All logic pointed to rest; after two rounds of antibiotics, I still have a massive post-nasal drip, chest congestion which causes me to wheeze and cough all night, and a general fatigue. But I LOVE the Chainbiter and CycleSmart races, and I was feeling so pent-up I just couldn't resist.
So I arrived at Farmington without really having ridden since the race in Ludwig's corner, PA. I tried a workout 2 Wednesdays ago, but just felt like crap and got sicker afterwards. I was a little bit worried about racing, but I had similar situation going into Gloucester and decided just to go have some fun and try to hack the rest of the phlem out of my lungs. I had a good start. Amy and I hit the curb first, and she performed a pretty spectacular endo, allowing me to continue on out front. Mackenzie passed me going into the first sand section, which I completely expected. What I didn't expect was to see Amy on my wheel at the end of the first lap! What a come back! I just didn't have the extra juice to catch them; I almost caught on several times, especially up the hill, coming within just a few seconds, but I just couldn't make it. It was torture to see them right there, 5-11 seconds ahead for almost the entire race, but my legs felt totally flat and I just couldn't push that extra. I will not complain about my first Verge podium ever. :)
Sunday the legs were tired and the lungs were wheezy, but I was psyched to race! Mackenzie went out hard as always. I didn't want to be out in the wind too early so I stayed 4th wheel at the start, but moved up before the sand. I felt like I was closing on Mackenzie in the second lap and in my excitement went into the barriers a little hotter than I thought... I think my front wheel didn't clear the first barrier, whipping me off balance and sending me headplanting into the second barrier. I cracked my helmet and bashed my right shifter. Cyclocrossworld's race report said I "cartwheeled," and I appreciate the graceful assumption, but I can assure you it was nowhere near that nice. I managed to get up as fast as possible and assess the damage to the bike. By some luck, Ward had run over to this section of the course to cheer me on and saw the whole thing. He came running over thinking I had surely broken bones, so I could yell "PIT!!" to him when I saw my shifter. It was bent in making my rear brake and shifter almost completely inaccessible. I couldn't afford to try and bend it back stading there, I had just been passed and had fallen to 4th place with 5th coming up fast. He B-lined for the pit, grabbing Matt to help. I rode in the drops to the pit with my helmet flopping on my head. I wouldn't feel my neck and back aching until much later.... I grabbed my heavier-than-hell Voodoo and went after Amy and Betsy. After catching them, I rode past, knowing I would pit again to get my lighter Stevens bike back the next time through. I got passed again when I took the Stevens back, but when I hit the road section the next time, attacked as if it were a crit, wishing I could make it up to Mackenzie for the last lap. I rode clean and fast the rest of the race. I wish there was one more lap!! But I am very happy to have finished second place, and only 16 seconds back- not too far considering my crash and two bike exchanges. Thanks so much, Matt for helping out in the pit!! And best wishes to Mandy, who raced and still made top 10 with the FLU!!
So next weekend... I really want to do the mid-Atlantic races... but that PA race near Harrisburg is sooooo far....
So, check this out! What a lovely afternoon for a cyclocross race! I mean... a nap. I got a little nervous.... I couldn't believe this sight. These people didn't move for a LONG time. It was frightening - they looked dead. Guess cyclocross isn't as exciting to everyone!