In the time since I've last written in this woefully neglected soapbox, I've had four second place finishes. Happy with that? Yes. Definitely. Satisfied? No... but if I have to lose to someone, I find it ok to lose to a gifted and amazing athlete like Lyne. (Did you know she has her own Wikipedia page? ) I will keep training hard and racing with all my heart and soul, and maybe one day I will catch you, Lyne!
I love the Farmington/Northampton race weekend. The Farmington sand pit is my favorite all season - I love ripping through it like surfing a wave of sand. It was there that I laid to rest the battle with Mo for second on Saturday. I had a moment of genius. It's rare, but I actually reacted on instinct, and made a good move. I knew I wanted to come out of the sand pit first, so I could lead into the pavement, since sprinting is a strength of mine. I attacked through the sand by accelerating into it. Mo took the left line, I entered just to her right and aimed at an angle through to exit at the right corner. I sliced through the sand like a shark fin through the choppy sea, and with this shorter line, I gained 2-3 bike lengths and a silver medal.
Sunday rocked. I love the Northampton course. Except the loose, 30% grade run up. That's awful. But the rest is super fun! When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was race BMX. I think I watched the movie "Rad" about a million times. But other than myself and the neighborhood kids hucking ourselves off homemade jumps on our KMart Huffys and pedaling through all the mud and puddles we could find in the woods, I was never able to realize my BMX dreams. But, there are moments in 'cross racing when I feel like I'm living my childhood dream! Maybe I was destined to someday find cyclocross.
I got the holeshot in all of 75 meters of pavement before the first gravel 90-degree turn on Sunday. It lasted until the grassy straight heading towards the sand when Lyne passed me, Mo in tow. I got on Mo's wheel. We got to the sand. We exited the sand. Lyne pulled away. I was overgeared exiting the sand (careless error, and one I did not repeat during the race) and lost precious moments. Moments that turned into seconds... slowly but fast, it feels like slow motion as I watch it happen every race, bye-bye Lyne. In the end, Mo and I rode a majority of the race together, attacking each other back and forth, each trying to make the other faulter. It was painful but so much fun.
The Kentucky USGPs did not go as I hoped. In retrospect, I was really tired. I did not perform up to my ability. I felt like I was pushing as hard as I could, but was going nowhere. I felt like I had a governor on my motor, and I couldn't get out of my own way, despite feeling like I was flooring it. My legs were trash. I left very disappointed, hoping to prove myself in the field of "big girls." I will get another chance in NJ next weekend.
Granogue, DE & Wissahickon, PA. More great races. Granogue has the most elevation change in any course all fall. Hard. I rode relatively well, clawing my way back to second after a less-than-stellar start. Great to see family and friends and fans there cheering me on! Wissahickon, 2nd place won in a sprint. Again, awesome to have more family and friends there cheering! My aunt and uncle came and saw their first cyclocross race and loved it!
And no worries, Honey, the title of this blog isn't directed toward you....
Thanks, Dave McElwaine, for use of your great pictures!