Monday, November 29, 2010
Bamacross State Championships - Avondale Park
The honor of "Hardest 30 Minutes of My Four Day Weekend," was a hard fought battle with the Bamacross State Champ race squaring off against digging around in Christmas decorations, hanging close to 20 pictures agonizingly straight in the house, rotating the tires on my car in way too little time before Thanksgiving dinner.
I know exactly what to do (I think) as training for cross races. Run a couple times a week, preferably up hills. Short, high power sprints would be good practice. Combining these two and running fast WITH the bike would be super. Knowing and doing are two different creatures, of course. I knew...didn't do. I did well at Sloss Cross so why mess with something that ain't broke all of a sudden? So, after convincing myself cross training was unimportant I gladly lent Eric my cross bike to use as a commuter for the last couple weeks. I got the bike back the night before the Avondale Park race and deemed myself well (enough) prepared. I mean, really, I have pumpkin bread for energy food...guaranteed success.
I have done the Avondale race before and most of what I remember is a looooong flat section and a ridiculous steep run up some old stairs. Great fun until your lungs are trying to make an early escape from your chest. We watched the women and old dudes put on their pain faces for a bit then I did a quick preride with Alan before the race to practice my runups. Still dismal. Alan gapped me by about 20 seconds on the big staircase and I was busting it to get up them. Oh well, race time!
I was lined up maybe fifteen people back. Starting up front is a huge advantage in these races. From the start I was probably top ten or fifteen the first lap and noticed Alan out front where he would stay for the rest of the race. I was getting burned on the flat sections, but I picked my knife with one gear to bring to this race, so that's life. Hoofed it up the run up and realized and "hoofing" would result in me not being able to pedal hard the next minute or so. Not a good trade so my new strategy was to soft hoof it up the stairs and save my power for the bike. This was working well and I was able to move up through the field the next two laps. Pretty sure I made all my passes on the technical backside of the course and eventually found myself about ten seconds behind Alan. Just. Couldn't. Catch him. He got the win and deserved it, great payback for the hard work he has done for this season. I was able to hold onto my second place to make the top two steps of the Men's 4 race a Bici Coop affair with Chad in the third spot.
Congrats to the Porter guys on some strong racing and also Lee and Riley (5th place!) holding it down in the 1/2/3s. Bummed that I have to work next weekend but had a great time at this one and at Parkside Cafe afterwards. Thanks to Brent for keeping this whole deal rolling.
I feel I am at a juncture after this race. Rules are to cat up after three top threes and I have two. I will not have a third since I will miss the next race but feel it is time to move up. Not sure if I want to bother with this. Moving up will mean: Getting a real cross bike ($$$$) and training for cross races(nope, focus is on the MTB ultras).... I don't want to do either one. This is really just end of season blather and I will probably just go Do The Right Thing and get my ass handed to me in 1/2/3s. My character could use some building next year, anyway. See you guys then.