The Joy of Finishing Last

This is going to be a combination race report and workout report, because it was a quite a day.  I had been looking forward to the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships all season because they are held less than a mile from house at Montrose Harbor.  That’s where I do most of my CX workouts, and I also bike and run past it almost everyday. Plus, the race has had snow the past couple of years, which always make things fun and a challenge.  This year was no different, but with an added twist. Temperatures were going to be in the teens.  Did I mention that this was going to be fun?

I got a chance to preride some of the course the day before and had fun in the snow.  It wasn’t as cold as Sunday, but the wind was fierce.  Thankfully, the wind died down and the sun came out the morning of the race, but it was damn cold. I was happy not to have to get up super early and drive to a race, but I still drove to this one. Yeah, I know…it was less than a mile, but I needed someplace to stay warm. I had packed most of my stuff the night before and got to the start with plenty of time to spare.  Interestingly, as much as I had been looking foward to the race, I knew it was over before I got started. My mind wasn’t there and my legs didn’t want to get going. I decided to take a laid back attitude towards the race and just wanted to get one more in, so I could put in for an upgrade.

Not surprisingly, things got off to a fast pace because it was the state championships.  I hung out in back just getting a feel for the course and trying to get myself mentally into the race. Ha! I had no urge to risk anything or try and catch the guy in front of me.  I just wanted to enjoy the course, which was pretty cool. Turin and the Chicago Cross cup guys did a great job setting up the course. There was the oligatory ride up Cricket Hill, some tricky off camber sections, some short, slick run-ups, and a nasty section of sand.  I gave up trying to ride the sand and just ran it, even though I rode it just fine on Saturday and in all of my practices during the season at Montrose.  Oh, well.  There were a lot of crashses and I often stopped to let other riders (who were actually racing) through, so I wasn’t another obstacle for them to get around. I was a little disappointed not to have my head in the race, but I still wanted to finish so I could qualify for my Cat 3 upgrade.

IL State CX Championships – 6.3 miles

After my race, I still wanted to get out and watch some of the Cat 3 race.  I immediately got in my car to warm-up and drive home where I changed into my running gear.  Rose wasn’t home, so I figured she was out running too. Sure, enough I ran into her going the opposite way on the path.  After about 5 miles of running, I was getting cold and hungry and needed a break before my next workout session for the day.

Post CX Run – 5.6 miles

So, what did I have in store to finish off my 3+ hours of working out? A hard tempo ride of course! That’s right, I did a 1.5 hour tempo session on the Computrainer in the afternoon.  Let’s just say I was tired on Monday.  Still, a fun day even if I finished last!

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