Nittany Lions Cyclo-Cross Day 2

Sunday morning came fast and furious after a night of bike cleaning, cyclo-cross kit washing and attempts at rehydration. I guess it was much hotter than we realized on Saturday – I had a wicked headache after the Saturday race that continued well into the evening…

Saturday night ended up being very chilled out – more salads and fruit from Wegman’s and some tasty pasta made at home. There was a Chopped marathon on so I kind of become glued to this for longer than is healthy…

Anyway, on to Sunday. We were up and out of the hotel in good time with lots of time to do some recon laps of Sunday’s race course. There were some small changes but nothing that was really a game-changer. Still very muddy with the big difference being that the mud run came right after the start and the course essentially ran in the opposite direction. Lots of time to relax before the race and I even had time to read a bit and momentarily lose a shoe… Marc was up first and I didn’t get to see any of his race since I raced next but he had another good day (although an early incident has left him with a black and blue finger).

I’ve written a race report over on the Race Reports page but in the event you don’t want to click over, here are the Coles Notes:
– lethargic start and first half lap
– got my head in the game and passed a whole lot of people to move up into 8th
– made a series of small mistakes that cost me time/space/distance and energy
– lost four spots
– fought back and finished in 10th
– my turning was much better with cleaner lines that allowed me to pedal and accelerate
– energy management (for the most part) was better – I used both chainrings this time and was aware of my cadence
– I was able to recover at times on the course
– running was not the best
– I should have changed my bike – Marc said I was likely putting out 60% power due to the mud in my cassette…
– I need to beat the mental hurdles I insert during the race – ignoring my breathing, ignoring the lap card that tells me I have to race for five laps, ignoring the feeling of having my shoes nearly sucked off

All in all, a good day on the bike.

Apart from the racing, the best thing about these weekends and the entire cyclo-cross season is connecting with our racing friends. It is amazing the bonds that are forged out there on the cyclo-cross course and over the season when we’re all slogging through mud, snow, ice and giving it our all. It was great to see so many friendly faces and to hear the cheers for “Go Canada” “Come on Ottawa” – this really is super.

After a pretty quick exit from the race course we were on the road by 4ish for the drive home. Thanks to some Starbucks coffee, a can of Mountain Dew and some filling eats at Cracker Barrel we made it home in decent time. We were welcomed by a very happy fat grey cat (Murphy our 17 year old kitten!) and I had a great package to open from Lolë. Can’t beat a package of new clothes after a weekend of racing – I tried on all of my clothes and I’m pretty excited to show off this fine line of Canadian clothing at the races and out and about – thanks Lolë for the support.

As for today? Well a recovery ride and some hot power yoga are on deck – for some reason my ribs and chest feel like they’ve gone ten rounds in the Taekwon-do ring – guess the running, the slogging and powering through the mud have woken up some under-used muscles!

Thanks for the words of support, the speedy vibes and the cheering – it really does make a difference! (Huge thanks to Marc – couldn’t do this without him!)

4 thoughts on “Nittany Lions Cyclo-Cross Day 2

  1. Sounds like you two had a great weekend of racing and catching up with friends. Say hi to Marc for me.
    I think I may be crazy but the worse the weather and conditions the happier I am about racing (cept cleaning up after part 😛 ) Maybe this is cause my motor is not the greatest but I think I hold my own in the skills department, plus I know everyone else hates the lousy weather 🙂
    Looks like you had a positive weekend and looking forward to some more race reports.

  2. Congratulations, Vicki! I have a feeling that even through two days with the ups and downs of racing you felt it was a whole lot better than lying in bed recovering from UC. You’re an inspiration… I did my first cross race, ever, on Saturday, and I think I’m a convert. It was so much fun! I actually did pretty well passing people, but I had trouble with my less than graceful remounts after the barriers (gotta work on those). I came in 9th, and I’ll be out racing again this Saturday. Glad to see you’re out doing what you love, again! -Kim

  3. Yay to both of us for an excellent weekend of racing. Certainly an auspicious start to the season, I would say. We need to keep reminding ourselves that we can do this, and negate the mental back-talk we both let ourselves get into.

    Can’t wait to see you both in just a few short weeks! Great job out there.

  4. Thanks for the great comments! Cathy you rocked it this weekend – two races in one day! Congrats Kim on doing your first race! Everyone has trouble with the barriers – I had some less than graceful remounts this past weekend! Paul, I don’t know if you would have liked this mud – made for tough going for the first race of the year! Looking forward to seeing you and Meagan out again this year (I’ll be out at Renfrew).

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