There is nothing quite like racing in Gloucester. This is where I was well and truely bitten by the cyclocross bug years ago and it was a real treat to be part of the action again. Saturday was my first time racing here in Gloucester in three years.
So the day and the race… Marc was up first at noon so we got to the venue with plenty of time for him to pre-ride and catch up with long-time cyclocross friends. When we pre-rode the course was rather soggy and greasy. I had the course sorted out and felt good about things. Marc’s race went off and I found a good spot to watch and cheer (even took some photos!). Marc has some rotten luck with being ridden into a stake and then being crashed – not the way you want to start your first lap. But he kept on digging and did his thing – I’m very proud of him for this.
My race went off at 2:30 so onto the trainer at at 1:30 and time to get warmed up and ready to go. Solid warm-up and off to the staging area to gt penned in and called up. I was called up 17th so the third row – not bad considering the stacked field we had today. In total 46 women lined up to race – pretty darn good. I won’t rehash the entire race but give you some fo the wouldas, couldas, shouldas, and dids:
– did have a good start
– should of kept being aggressive and ended up going backwards once we hit the hill
– did lose many spots
– could of been more aggressive in the corners and stuck my elbows out
– did make some smart decision like getting off early in the twisty bits to run
– should have been more agressive on my run
– did accelerate well out of corners
– should have and could have pushed it harder that first lap
– should have done another pre-race lap – conditions had changed with the ground firming and drying up and I couldn’t remember the course
– did get stronger and smarter as the race went on
– did listen to Marc when he yelled at me to sprint, shift down and to take different lines
– did make a series of small mistakes that cost me: getting off a step too early on the stairs, going wide when I should have gone tight, looking down instead of ahead
– would have been nice if I hadn’t crashed on the run-up – don’t knwo what happened but as I was dismounting I suddenly found myself crashed landing with both my knees on a massive rock
– did stay positive
– did not loose focuse or check-out
– did keep focusing on the fixing the small things
– did continue to accelerate and sprint out of corners
So, the outcome was not great. (In fact I don’t know where I finished.) But the riding was okay. I got smarter and better as the race went on. I got faster as the race went on. I made a series of small mistakes that accumulated into bigger mistakes. My number one error that cost me was not pre-riding after Marc’s race so I could see how the course had changed – my first lap was a real disaster.
At no point in this race did the negative self-talk show up. I just kept on digging and focusing on the next section. This is a big win for me. Even though I really wasn’t wanted to be I kept on plugging away. It is hard to be racing in a spot you don’t want to be in – but for everyone but the leader this is the case…
All in all, it was a good day at Gloucester. I rode techically better than I would have a year ago. I kept my head on. In fact I would have liked another lap! I was cooked at the end and really put myself in the red zone.
Many thanks to Marc for all his help – cleaning the bikes, tuning them up, cheering me on, giving me pointers through-out the race, and for being so positive afterwards. Big shout out to Alex and Heidi for the pit work for both my race and Marc’s. Many many thanks to Mike and Cathy Rowell for opening their home to us this weekend – so awesome to stay with friends and to not be in a hotel. Thanks to Mike, Cathy, Steve, Josee, Conor, Evan and all the others who cheered me on – this helps so much during a race. Awesome to talk to Tom and David today – haven’t seen them in forever.
Yes, so you can guess that this has been a really good weekend. The racing was fun and challenging, we get to hang out with cool people, and best of all – it’s Gloucester.
Stoked to do it all over again today. I really want to have a smarter and more skilled ride than I did on Saturday. Often I’m not excited for the second day but today I’m ready to go. See you out there.
Oh, and last but not least – Happy Birthday to my dad! Have a great day dad – thanks for the amazing support and cheering from afar.