Well, this was a crazy week in many ways. I finally decided that I needed a break from structured training because I had no motivation whatsoever. I think the dark evenings and just life in general has taken its toll. I drank wine at night and read books and watched movies. No structured workouts from my coach until the week after Thanksgiving.
However, I was off work on Friday and the weather was GORGEOUS. Like, short sleeves in November. So I embarked on a solo MTB adventure. Nothing long or strenuous, just enjoying the outside.
Friday night Stephen and I had to prepare for a weekend of racing ahead of us. Saturday we traveled to New York for Supercross Cup. I opted not to race, as the women’s Cat 4 field started at 8:45AM. With a 2 hour drive, no thanks. I did bring my bike so I could ride the course for fun and get from point to point as I was a race Sherpa for Stephen. He was racing in the Elite Juniors field for the first time and they were on course was the 35+ men. Talk about going from a big fish in the small pond to being the little fish. There was a junior national champion in the field! Stephen did pretty well. He finished on the lead lap in that field and was 9th of 17 elite juniors. It was a pretty hilly course, so he was quite tired afterwards.
Then the rain and cold front came through. Sunday was temperatures in the low 40s with sustained winds of 15-20mph and gusts over 30mph, meaning real feel temperature around freezing. We loaded up the car to travel to West Chester (only one hour drive and later race starts, 12PM and 2PM).
I raced in my long sleeve skinsuit with a wool baselayer and embrocation on my legs instead of tights. Everyone thought I was nuts, but I always race best in the cold. Staging kinda sucked as we were standing shivering in the starting grid awaiting the whistle. I took off hard from the gun to try to warm up. This course does not really play to my strengths because there is a fair amount of climbing. However, I was feeling strong and actually ended up finishing 5th of 21 in my field. I didn’t even realize it because Elite and Masters women were also on the field at the same time. I was walking over to try to find results and heard them call my name for 5th. So I won $20, a bag of swag, and got to pose for a podium photo! But I had no phone or photographer handy so I will hopefully eventually get a copy from someone else! I did get one of me racing though…happened to catch a rare moment of sunshine. Looks warmer than it was!
Then I went into race sherpa mode and helped Stephen prepare for his race. He said his legs were still feeling a little tired from the prior day. I told him just to do his best. There were 2 guys that went off the front early and Stephen was hanging onto the back of a pack of 5 for the first two laps or so. Then some of the guys started fading and Stephen started making moves.
He sat in 4th for a while then passed third place and bridged up to the 2nd place rider. He passed him, but probably not authoritatively enough. That guy hung on his wheel and then unleashed an attack right before the finishing stretch. Stephen wasn’t ready for it and in the wrong gear but responded the best he could. He couldn’t defend 2nd but was very happy with 3rd place! He won $30! Our combined winnings probably covered gas money and one of the race entry fees, so not bad!
We have finally thawed out after driving home with seat heaters and car heater on high! Looking forward to a no racing weekend and some rest over Thanksgiving. Then three race weekends in December and Nationals in January.
Did your weather change dramatically through the week? Do you like racing or training in the cold or do you prefer warm/mild?
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