Wednesday, October 1, 2008

month and a half.....


top pic is my cousin audrey with brynn at de stadd cx race #1 and below is brynn looking extremely bored. obviously she wasnt impressed with the 4th place. she doesnt consider 4th and 5th to be true podium results.
man......

life can really interfere with a persons' best laid plans. its been a month and a half since last update. at that time i believe the thing most on my mind was cyclocross season being just around the corner. i tend to get a little OCD with my 'athletic and toy' endeavors. this can tend to strain even the best of relationships. my wife and i included.

thru some long and 'loud' discussions and some heated debates......some depression like feelings......even some deep thoughts of things considered to be important. well..............its been a long few weeks.

happy to say, those heated arguments....err....discussions , turned to talks(civil) and some things were made clear, and hell we even agreed on some things.

as the clouds began to lift and the sun poked thru in my life, i think i have begun to realize i can strike a balance between what keeps me happy and sane without making my wife feel less important than my bike.

i hope she knows that her and the kid are first and foremost and the bike and all of its trappings are the glue that is me......however......the bike, racing, well its third, maybe second depending on what kind of day i had at work.

i know i can keep the bikeracing and training OCD thing from being too obtrusive on the wife and our happiness together cuz she does accept the fact that it is a part of who i am.


anyway....1st cross race de stad series race #1 DiamondBlackfan is in the books.

new venue was used. the Sar-ko-par trails park in lenexa, ks was the locale for this last weekend cross race. lets just say it was a great opening event to the cx season. Chris Locke and company put on his best event yet. a great venue for racing and spectators alike. weather was perfect if not a few degrees too warm(85ish). the races later in the day really had tough and the heat played a factor as to the atrition invloved with the guys racing.


i decided to do the 3/4's race. actually didnt give any thought to doing anything else really. no desire to race for an hour with the 1/2/3's. but guys at registration were of course asking about it. still dont consider myself that caliber, dont even think i am midpack material with the big boys. but a teammate, brendan jenks raced 1/2/3 race and did ok, and i have beat him more than he has beat me in the past......so i dont know.....should i or not??? so i just suck it up or what?? oh well, we'll see.....


so 46 guys lined up for the 3/4's at 10:30. i was at the line about 10 minutes before the start which allowed me a front row spot. the start sets the tone in cx and can make your life tougher or easier depending on how that start goes. with the whistle, we were off. 4 season into racing cx, i am no longer paranoid enough to push for the 'hole shot', but i do battle for those first 4 or 5 wheels. depending on who is up front jockeying for position. sudays start was routine, noone got tangled up and i liked who jumped up to the front to push the opening minutes tempo. alex edwards, mike palitto, chris wallace, myself and graham aldridge were the initial front selection. at least those are the guys that i noticed around me. i am totally cluless to what is going on behind me. i just want to know who is near and in front of me. this was particularly important on this coures to the technical aspect of the set-up of the course. lots of switchbzcks and high-speed tech turns. even before the first hard left i knew i neede to get in front of alex and chris. no offense to these guys, they will kill me on the road, but in cx or the mountainbike, they are just going to slow me down thru turns like we were racing on. hell, i think chris laid his bike down 4 times in the first 3 laps, but hte kid kept his cool and eventually raced past everbody but the eventual winner, graham aldridge. 17 and rubber legs, chris finished very well later in the day in the 1/2/3/ race. he is a stud!! i rode a clean, almost flawless race until the last lap. frank jachovich had been stalking me and reeling in most of the second half of the race. when he did catch me with 2 to go, i didnt panic and just kept him close. again, i felt i would be aster in the technical turns. and there were plenty of those to male a move on him on the last lap. with 2 to go, it was graham, followed by a surging chris wallace about 15 seconds back, with frank and me another 15 or so back of chris. with the ringing of the bell for the last lap, i made a point to keep frank close. i really didnt want this guy to beat me, not on this kind of course. this was my kind of course, i should have an advantage over this 'roadie'(a friggin strong SOB). a hard highspeed worn down turn was my downfall. this turn was where i had on two different occasions early in the race, railed it to pass 2 guys at once. both times 2 guys were hanging on and going wide wile i just railed it and ripped by them. however, the last time thru , i got too aggressive and caught a loose patch. i was trying to close the gap on frank to setup the next turn and carry momentum thru it for the pass on the inside. well, the thoght was good but the execution was horrible. down i go, this laying down the bike cost me all of 5 seconds but it might as well have been an hour with jachovic being the guy i was chasing. now i was concerned about the 2 guys that were charging behind me. i opnened the door for them. now they thought i was catchable and they had hope. hope can make you faster on the last lap when someone is in site of the rider in front. i told myself to remain calm, that i was faster than those guys chasing me, faster thru the technical turns. disaster struck again at about the halfway oint in the lap. with a half a lap to go, i laid it down again. this time in loose gravel. i friggin know better. why am i pushing the envelope thru gravel??? friggin dumbass!!! now, my right shifter/brake lever is broke and for some reason i have only one gear. all i can do is hop back on my bike and 'Push the Panic Button" with the hopes that that will make me faster thru the last 1/2 mile of the course. i was stuck in my 16t gear in back. (i now know i dont have big enough balls to race singlespeed) it took all of a half a mile in my 39x16 to realize i will never 'want' to race singlespeed! i somehow held off a charging mark cole and brian williams by 10-15 seconds. its amazing how much adrenaline and panic can make you ride into that red zone for just a little bit longer. i spend 35 minutes racing a really clean race and with 2 miscues i am robbing parts off of my road bike hours later to get my cx bike up and running again. oh well, just money.....so sundays race netted me a 4th place result in a field size of 46. happy, but not satisfied is how i feel that.

its good to be racing cross' again, we got a long way to go before nationals.......now do i race for an hour with the big boys??

til next time.................
oh well........hopefully i wont wait as long to write.

3 comments:

JB said...

Hey JT--Nice post, glad to see you online again. I completely understand keeping perspective. To answer your question, if i may. Keep it real in the 3/4's. You have the skills to race the 1/2/3 but knowing you, i think frustration would over take and you may not enjoy as much. Keep killing us in the 3/4 and get those "real" podium spots. Great race bro!

JB

Ted said...

jesus, i think i fell asleep reading that one! i'm only kidding! nice race report- i think you better move up! just saying...

TP said...

If I were in your shoes I'd stick with the 3/4 for a while. If you are floating around in the top 5 and are gassed at the end of the race that's fun. If you start winning every week effortlessly then it's time to move up. That said why not give the 1/2/3 a try at some point, then you won't have to wonder how you would do. Just wait for the day you feel like superman warming up!

TP