The weekend after DCCX, I was planning on a break from racing by taking a trip to Davis, WV for some mountain biking with friends. But it SNOWED. Kind of a lot. Enough that you don’t really want to ride in it. Not that I am really surprised. When I suggested Davis over Stokesville for an end of October trip, I definitely qualified it with “it might snow.” The frustrating part is that when we were there in January to ski, there was no snow and we went mountain biking instead. So we stayed home instead. Boring right? It was actually pretty nice. During that time I also read some blog posts from one of the women in my races, and I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it made me realize that I needed to get in a better mental place about my racing. It is supposed to be fun, and it hasn’t really been all that fun. It also made some of my competitors seem a little more human and a little less scary. Like maybe they do not actually have fangs and claws that emerge when they race, and that really they are just normal people who are struggling to catch that person in front of them as well.
So on to the races. It would be a double race weekend. Patapsco and Ed Sander are so close to each other, that my husband and I decided to just spend the night in Frederick instead of coming back to Arlington. A $75 hotel room would save us 100 miles of driving and a few hours of our time. But what I want to know now is how on earth have I lived in the D.C. area for almost 9 years and I never known how nice downtown historic Frederick is? It is AWESOME! Ok, back to cyclocross…
Patapsco: I had fond memories of this race from last year. Probably because it was my first cyclocross podium in the 3/4 race and my season continued to improve from there. The course suited me well and this year it was even harder. Almost cruelly so. It was one super steep climb after another with some long gradual climbs thrown in as well. People often ask things like “is this a good course for you?” and usually I have no clue. I knew for sure this was a good course for me, but I seriously doubted it would make a difference. It turns out that I was wrong and it made a huge difference. The women’s race shattered apart like I have never quite seen before. The entire Cat 3 race was pulled with the exception of the leader, and some 1/2 women were pulled as well. I maintained my usual gap on the leaders and managed a 5th place finish. I really thought I could catch 4th place, but she picked it up on the last lap and I lost the motivation to hang on.
Ed Sander: My legs were pretty fried after Patapsco. That course was like 45 minutes of leg presses. So I felt pretty terrible going into this race. I was hopefully that feeling would go away as soon as I got into race mode. I had a great start, but going into the first turn, people were changing lines and doing generally weird stuff and I got squeezed out and shuffled to the back. I managed to not be last by one place, and I also managed to still enjoy the race and really race to the end. The course was super fun, so it was easy to just enjoy the day and not care about bringing up the back of the pack. I also managed to get myself into this really awesome picture.