It is almost fall. Time for cyclocross. I did my first real 'cross race in 2 years last weekend. Ed was in RI doing a half-Ironman, so I dropped off Elliot with Uncle Brad and Auntie Kris before riding over the venue (only 7 miles or so). I could have driven, but was loathe to uninstall the car seat to fit my bike in the car. :)
Anyway, it was great to be there and catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while, including Solobreak, who entertained me with complaints about his team's new kit. And I saw my former teammate Pauline, which was so great. And of course I got to hang with my new teammates from Hup, who were all so fun and cheered so hard for me.
I had signed up for the 1/2/3, for numerous reasons: 1) I wanted to sleep in, and so did my babysitters, 2) the race was 10 minutes longer than the 3/4 and cost the same, 3) I like smaller fields so I can have lots of personal space. But I could tell I was going to be in trouble when I saw Adam M., who gave me a big hug and asked if I'd already raced (the 3/4 was at 9 am and the 1/2/3 was at 2 pm). And when I said I was about to race, he said, very kindly, "Oh."
I was a little nervous on the line. I helped another woman get her number pinned on right side up and listened to people chatting. The woman next to me, who was tiny, mentioned her 3 kids, the youngest of whom was 8 months -- one month younger than Elliot. There goes my excuse for sucking! (She trounced me.)
So anyway, long story short, I purposely soft-pedaled the start and tried to get into my own rhythm at the back. The race was much harder than I expected -- yes, I don't have 'cross fitness, which I expected, but the I was really shocked at how crappy my bike-handling skills are. The course was really twisty and required finesse, and I was riding like I was on a 58cm bike with broken brakes. (Thank goodness for Mike and Cathy, who ran a small clinic a couple of days after the race and helped me figure out what I need to work on, and how to work on it.)
Here's a pic that my friend Bob R. took. I don't think he'd mind if I included it:
I never really got to the point where I felt like I was using the little fitness I had, as there were so few spots where I could build up speed because of my bike-handling issues. But I did try to turn it on just a bit at the end, and managed to finish third from last, ahead of a friend who was racing for the second time that day and someone else who got a flat in the first half-lap and didn't have a spare wheel in the pit.
My plan was to ride back to my sister's, but a handsome man showed up (Brad described Ed later as a "knight in a shiney Subaru") and drove me home.