|Winner, winner chicken dinner! Mel in 2nd and I came in 3rd!|
Here is looking at the race from the perspective of the goals I set earlier this week.
- Better dismounts and flying mounts. For lack of a better word - FAIL. I didn't manage a single flying mount. In fact, when I first had the bike in hand this AM, I was staring at it and thinking I don't even remember the first step to doing a flying mount. I didn't have any mishaps with the dismounts but they weren't very efficient. I also felt like I had very little pep in my step when jumping over the barriers and running the bike through the sandpit.
- Start off more aggressively than last time. Check. I wasn't dead last right from the start. By the time we hit the grass, I was in a pack of girls jockeying it out for 4th, 5th, and 6th place. I definitely felt like I was working harder right from the start compared to last time.
- Race my face off. Check. The only time I thought about number of laps was when we went by the lap counter after the first lap and I thanked my lucky stars that we were only doing 3 rather than 4 laps (the course was long). I could always see someone in front of me and/or someone behind me during the turns so I never felt like I was in no-man's land. This truly felt like a race, especially during the first lap when I was in the mix with the other girls and going back and forth with them.
- Work hard the whole time. Check. This ties into the previous goal. I never let up and relaxed until I crossed the finish line, biking scared the whole race. I was afraid if I got too comfortable, I would get passed. I was also trying to keep up with Melanie, who ended up with a solid second place finish, and I was doing my best (but not always succeeding) at keeping her in my sights.
- Be more aggressive. I would give this a check. I didn't have any rockstar passes, but I was aggressive running up the hills and over barriers (even though I didn't feel fast, I tried to work these opportunities to my advantage). I barely touched my brakes on the downhills and the thick mountain bike tires gave me confidence going over any rough terrain or taking corners a little faster than I normally would.
- Don't smile much. A 90% check. There were a few times that I smiled when I saw Karen or Emily and Joe (and Miles my dog) out cheering along the course. But I was in the hurt locker for most of this race and there wasn't a whole lot of smiling going on. Karen even commented that I wasn't super smiley.
Huge thanks to Karen, John, Emily, Melanie and Joe for all their cheers during the race (and to Karen for the generous use of her bike, you're the best!). A huge congrats to Melanie for a fantastic race (second place!!) - I had fun chasing you during the laps! Congrats to Emily for a 7th place Elite finish, I love watching you race! And congrats to Karen for such a great performance in her race - I was so impressed as she climbed her way up the field, getting faster with each lap and passing girl after girl after girl. Thank you Joe for watching Miles while I raced! I think you've become his new favorite person! The other awesome part about CX races - they are a great place to wear out your dog. Miles was worn out by all the new sights and smells and people that he's been sleeping since we got home this afternoon. A tired pup is a good pup.