18 November 2012

Race Report - Rockburn CX

Spoiler Alert (I'm proud to have been that girl on a mountain bike with platform pedals and running shoes.  But it may be time to think about a real CX bike because I am liking this sport):

Winner, winner chicken dinner!  Mel in 2nd and I came in 3rd!
The Cliff Notes version of the race - Three laps (thank goodness) of a relatively long course (about 2 miles per lap) with a set of barriers, logs, and a sandpit (site of a zombie apocalypse during some of the later, more crowded, races).  There was some single track in the woods, a decent number of hills, no stairs BUT race organizers are enamored with tight 180 degree turns up and down a hill, so there was that.  First lap was crowded with a heated battle for 4th and 5th place between three of us; and by the second and third the racers had spread out.  Dismounts were fine, I didn't flip the bike by accidentally hitting the front brake.  Flying mounts were nonexistent and my running legs were impossible to find.  Saving grace as I worked my way from the middle/back to end up third was the endurance I've gained through long-course triathlon racing.  I don't have the top-end speed of many of the girls out there, but I seem to slow down just a little less and keep a relatively consistent pace throughout.

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.


B.o.B. said...

You go Caroline! You are kicking major butt at this! I'm scared to death mountain bikes but you are making it sound fun!

Unknown said...

I love that you are doing this and having a blast! Also, you're amazing at it :) It's so fun to get out of the tri routine and do something fun and different.

B.o.B. said...

THIS: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/cute-dumb-ways-to-die-melbourne-safety-video-becomes-internet-smash/story-e6frf7jo-1226519417846

I can't go to Youtube at work so if it's not on that link you must go find it. It's adorable and creepy.

Karen Talley Mead said...

Awesome job out there! The mounts and dismounts just take practice outside of racing, so just give it time. I will be hoping for a cross bike under your Christmas tree! (and a mountain bike, and race wheels, and...)

GoBigGreen said...

Smiling is good if you can do it while hammering!
I used to practice mounts and dismounts till I was sore. So keep practicing!!

Caroline said...

Thanks so much guys! Beth - I think you would like Mountain Biking! You and me both, Karen - I think I will need to buy a PowerBall ticket for that to happen, though! And I will keep practicing Julia!

Anonymous said...

Way to spice up the off-season, Caroline :) You rock.