Everyone that reads this blog should know I have an order of importance list and most of the time the blog ends up being down on the list a little bit. I left some comments on FB and Twitter after racing in Boulder last Sunday about "more to follow" so I better get a blog in before it's old news.
Sunday I did a quick trip to Boulder for the Valmont Park Boulder Cup and it was awesome. I was really nervous that it wasn't going to work out preparation wise and maybe just end up being like Ft Collins a few weeks earlier where I was just flat. But, to my surprise and relief my legs showed up even after 2 hours of airport driving and 2 hours of flying. It was a super easy day at the airport and it's days like that that make flying really easy. I shipped one bike out early in the week so I didn't have to worry about checked luggage and then I had direct flight on Frontier to Denver. I was out the door here at 6:20am and in Boulder at 9:30am mtn time. Not bad at all. I tried a new technique for warmup on Saturday because I seem to always race better on day #2 of the weekend so Saturday I rode about 3 hours total with about 45 minutes at LT between some different intervals I did. I have been feeling really good on the bike and the warmup worked perfect. I wasn't tired on sunday but my legs were open despite all the travel and that is all I needed.
The race itself went about as good as it could go for me. I only had one bike and one set of spare wheels. Luckily I shipped them too because my front mud tire kept going flat so I had to use a file tread on the front because that is all I had shipped. I was really lucky the course dried most of the day leaving only the bottom section muddy, but it was deep enough that I didn't need steering tracking, just point and shoot. I was quite amazed actually how well it did hook up though.
I made the front group after lap 1 and was feeling great. Maybe 4 laps into the race Ben Berden attacked and there was a lul in the group so I made a jump, bridged and ended up going past him to lead the lap for a while. This was a big step for me and a good confidence booster. I probably paid a bit for that effort late in the race but it was worth it.
What made my weekend though was that at one point with two laps to go I was getting gapped by an attack by Trebon and small gaps were open all around me with the other guys. Todd Wells was just coming back up to me and yelled a few times for me to close the gap. I'm thinking sure, you're wearing the national champ jersey and yelling at me to close the gap - not happening.
It's hard to tell the story without making poking at Todd but that isn't what I'm trying to do here because I was laughing about it the whole way home but he made the comment that I should cover the gap because "I hadn't raced the day before". My quick answer was " nope, but I was at work till 10pm last night" with which he replied to my surprise " Awwww, work is easy" and my reply was " I didn't think you had a day job Todd". He then went on to explain that " he's had a day job" and I'm sure he has but this was all going on with 2 to go at 5000ft and the gap wasn't getting closed.
We ended the conversation in a stalemate I think but we did regain contact. I was determined at that point to beat him though only because he accused me of basically sandbagging the big race by not racing the day prior but in my mind I was thinking no, I didn't race the day earlier but I did work 43hrs this week, flew to the race this morning, I don't have a bike in the pits and the one I am riding has 10lbs of mud on it and the last lap you took a fresh clean one from the pits, I also have a file tread on the front and it's a muddy race but it's all I have. No mechanic, no lawnchair under an awning or a trailer, no one cleaning my bike after warming up and getting full of mud, no one in the pit and I have to fly home in 3hrs and be at work tomorrow too. I Just showed up and let er rip. And I guess that is what made me so happy about getting 5th (yes I did outsprint him - probably due to working too much, and not from training too much I'll add).
I got extremely lucky that I didn't have problems but I went out to the race knowing I would have to get lucky and it worked out. What I am trying to say is what I have been saying for a while now and that is you can't think about how good others seem to have it or how easy it is for them to race without the other distractions that we all face day to day in our own worlds. You just have to deal with your personal situation and pin on your number and let it rip and pray for the best.
Cross is a unique sport and probably suits me because you don't need to train 30hrs a week to be competitive. You need to have 1 hour of everything you've got, but you don't need millions of miles of fitness to compete or I wouldn't be able to do it.