Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rewards For Taking Risks

Howdy Peeps!
Lots going on over here in TGP land. The good news? I'm healthy and fit keeping the locomotive athletic engine steaming along  with the sole intention of justifying my margarita and dessert fixation.  Here's what I've been up to:  Masters swimming 3 days a week, TRX Suspension training 2 days a week, and cycling 4-5 days including one day, occasionally two days of racing cyclocross. Not one step of running and you know what? I don't
miss it right now. I'm too busy busting my a$$ with cyclocross either recovering or laying out heart rates I never thought I could. I've got 8 races in my pocket thus far with at least  4 more in the cards. Coming up next, Boston Road Club's-Shedd Park Cross in Lowell MA. 
This past weekend saw me down  in Plymouth MA for the Plymouth Festival of Cyclo-cross.The course was challenging  but it also had lots of long flat (zone out)grassy power sections with little turning. One minute I was on a flat athletic field, the next a sudden drop off  into make-me-wanna-pee-wooded trail sections with rocks, ruts, roots mud and tight twisty turns. During the warm up my biggest concern was a fairly steep hill that most people were riding up but I would bottom out smack in the middle and have to get off and push my bike up.  LAME.  My other course concerns were 2 sand pits and one slick and muddy rut filled section. Could I ride them? Should I try? I couldn't manage them during the warm up  which is never a good feeling before rolling up to the starting line.
 However, I've found this  to be a familiar pattern now:  I finish the course inspection/warm up feeling  overwhelmed and never confident that I can tackle the technical features of the course but when that whistle blows and we are off the starting line, it all comes together (mostly) and I  somehow just get it done. Often times I'm left standing over my bike at the finish  stupefied I actually stayed upright  and grateful everything is still intact.  Suddenly those tough sections that made my armpits itch during the warm up, instantly become doable. I'm  transfixed and focused ( think deer in headlights with less itchy armpits).  Add in a sprinkling of adrenaline and I'm TGP with some guts. grrrrrrr.
 I rode the sand pits on Sunday when I would most likely dismount and carry my bike. I rode the steep longish ride-up out of the saddle to the TOP without one bobble of the 4 laps that I couldn't manage in the warm up. I nailed all my  freshly learned remounts. Wanna see?

It was one of the toughest courses cardio wise for me. The areas where I thought I would get rest (the straight grassy sections) were wind filled and energy zapping.   I manged just fine though and if there's one thing for sure, It's a huge relief and more so, an awesome feeling to
finish knowing you gave it your all for 40+ minutes and tackled something that
made you want to load the bike back on the car and head to Ihop for pancakes.

Thanks for stopping by!


Jennifer Harrison said...

DID someone say pancakes? !!!
CX is just so fun and there is something about that gun going off where FEAR starts to melt away! Keep seeing those HIGH HRs! :)

Chris said...

Sounds like you'r having a great cross season! It's so addicting, 12 races can rack up pretty quickly, bad part is...then you have to wait, and wait until September rolls around again!

Caratunk Girl said...

Cyclocross sounds awesome. And all of your cross training!! You are killing it!