Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Whirlwind that was September.

Photo by Niki Frazier

First up was Lake Geneva. 

Photo by Amy Dykema

Didn't quite make the cut for the overall but received a little WORS cash.

 Firetower climb -  Photo by Skinnyski

My favorite race of the year, the Cheq 40.  I had reports during the race from a variety of individuals telling me I was in the top 10 (which turned out to be off by one or two places).  I've never experienced quite so many physically and emotionally draining battles with myself and the other women on the race course.  I rolled to the finish line 12th overall.  I'm still a little sad about it, but I'll be back next year.

Photo by Amy Dykema

The look of happiness masking the relief that I was finally done. 

Photo by Flame Photography

This last weekend was a double header - USGP and WORS Bear Paw.  On Saturday at USGP I spent 40 very hard minutes getting spanked by some pretty serious cross racers.  I can say hands down, I was one on the most skilled bike handlers in my race.  Unfortunately I was one of the weakest riders who went backwards on wide open flats sections.  The net result was 8/11 for Cat 2/3 women.  Ouch.

Photo by Niki Frazier

After Saturday's pounding, there was a little redemption for me in WORS #11 Bear Paw.  

I found myself riding the first lap with Lisa and Anna as we were sitting 3rd, 4th and 5th.  I grabbed 3rd a time or two but with no pre-ride, I wasn't riding well enough to hold it.  

On lap 2, Lisa and Anna dropped me on the last part of the climb.  Then they opened up some serious time on me on the flat leading to the singletrack.  I eventually made my way back to Anna for the rest of the lap.  

Going into the final lap, my bike wouldn't shift so I ran the climb while Anna rode away from me.  I spent of good part of that lap resigning to the fact that I'd probably have to settle for 5th.  But low and behold, I caught Anna half way through.  So for the rest of the race we battled it out - riding, running and sliding all around.  Anna made a small mistake and I slipped past her.  I turned on the juice a little, kept the mistakes to a minimum and was 4th when the dust settled.  Good stuff.

What's up next?  Two weeks off of training to transition into Cross season.  And Sheboygan!  I have no vested interested in the Elite Overall as I'm not in the running for a top 5.  But I do plan on bringing my detrained legs, pride and a little bit of left over Bear Paw confidence.  It's those miserable, cold, muddy and technically challenging races where you find out what you are made of.  More importantly, you can use that knowledge in many areas of your life...racing and otherwise.

Did you know that this guy has a blog?
Look for him to do some damage on the WCA circuit this fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neenee, what's this "middle aged" crap??? Congrats, you are one tough chica! Jaime