So I tried to extend my season just 2 laps too many.
I did start the elite race yesterday, but by the end of the first lap my efforts in the 30+ race, my long season, my lack of a job, and the probability of an oncoming freight train of a head cold all decided to land in my legs and I went from starting halfway on the grid to racing for the last 5 spots in line. Not good. I rolled for 2 laps, still sort of thinking I'd make halfway and be classified, and then decided to pull the plug. I need to rest.
Funny thing is, even though I only raced for like 20 minutes, I'm still more sore today than any time in recent memory. So I made the smart, albeit mentally depressing, decision to skip the final race today too -- instead, I concentrated my efforts on cheering on Kurt (7th overall and 4th D1 in the Collegiate race!!), Beth, Luca, Al, Tristan, Kyle, Sam, and a ton of other Midwest and West riders. And just having fun watching Tim Johnson first make me pancakes and then demolish the field in the Berry Cup. And wow, Katie is FAST.
Funny moment 1: One hour before the 30+ National Championship, my phone rings. Seeing a 312 number, I think it's someone calling to wish me well ... uh, no, it's a job interview! So I spend the next 20 minutes talking to this nice HR guy while Beth, Kurt, and Kim are absolutely silent sitting in the van next to me ... so much for a warmup!
Funny moment 2: Tim Johnson, cooking me chocolate-chip pancakes, wearing his name ski cap, the same one I bought in Boulder. Thanks me for flying the colors. Flash forward to the last lap of the Berry Cup, he comes up on Kurt in the finishing stretch, about to lap ... Kurt, who had made fun of my Tim Johnson hat, was cooked from doing the preceding Collegiate race, and invited TJ to pass him. "No way," TJ says, "Have fun on your last lap!" Touche!
So that's the end of that. A great season -- a win, a bunch of podiums, a mountain bike, an upgrade, a qualification to Nationals next year, and a gaggle of 'cross races including my first top 5 in Wisconsin. Wow. Hard to believe it all started back in February with Groundhog in 12-degree weather ...
One more year in the books. Just 364 days to Natz!
21 hours ago