Sunday, October 18, 2009
Listening to my body and my wife
First, thanks so much to 'GoPate', whoever you are for taking so many awesome pictures of so many people this past weekend! My self indulgence it as a new level of satisfaction.
So there I was, lining up for my first 'A' race ever, feeling like I had done everything right. I had eaten well throughout the day, didn't drink the night before, rode easy on thursday and friday, had good clothes, and felt super psyched. Then of course, there's reality. I feel like whenever I do all the right shit before a race, something happens (shit). Then, whenever I have a couple of beers, get woken up at 4am by the baby, and generally don't feel that great, I race my ass off and feel fantastic.
The A race on saturday night was weird. I was off the line with a great start and felt really good for the first lap. I was probably 5th and feeling like things were very fast but that I was prepared and could hang on. I don't know when or how it happened but at some point during lap 2 my knee started to hurt. It was the kind of deep, throbbing pain that only hard exertion could bring out and possibly torn connective tissue. I looked down to see a 2cm cut on my leg and dark red blood gushing down my shin. Oh well, at first I thought merely a flesh wound. Then the pain continued and I started thinking about the fact that the pain was internal. Various anatomical landmarks came to mind in addition to tears and breaks through those particular landmarks. I ended up bailing after lap 3. A decision that, looking back, I think was the right one to make
After some beers, we headed home for wound cleaning and sleep. Which each respictively, hurt and didn't happen much. The next morning, my knee felt great but when I brought up to my wife the times of the 2 races I wanted to do (A race and single speed), a certain period of spousal negotiation began. You see, driving between St Louis and Columbia with a 1-year old can theoretically be done at any time, as long as you can stand periods of crying. But, the consequences of a drive at 3:30pm or later, means a later than normal nap, which means not going to bed until the whee hours of the morning. Since I have to be at the hospital ready-to-go for a 10 hour, busy-as-shit day at 7am...the possibility of getting to race A's and single speed started to look glim.
Enter compromise. I figured that I'd be slower on a single speed cross bike. I had thought, much slower. So, I decided that if I raced the B race, I'd still get a race in (first ever on a single speed cross bike) and that I woudn't be sandbaggin because of my 'handycap'.
Single speed mountain biking often makes since. The feeling I get from carrying momentum through twisting and turning single track, while on a single speed is akin to feeling one with something, as if my bike is an extension of myself. I've had similar feeling on a geared bike, but I think that because I suck at shifting and have descent legs, the zin-type experience is closer while on a single speed; almost as a default.
Cross of course, is different than mountain biking. But apparently, the course and conditions determine how different. It turned out that I ended up looking like a total sand-baggin asshole out there today in the B race, despite my expectations that I'd finish in the pack due to my preconceived single speed disadvantage. Oh well, live and learn. It was a great time and I'm super psyched on my new Kona major one. Scandium is good shit.