First, this past weekend was 5 weeks after breaking my wrist. In a 31 y/o male, it generally takes 8-10weeks for a hairline fracture to lay down hard bone, so at 4-8 weeks, generally a break is held together by softer, unorganized scar-type tissue. So, I knew I would be pushing it by racing the cross bike this weekend. But, I also missed some of the racing that I worked really hard for this past summer, so I was chomping at the bit to get out. Plus, I love the bubba series and really wanted to be there on the course.
I told myself that I'd go and pre-ride. If it hurt, I wouldn't race.
Sat night: arrived for a 10pm start time at about 5pm. I pre-rode from 5-6pm and had no pain. The wrist felt fine, so I was stoked. Fast forward a few hours...managed a solid start and was running second wheel heading into the second ride up and managed to ride myself into the tape. Oops. Man, did I feel unsmooth out there. The barriers were almost a joke for me. I smacked my bike and shins at least a few times and just generally felt uncomfortable. Lap 2: around a swooping, fast right hander, my buddy Schottler laid it down right in front of me. Somehow I managed to not hit him or his bike by riding between the two. From there on, I was even more shaky and less-smooth than before. Later, I went down and lost my chain...which had kinked over itself on the inside of my front chain ring. 1 minute later, I was chasing. Bike change, then a hard chase. Upon catching folks towards the back, my chain popped off and somehow managed to escape the confines of my Paul chain keeper in front, rendering it very difficult to get back on while on the course. So, I ran to the pits for 1/2 lap. Jumped on my other bike and kept going. Now on this bike, I couldn't shift very well...especially in front. Part of this was due to my hand/wrist being super weak, the other part was that my whole drive train seemed off. Then I got lapped. Oh well. Races like that happen.
That night, teamate Devin texted me to meet him at the hub the next morning and he'd help me fix my bikes. Sweet...motivation.
Sun: Whole different ball of wax. Except the smoothness part. That was still pretty bad and running sucked. But, I started further back this time and decided to pace myself. Devin and I did not have a plan at all as I had told him I was really going to try and not crash. A few laps into the race, Devin was off the front, being chased by Casey, then a group with me somewhere in it. At some point I decided to see if I could manage to bridge to Casey and not bring anyone with me. Carefully, it worked. Then after another lap or so, I attacked Casey on a hill and found myself bridging up to Devin. From there, we traded pulls and rode a solid pace. With around 4-to-go, Devin slowed down. I was feeling pretty good and am pretty confident that the last 4 laps were my fastest of the weekend, so I managed my first win at a 'race' in 2011.
Apparently indoor trainers and weightlifting are a good way to spend a month prior to cross season!