I wish I had a great story too tell about the last cross race of the season. But instead, it was something of a blur and also a disappointment.
Dwayne Goscinski and I both showed up to Madison around 2pm on friday. He drove from St Louis and I came from South Bend, IN where I had been working the prior week.
The course wasn't particularly complicated, but on friday it was wet, loose, and messy mud. The temperature had a lot to do with how the course would feel. If cold enough, the frozen ruts would be like ice...you'd hop into one and hope that it doesn't collapse underneath you or lead you into the tape. But if warm enough, it would be a standard mud course with lots of power sections. During the pre-laps a little before 3pm on friday, almost no one was riding the steepest section of the first hill. People were loosing their rear tire and running.
I hoped it would freeze and be fast. It turned out that was a hope based on poor assumptions and inexperience, as indeed my race was slightly frozen and the mud much more firm than in the pre-lap riding I had done. This turned out to prove very challenging. My race wasn't really very exciting. It is almost a standard story for me; I was riding well and fast, then I crashed towards the end of the lap, dropped my chain, lost 10 spots, hopped back on and lost my cool, so crashed again in the sand a few hundred feet later. And that was the end of my confidence.
I wish life were less complicated sometime. I had a bunch of time to reflect on the almost 8-hr drive home on sunday. I think I'm scared for 2012. Maggie has some big decisions to make in terms of what kind of doctor she's going to be. Balance in my life between work, passion, and health seems tenuous at the moment and I just generally feel scared for my health again. I'm not really sure why as I have no tangible signs of a change or decline. But it feels somewhat inevitable I guess and for some reason more looming at the moment.
There is a very interesting article over on Outside magazine about Livestrong and Lance. Anyway, I have a ton of thoughts about this article. At the moment, I'm feeling extremely worn-out and tired from the holidays and travels associated with bike racing. The spring semester starts next week so I'm trying to rest up, do some reading, and just generally have some meditation/prayer/quiet time.