After learning that my cancer situation is stable as a rock (literally, we track a blood marker and measure how big things are with CT/MRI/Ultrasound and nothing has changed), May is flying by.
Despite signing up for Syllamo's, the trip wasn't in the cards this year. Friday was the last day of Maggie's 3rd year of med school, so we went out to dinner and hung around Columbia Saturday.
The team I'm with this year works in cahoots with Pednet here in Columbia and saturday night was an awesome trivia night fund raiser for pednet. With that in mind, we had a rigorous cram session of crossword puzzles, trivia pursuit, and popculture gossip review during the day saturday. We were a team of 8 and given an average age of probably 33 at the table, I think we did pretty well...maybe 5th place out of 10-15 teams. I was quite proud of myself for knowing the name of Rubert Murdochs media company, the national sport of Canada, and the country to which Easter Island belongs.
It was a late night though and the free beer probably didn't help my race performance the following day. But I was determined to get in my 3rd mountain bike race of the year and was looking forward to the practical cyclocross course that is Broemmelsiek mountain biking. Similar to cross, we'd be doing a bunch of laps. 6 to be precise, on a 4ish mile course with very few full on switch backs but lots of sweeping turns, open prairie, and a couple of little rock gardens. Elevation change was fairly mild. Probably one of the flatter parkson the UFD schedule. And the significant lack of rainfall recently meant it was going to be dry, dusty, and a little loose...all adding up to conditions that seem to really challenge me; the theoretical ability to go really fast but the reality of many loose corners hampering the speed so as too avoid face plants or pretending I'm a baseball player sliding into home.
The day was hot, which me no likey. But it's Missouri and I love racing my bike, so it's what we deal with.
The start of the race saw Dan McCarthy tear by myself, Bob Arnold, and TK. TK latched on Dan's wheel with Bob in tow and me following up the rear. I was riding really carefully so as not to slide out and basically just held on for what felt like short-track speed for the first 40minutes or 2 laps. After the 2nd lap, I tested my legs a bit and attacked on the hill beginning each lap. I stung things out a little and I think had the fastest lap that lap, but couldn't manage to get myself free. So I rode 2nd wheel for the next lap and then attacked again on the hill (I'm quite predictable with 2 to go). This time I stayed on the gas and big ring'd it through the corners.
Despite almost getting caught by Bob at the end of lap 5, most of the last 2 felt like a solid CX effort, i.e. sprinting a bit out of the corners, trying to hold my speed, and keeping the foot down on the gas pedal.
All-in-all it was a solid 2 hrs of racing so I was happy to come across the line and cool down under a water faucet. There are 2 races each in June, July, and August on the UFD east schedule so I guess I better get used to the heat! Then cross starts.
Due to extensive cost-benefit analysis I don't think traveling is going to be in the cards for cross this year and I'm having a ton of fun on the mountain bike, so I'm hoping to keep it going until the Berryman epic. I might still try and go to nationals for one last shot at the master's 30-34 race, but the idea of riding hard and trying not to get too fat during the holidays and New Years seems pretty stupid right now.