Sunday, September 9, 2012

MFG #1 Big Finn Hill

Wow, it's that time of year again! We kicked off the 2012 CX season with MFG at Big Finn Hill in Juanita. I've got to confess I wasn't physically or mentally prepared for today. Taking the summer 'off' to play in the mountains on my mountain bike was good for the soul, but meant that I hadn't raced in over 3 months. That long out of the race saddle and I had begun to question whether I had it in me for another season of CX. Added to that, I wasn't particularly excited by the course, which was even less technical and faster than last year.

Low motivation and self doubt is not a good way to start a race, but the only way to find out where I was at was to get out there and do it! A good start put me in 3rd, just where I wanted, but it didn't last long as a side nudge through a corner had me on the ground and my team mate Kristy (who was perfectly placed behind me on my wheel) on top of me. Deep breath and chain back on, I then spent the rest of the race chasing to catch back up. 

Took a while for me to work my way back up to 6th place, and then I chased up to 5th and made my way around, only to have her get a second wind and pass me again. Then I realized that as hard and painful as the race was, I really was back in 'competition' mode and I had a rabbit to chase! There was just no way I could give up and let her go. I had to play it smart though. Catching back up was one thing, but we were obviously pretty evenly matched, so I couldn't just blow past her. I rested a while on her wheel and it gave me just enough to pass when I felt good and I gave it everything to stay ahead in the last 1/4 of the final lap. She was close enough for it to come down to a sprint finish, but she wasn't on my wheel, so didn't have a drafting advantage. It was simply a matter of keeping it going to the end. It worked. I held 5th. Phew.

Much more importantly though, I found my motivation to race hasn't deserted me and my form doesn't suck too terribly for early in the season! I'll always have some self doubt, but that's a constant work in progress......


Jarv said...

What a way to start the season. At least you rid yourself of any self doubt!


Andrew said...

Way to go Mel. Good way to start, to chase someone down.... Good luck for the rest of the season!!