Anniversary Weekend

*Divine Providence* Saturday, 2013. My first CX race. The conditions were similar to Saturday this year. It had rained on Friday and the course was tacky for Saturday, but in 2013 I think Sunday was the rainy day. On the day I raced, I had a very last row callup (day of reg woes), and started behind 105 fellow Cat 3/4 women. I finished 31st, in a sprint attempting to reach (now-friend) Shane Ferro. There is a picture of me running the stairs here, and one of me just before I flew over my handlebars here. You should buy it just to say you own a photo of me from a time before I had ever worn bibs. Also, these pictures make me no longer wonder, “if I lost 10 lbs since last year, why don’t I look different?”

My first grid! Last row, pink bike, Brown U jersey, tri shorts.
My first grid! Last row, pink bike, Brown U jersey, tri shorts.

This weekend in 2013 was the weekend I met so many people that have brought me to where I am today: Lesli Cohen, who has given me friendship, unconditional support, equipment assistance, (the list goes on); Alec Donahue, who is now my coach and cat wrangler; Michele Smith who had a tiny baby strapped to her in the beer tent, and is now a friendly, supportive smile on nearly every start line; virtually all of NECX, which is now a friend-base/support group more intense and argumentative than any high school clique could keep up with.

That was such a different time! Now I am on JAM and have to be all serious-face at the races. I have to sleep in and not run around heckling. I have to not eat pizza before my race and actually do a warm up AND a cool down. I have to pay attention to these pre-rides as well as my competitors. I have a lot of responsibility for my performance. But HEY, this paying attention thing is starting to pay off. This year was TOTALLY DIFFERENT AND RAD!!

What was NOT different? I had last row call ups (ok, second to last on day 1, but I am trying for some parallelism here). BUT, in the elite field. So that’s cool. I finished 21 and 22nd, respectively Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s course was slick, as it had rained prior to the race, and started raining during. A fact I did not realize until AFTER my race, but explains the slower lap times as the race went on and my one crash as I slid out on an off-camber turn I had otherwise been nailing. Sunday was much drier, a day with perfect traction. For me, this means I go about the same pace I think. Traction is not my limiter, my confidence and experience is. The best part of the weekend was finding my spot with BrittLee Bowman (wonderful Richard Sachs rider) both days, with her finishing 20 and 23.

Thanks to all who have helped me get this far: Geoff Williams for showing me the ropes in my early races,┬áLesli, Al, Jam Fund teammates, NECX, friendly supporters, persistent hecklers, Tom Nguyen for lending me that sparkly pink bike for my first race, ECCC, and Nick Czerula for being super supportive of my ambition to keep doing this, while I do absolutely nothing else, for not hating me when I cry while mountain biking because I suck, for making me ride more so I don’t suck, and for never laughing at me, even when I make hilarious jokes.

Also thanks to my friends Hillary and Eyal for getting FroYozzz with me in PVD!!

Now stop being sappy and someone get me some chemically flavored pumpkin things