Sunday, November 07, 2010

Into The (Cyclocross) Abyss - Super Sunday #2

 After a solid week of preciptation and the last three days of heavy rain it was clear as mud(excuse the pun) that the cross course, chewed up from last week's event, would be one nasty, wet  bog. It did not disappoint!
 Knowing I was facing a tough morning of cross racing I fueled up with a good paleo breakfast of fried grass fed beef in coconut oil with mushrooms, celery and broccoli slaw on a bed of fresh spinach topped with two free range eggs(over easy). Delicious. Heading to the race I grabbed an apple and banana and a second cup of black coffee.

On route to Seaview Park Lookoff it was spilling down rain but the temperature was nice...a balmy 15C. We would be wet within minutes but at least it would not be cold so I dressed fairly light. Once geared up and on the course for a warmup lap I quickly realized I had descended into the abyss and was soaked and muddy before the event even started.  Heeding the call to the line I placed myself at the back of the pack and gave a thought to my game plan - take advantage of my fat tires in the swampy parts,expect to run up the climbs and try and stay upright on the descents.

Right from the start it was crazy....mud and water as we reached the fireroad but still a faster pace into the paved climb. Glasses were useless but going without meant I was getting water and dirt sprayed into my eyes and my contacts were not happy.
Pic courtesy of C Steinman
Once on the paved climb I knew the next challenge was a big one. Each week the organizers will tweak the course and today they moved the steep run-up to the right which made it even steeper and slippery. Felt like you were running up a wall covered in vaseline. A definite gut buster! You had to drive your feet into the turf or pick out the imprints of those who came before you seeking traction.

Pic courtesy of C Steinman
After the third lap I generally did not even bother to remount after the run - up as you were soon on another climb. Last week I was able to cycle it but today it was a sticky mire and I was able to save time and energy by simply running the bike. On the crushed rock path I remounted and then prepared for the challenging descent past the apple tree on on the path heading back towards the first barrier. It was insanely muddy and deep and the little steep descent past the tree was tricky.My CX skills are getting better and I was able to stay upright although on my last lap I "tripoded" by sticking out my left leg when the bike got skittish.
Pic courtesy of C Steinman
 Up the path(at this point in name only) and over the barrier and once again I didnt bother remounting  for the climb. Same up and get on the crushed rock trail, remount and descend into the "swamp" where the remaining barriers were set up. Dismount in mud over your ankles,jump the barricades then back on the bike through start finish and back on the path behind the fence heading to the fire road,
Pic courtesy of C Steinman
I have no idea how many laps I completed. The whole race was just a blurr of maxed out heart rate mixed with complete full body effort. Priceless!

 I ended up mixed in with a similar paced bunch of competitors including NL, a fellow club mate. We jockeyed for positions - he was on a CX bike and had the advantage on the crushed rock, fireroad and paved sections but I had the edge on the muddy sections. On the hills it was a mixed bag - some laps I outran him but on others he got the best of me. Hearing the bell sounding for the last lap I pushed hard and managed to finish before him. Looks like we have a (fun) rivalry for the remaining races. He's hoping for dryier conditions and I want rain for the next month.(wink)

Thanks to Cyclesmith for hosting the event. Another great day on the bike with an excellent turnout despite the weather. Whew!
Pic courtesy of S McMillan
 The worse part of the day was getting home and cleaning up myself and the bike in the driveway. Nothing like an outdoor shower using the garden hose in November.

 Quick bite to eat then off to ball hockey. The lower body was toast, glutes were sore from all the running and lower back was stiff. I was worried how well the body would respond to two hours of goaltending but managed a decent day in nets. I didnt have first pick so the best player was against me - uh oh. Not a good sign and he did lead his squad in scoring but we managed to come back from two 3 goal deficits to win the first game 10 -9.

 The second match was almost a carbon copy of the first but we were the ones who gave up two late goals to surrender the lead and win after rallying from another 4 goal deficit mid way through the match. The pace of the game was fast with each team having several spares. I gotta admit that while I played well considering my morning of CX racing I was beginning to falter with about 30 minutes to go. It was getting harder to get up off the floor after sprawling to make a save and I had the omnipresent dizziness and black spots.Tracking the ball and play was becoming increasingly difficult. That said it was two good matches of hard, high intensity ball hockey.

 Tonight I am zonked and enjoying some red wine to numb the pain(wink). Life is good.

  Catch all the cyclocross action compliments of CB Steinman.!/album.php?aid=575553&id=849715112


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