This year I decided to try a new training technique, that starts by first getting sick and then being forced to miss a crucial week of training. The first CCCX, last week, found me still recovering and deliberating if I race regardless or do the smart thing and sit it out. Contrary to my usual style I opted to try the intelligent route and rest. As such, this recently past Sunday marked the real beginning of my foray, CCCX #2. Other than an excess of lung butter and an inability to feel hydrated, I felt decent.
The venue was the technical, sandy, and fast course in Prunedale. As soon as I began warming up my head started throbbing and my throat felt like a particularly dry day on the Sahara. I probably drank a gallon of water during my warm up period and wondered if I had some serious medical condition. It was the kind EMT who offered the advice when asked if I was foolish to race, “try a lap, see what happens, and stop if you’re going to collapse”.
I lined up in the second row and my nerves were quickly relieved by surge of adrenaline. The gun went of and I couldn’t believe how slow we were starting, so I sprinted to the front and lead the group up the hill holding first until Ceser Chavez finally came around me to take the hole shot onto the single track. I felt decent, but slipped another spot when his teammate, Tim Cannard, also got by. I was content being in the following group of three and traded places several times. Magically my head had stopped pulsating.
Number three got a gap on Henry Scholz and I, but we were encouraged to hear that the front was slowing down. I started feeling that I could drop him and got around approaching the big climb. I then lost some time as I tried three times unsuccessfully to get a water bottle, before a kind soul caved to my pleading. Henry had pulled slightly ahead, but I charged up the hill and easily caught him. Later that lap I attacked again and starting gaining when I noticed my front tire was almost flat. Luckily there was just a few turns and a strait decent between me and the pit.
I shouldered my bike and removed the wheel as I ran around the final turn. As it fell I kicked it off the course and began asking for a spare. Once again the crowd was not very helpful, by Joie Franco came to my rescue with her front wheel. Back on my bike I charged up the climb and began my effort to get back into the race. I was pumped but winded as I tried to get into a groove again, but the new wheel had way to much pressure for me liking and was hard to adjust to. With one lap to go, I kept seeing Isaias Job closing the gap to me quickly. He went around me, and though I kept in contact, he started getting away. I hoped to out sprint him on the final climb, but the gap was to big, so 6th was my result. Can’t wait for next week and another chance to do battle!