I had no idea of what the setup crew had made for our first cross race at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, TN. Megan and a few others had told me what it was like but I couldn't put it together in my head since I had not been to Sycamore Shoals since my last 5K with Austin. I knew there couldn't be much climbing and I was right. Open and fast, another roadie powerhouse course. We need more tight turns yo!
Last week was murder at school. Repair Austin's car, two Exams, one speech, Cycling Team fundraiser and a DIGM Flash project to turn in. I have to say it was one of the top three most stressful weeks I've had, school-wise, since I've started back. I did manage to get one evening of intervals in though and that really helped. With that said I figured I would be weaker than normal and have nothing in the legs. I can honestly say I just wasn't feeling it. I warmed up about 80% (I'm doing better at this) and rolled up to the line for Masters 45+. The usual ones take off and I did my usual attack from the back assault. One lap at moderate pace then go. After my second lap I started feeling really good and continued to set my sights on one-rider-at-a-time. I finished 12th and beat several folks that usually beat me - I was pleasantly surprised. Time will most likely run out since there are only 2 more MSG races but my goal is to be top 10 in one of these Masters things before it's all said and done. I can do this!
The face of concentration.................... or I need a beer!
Doin' work! Coming up to get the bell lap Eric Wondergem, local pro & the leader of our Masters class, caught me. I figured he would lap me but I wanted a chance for one more lap and the next guy in front of me so I pedaled for everything I was worth. Wondergem sat on my wheel, thanks goodness, and didn't pass me! I was very thankful that I would be able to have one more lap to get to the next rider in front of me hoping to better my position by at least one more. Alas, all the "umpphh" I put in trying to prevent myself going a lap down, left my tank almost dry. I watched as my rabbit slowly rolled away from me unable to do anything about it. I still had fun and was pleasantly surprised with my performance. My good friend David said, when I told him I wasn't feeling it today; "Nolan sometimes says that and has some of his best rides sometimes" I love that man, he's awesome! That was actually crossing my mind a couple of times as I was pedaling around the course.
How do you finish up a great day of CX racing? You take down the course in record time with tons of help and assistance. Big shout out to Hugh Moran and the Mars Hill Cycling Team for lending a hand in the take-down! Afterwards? Bonnie Kate Cafe'. We called ahead and they saved half the cafe' for us. It was a good night! Guess what? We get to do it again the next morning (Sunday) at AVLCX Pisgah Brewery! Hellz Yea! See part 2...
Photo credits Tracey Tankersly, David Lehn & Autumn Lewis