Friday, December 4, 2015

Trending Down?

I didn't have a very good weekend at Frosty Cross last week. A flubbed start on Saturday's M123 race had me fighting for position from mid pack right from the gun. The field was small, but top-heavy. I like these types of races. Without much congestion, it allows one to ride their race. Mostly.

The course conditions were shifting from wet, sticky mud to frozen. A set of mud tires would have helped my handling. I crashed several times. It was on one of the crashes with about three to go that drove my elbow deep into my ribs. That rib was already tender from going down the week before. My performance suffered over the last 15 minutes. I lost contact with the group I was with, and had to switch tactics to defend my position from Tyler Reynolds, a junior who was bringing back five seconds on me on each lap. I ended up seventh place, just seconds ahead of Tyler. Greg Shimonek was ahead of me, but I was nowhere near him.

After the race, I went back to the van to lick my wounds. I was in a lot of pain. Breathing was shallow and painful. I made a decision to call it quits for the weekend, and wasn't even sure if I'd be able to race at Jingle Cross this weekend.

Sunday and Monday were filled with more doubt. But my ribs felt less tender on Tuesday, and even better on Wednesday. And yesterday, I did a set of openers that elevated the HR and breathing. Thankfully, it felt fine. So with that, I have given myself the green light to roll my bike up to the starting line one last time this year.

Now, because some big races with podium spots near very strong riders have fallen off over the past few weeks, my ranking has been trending downwards lately. As a result, I have slipped nine spots from when I initially registered for Jingle cross three weeks ago. Still, I can hardly complain. I'm in a good spot in the third row. If I race into the top 16, then I can make call ups for the first two rows on the follow day's race. Anyway, I believe that I'm a stronger racer than my starting position suggests. So I suppose I have a chip on my shoulder -- if not on my ribs -- to kick start my motivation. I like that. It will help.

Anyway, wish me luck that I keep the rubber side down. If I can manage to do that, I like my chances for some good results this weekend.

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading.

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