Some days you should just stay home. Today was one of those days....
Short recap of my week. I started getting a cold on Wednesday. Felt like crap for a couple of days and was going to miss Saturday's Night Gravel Grinder. My teammate Tim Greene was leading the ride and I really didn't want to let him down and not show up. After all, I talked him into hosting it :-). I also had the spare lights that 3 of my teammates needed to borrow which was another reason to not skip it. I started to feel a little better on Friday but my throat was very sore and I still had some congestion but decided to charge the lights and go ahead and join in the fun. I figured since the pace was going to be relatively easy maybe a long easy ride will loosen up the phlegm problem I was having.
The ride was really fun. A little longer than I should be going this time of year, but fun none the less. During the ride we talked about racing the Manion's Cross event on Sunday. Dan was over earlier in the week to borrow some race course equipment and I was still undecided if I should attend. My body was telling me I needed to rest, the coach inside of me was telling me to rest, but I decided to wait and make the decision Sunday morning.
Needless to say, I decided to go ahead and attend today's cyclocross race. Despite feeling lousy, I wanted to support Dan's O race. Turns out they had a great turnout and didn't need my support. I should have saved myself the $20.00 entry fee and stayed home and rested which is why I say I will never learn.
The course was hillier than hell. Add to that a damp energy sapping virgin course and you have a course that is best suited for fly weights and those with a VO2 much higher than mine. I knew I was in trouble on the warm-up lap. I came up to the section of the course that had a little creek crossing/ravine that you had to ride over. I think this was intended to be a dismount, but I think just about everyone was riding it. Some better than others. For whatever reason I did not like this section. About the only section I did like was at the bottom of the course where there was a little tricky switch back leading to a cool little section that included a sharp run-up/ride-up. I rode it about every time except for the 3rd or 4th lap and on that lap I crashed hard trying a new line leading up to my one and only favorite section :-(. The rest of the course was just a plane ole' sufferfest.
The start of the event went perfect for me. I got the hole shot and lead up until the barriers. For about 1 min there I actually thought I belonged out there on the course racing today. Then reality set in and I quickly fell back. I think I was passed by about 10 riders on the first lap alone. I was coughing up phlegm every 30 seconds or so. By the 3rd lap I felt like pulling off especially after going down hard. I never like quitting a race so I rode on doing the best I could on this day.
I basically sucked and really embarrassed myself being out there. The only good thing that came about from today I learned a valuable lesson (even if I don't ever use it) and I finally cleaned out my lungs and got rid of about 1/2 pound of phlegm.