Thursday, December 20, 2012

Better Lucky than Good

Motivation can come from many sources.  Lately for me I have been really motivated to train for the 2013 season.   That is a big turn around from this time last year when I was really thinking of hanging up my bikes, grabbing the remote and start working on wearing out that new couch Carolynn bought us.
Why so motivated? Winning a Cyclocross race can defiantly motivate you, especially since the last time I won one was back in November of  2005.  That is one heck of a dry spell and not having success can bring a guy down.
Sunday's event almost did not happen for me.  With my crash at the Missouri State CX Championships I broke my trusty Jake the Snake bike so I am down to my Airborne MTB bike that I got fixed earlier this year.  I built her up with a 1 x 9 setup, but recently converted her to a single speed setup because I am been having more fun on a single speed as of late (even signed up for the single speed class for the Ouachita Challenge).  For some reason the chain kept trying to change gears while under a load even when there was no other gears to change to.  Chain line was spot on so  my last resort with 10 minutes to go until the start was to increase the chain tension by taking out links.  Lo and behold it worked and I rushed to the line.
The main goal on the day for me was to perform a Lactate Threshold Heart Rate test.  Usually I do not perform this test during a race, but I was experimenting.  I also wanted to work on race pace and my ability to get back into the mindset of suffering - which I have lost over the years.  Early on in the race Scott Dreiling of KCOI and James Summers of Midwest Cycling opened up a large gap.  I settled into my own pace and kept to my plan of charging hard for the entire race and actually trying to increase my pace every lap with hopes that I could bring them back if they started to fade.
Things started coming together at about the 1/2 point of the 45 min event.  I was getting dialed into the very mountain bike friendly course and was even hitting the barriers like the good ole days.  Sometimes when you try really hard luck also comes your way.  Both Scott and James had tire troubles.  I personally was running Kenda Kommando tires tubeless with a 29er Crank Brothers Cobalt wheelset. The mostly dirt course had lots of rocks coming up and plenty of places to get a flat - Just ask Mr Tilford about that.  My "poor mans" cross bike setup was working well.  Sure it is an old mountain bike, but 700cc cross tires fit fine and makes for a fun bike to ride/race.
With two laps to go I took over the lead from Scott.  I was at my limit and was not able to stay with Scott on the last lap after he got a fresh bike change.  I noticed he was on a different bike from the start and the old official in me came out.  I know the rules are "wheels in / wheels out"  which means you can not use equipment other than your own.  Scott was  stand up guy and told the officials which regulated him to last.   I might not have been the strongest guy out there, but I did try hard gave myself the opportunity when luck came my way.  It just goes to show you that the harder you work the luckier you can get.  Just more motivation to work even harder and put yourself in the position when luck comes your way.

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