Plans. Why bother, am I right? These past few weeks I kind of lost sight of my general racing outlook, and I tried to control far too much through careful planning. I gave up drinking in my hunt for good sleep. I did some real, genuinely structured workouts. I obeyed my scheduled easy days and recovery methods. Hell, I even sat out the Twilight Crit because I thought the likelihood that I'd end up hurt for my target race was too great. And then the day after, Saturday, when the state championship crit was all wrapped up and in the books, where was I? On the ground, making sure my shoulder wasn't re-broken and my bike was still safe to ride.
The disappointment was large, but luckily short lived. I realized pretty quickly that the tragedy wasn't that I ended up out of contention for a race I love, but that I had accidentally become far too serious in the week or two leading up to it. See, normally I don't have a "real" workout plan, or any sort of athletic plans at all, if I'm being honest. I've been well finished with coaching and scheduled suffering and all that since the day I stepped off my college track for the last time (as in track-and-field track). Since then, I've stuck to my philosophy of "ride how I want, when I want, and be happy with however fast I end up." It's a lovely way to live, and it's the reason I can race year-round with no off-seasons without getting a brain aneurysm.
I blew it by letting my philosophy slip recently, but it ended up working out as a good reminder that an attempt at too much structure and control, in a sport where luck plays a leading role, is a recipe for sadness and feelings of time wasted. For me, at least. So anyway, I'm back to flying by the seat of my pants for the forseeable future.
Oh! And about that Saturday race crash... No broken bones! It's a first for me, quite literally, I think. What happened was:
OBRA Criterium Championship, The Race Report:
A guy in kit nobody knew (at least not me and my friends) was solo with maybe 10 laps to go. We weren't particularly worried, and it didn't seem anybody else was either. Turns out he was totally ballin' though. Maybe he'd been using one weird trick to boost his testosterone and take his performance to the next level or something...
Cropped outdoor cunnilingus photos? Is that the weird trick?
Or maybe he was just Connor McCutcheon, who is apparently quite strong. Nice work, Conner! The rest of us, it seemed, were going to sprint for silver. With 3 corners to go, Steve was on the front and I was 2nd wheel, which was exactly where we wanted to be. Somebody else, no doubt just a bit pumped by race-end jitters, tried to jam around us on the outside of a tricky corner, and the extra heat he brought in put him into the curb, and then onto the ground in front of me. I'm pretty sure I landed mainly in grass, so, you know, no harm no foul, I suppose. My bike took a good tumble, but my seatstay was the only casualty, and that's really just the equivalent of a soldier losing a bit of the end of his pinky or something. I've lost more ankle skin in distracted shaving accidents than the bike lost paint.
Race Report Over
So State was a failure. Luckily Twilight was not! I was on the sidelines, clutching my collar bones in sympathetic fear, but Steven Beardsley, notorious Gentle Lover Apple Bottom, was not. He, along with Jimmy Lingwood and Mandy Bootz, pinned a number on and raced and won!
*skip to about 8 minutes, if you have important things to do
Every team needs a deal closer, and Steve ain't a bad one to have.
With August slowly running out of steam, we've got precious few races left, at least ones we can enter on road bikes. For anybody else who feels sad about this, I urge you to show out of the Giro Di Portland. All the fun of a prime-time downtown crit like Twilight, but with, like, a 200% better chance you'll finish the race upright with all of your skin! Plus, they have women's racing, with equal payouts (Twilight, I'm sure you have your reasons for no women's field, but whatever they are, they make you look silly and behind the times. I'm telling you for your own good, because I like you).
Another Other Thing
Look at this kid's hair!
Look at what the boys from Ruckus Components did for the dude from Zog's Dogs!
It ain't vegan, but I just can't stay mad
OK, I realize I was a little all over the place today, but I'm ready to leave you alone now. Until next time!
The Tiniest Sprinter
PS: I almost forgot! Levo, of this here Vanilla Workshop company and Team Ironclad, got on the cat 1/2 podium at the state crit! Nice sprint, Jenn. I dedicate this to you.