Today marked my return to cyclocross after taking a year off last year due to injury. Today was an important day because it would tell me where I was in my fitness and how much I loved the sport. I had been gearing up for cross for about a month now of actual workouts geared towards cross, although truthfully, I had viewed everything I had done this summer geared towards cross. I had been excited for it last year, but my broken collarbone took me out a week before the first race. So my main goal for this year was simply to make it to cross and enjoy it.
Well despite some scares, I made it to the first race in perfect health. So I went into today with realistic hopes, but fear bit of apprehension. I haven't done this in a year, I had no clue how I'd react. I banked my whole season on these races, not only for doing well, but for completing my races for the year. So I had better enjoy it, because I had signed myself up for the entire season.
Two races went off before me, and between each race I was able to do a warm up lap of the course. It definitely was a good course. From what I heard a lot more singletrack, which was fine by me since part of my training has been riding my cross bike on the mtb trails in the area. The course has a couple obstacles to deal with, a sand pit, 3 log crossings on the singletrack (two you could hope, the third you had to dismount) and then two barriers before the end. I picked my tires, figured out their pressure and got ready to race.
The race started well for me, I got a great start and had finally successfully placed myself towards the front of the race. I lost a couple positions in a gravel turn as I got pinched on the inside in the loose gravel. But held my place up until the trip down the sand pit. After that point I started ever heating and couldn't get cooled down again. As my core temperature rose i lost more and more of my power until the third lap when I came undone. My mom luckily was there handing me bottles each lap and each lap I would take in as much water as I could and toss the bottle. On the third lap I had to stop because I was getting dizzy and was about to throw up. I composed myself and carried on hoping to finish the race. Coming into the stadium section of the start area I blacked out on the top of the climb just barely composing myself before I went off course. At that point I decided my race was done and there would be another race to fight for. So I pulled off.
Truthfully, even though it was a pretty poor race for me, bordering horrible. I feel really good after this race. Everything I had control over went perfectly. My dismounts and remounts were good, tire choice and pressure was perfect. My cornering was good, I was holding enough speed that I was on the course tape coming out of each turn. I had some fun in the sand pit, I still think that if I had not been so out of it because of the weather I could ridden that section, as that's the kind of thing I'm good at. The only thing that went wrong was something out of my control, and that was record high heat. So everything I could control was perfect and my race was undone by something out of control, and something that won't come up again this season. So it's time to get ready for next week.