It’s that time of the week — the rehash of my rotten results in the most recent installment of the Cross Crusade. I continue to not get any faster but I haven’t given up the fight not to be last. This week I wasn’t last by two finishers. David Hart and Craig Austin both finished behind me. Apparently, I was within spitting distance to three other racers. I never lost sight of Roger Joys out on the open areas. I think I spent most of the race 20-30 seconds behind him and there were two other masters between him and me.
I’m wondering about Craig Austin. Specifically whether he’s racing the 35+ A race because it fits his schedule. I’m pretty sure that he hasn’t been forced into any upgrades and he’s been dead last a couple races thus far this season. That dude has my respect — I know it’s psychologically difficult to go out and race hard knowing you’re going to be at the very tail end of the field.
Of my three races, this was the worst one. Everything got sorted out on my end of the field during the second lap. I was stuck where I was and wasn’t very close to anyone until the fast guys started coming by. I used those guys (and women) as rabbits. I tried to stick on their wheels as long as I could except in instances where I might be impeding actual racing. So if three of four guys came by in a clump, I’d try to stick to the tail end. That worked pretty well on the wide open sections but not so much on the twisty parts.
The section of the course that ate me alive was the little side hill. The whole course was slippery and I went down on the wide off camber corner just after the long straight and prior to the bog. But I managed to find a decent line through that corner eventually. The same couldn’t be said of that nasty side hill. I never figured out how to keep any speed through the entry chicane and the exit was even worse. On the last lap, I tried an alternative line and ended up slipping out and rolling back down the rise backwards. Both times I unexpectedly dismounted (the off camber sweeper and the side hill exit), I could have benefited from a solid goofy side remount.
Another race in the books and another less than stellar performance to brag about on the blog. My asthma was exceptionally bad after the race. Once I got home, I coughed all night long with some pretty bad spells where I was gagging so bad I thought I was going to puke. My chest rattle would have been an excellent noise maker at the race. The new medicine I’m trying out is helping but not enough, apparently. I’m not really sure whether I’m breathing in my prodigious post nasal drip or whether my lungs just aren’t happy with colder weather. Maybe some of both.
Next week is a bye for me since It’s my youngest son’s birthday. Frost will be be five on Monday but we’re doing his party on Sunday. My next race will be PIR which I can label the return to the stroke — same race venue one year after my “event” last year. Here’s to hoping I’ll have a more enjoyable outcome this time.