I was doing so well getting caught up here, and then suddenly two weeks have gone by and I’m off the back again (in oh-so-many ways).
Truth is, nothing very interesting has been going on. I’ve been looking for work, and at this point can say that the search has been a success. I am now employed at Masconomet Health Center, which is an assisted living facility in Topsfield, MA, as a diet aide. It’s an OK job, pay’s not so great and I had to get stabbed with numerous needles to get hired on there, but if I ever make the leap back into higher education to finish my dietetics degree and do my internship it will be really helpful to have a little more work experience. If/when, whatever. I also have a few applications out to jobs that could be both more lucrative and more interesting (and not quite as long as a commute – it’s about ½ hr to Topsfield) but those positions don’t close for a little while yet, so it’s good to know that I’ll have a little income coming in one way or another.
Last weekend I raced the third and fourth races in the Verge New England series – Downeast Cyclocross at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, ME. It’s pretty cool having a regional series that’s UCI, really. Day one was probably the best race I’ve had at any UCI race I’ve done. My start was typically pathetic, even though I’ve been working on them pretty intensively lately. But once I got rolling I had a great race – slowly working myself up into the money. Both my fitness and the bike handling felt totally dialed, and it was a wicked fun course. I had one of those magical moments when I saw 4 laps to go and I thought, “I’ve totally got 4 laps left in my legs, and I need all four of them to pass more people.” Although I was still a few points away from that UCI point I need for a second row start, I finished feeling totally stoked. My goal for the next day was clear – have a good start, so I didn’t have to spend so much time and energy getting around people.
I got to crash at the lovely house of friends in Portland, ME, just 20 minutes away from the race. We cooked a lovely dinner with farm-fresh veggies and I got to sleep nice and early. There’s nothing better than staying with friends at a bike race.
The sky was looking threatening at the start of my race on Sunday, and one girl told me that, “the cows are all laying down, so it’s going to rain.” Luckily for us, it held off for our race. As for the race itself, I had a great start! I got into my pedal nice and quick and made some passes on the pavement, then kamikazi-ed my way around a couple girls as we funneled into the dirt. And then . . . it all kind of fell apart. People started passing me and I thought, “Why are they doing that? I’m going fast, aren’t I? Oh, I’m not? Crap…” Anyway, it was a rough day, but I congratulated myself on my awesome start and for actually finishing the race, even though I was getting a lot of pity-cheering as I limped along MINUTES behind girls I’d smoked the day before. You know, they two people clapping half-heartedly, saying in a tone of voice normally reserved for the terminally ill, “Good effort, keep going.” I mean, I know they mean well, but I still feel like throwing rocks at them because we both know that it is NOT a good effort, and the only reason I’m still keeping going is that I paid my stupid $40 to be there and it would be even stupider to quit.
So, the goal for next time is to combine Sunday’s start with Saturday’s awesome riding. Totally do-able, right? Totally.