I don't think I've written much about the latter part of my 2012 CX season. Don't know why, it was pretty rad. My coach had me peak for the last couple New England UCI races and, lo and behold, I was pretty fast. The last UCI race was in Warwick, and on Day 2 I had the best start of my life, was flying, up in the top 16 or so, and then I crashed, and crashed again, and sort of fell apart. That was disappointing, because in some ways it was my last real chance of 2012 to prove something to myself. If I'd held it together and kept upright I think I would have had a pretty great result to show for it. As it was, I was really, really mad. At myself, primarily, and I used that to help motivate for nationals. I figured my next big chance to have a great result would be the masters 30-34 race in Madison. I got back to the tough training after Warwick to start building back up.
The next two weekends we had some regional races - Ice Weasels and Regional Championships. Ice Weasels was OK (super fun in the mud!), but my bike sort of wasn't working and I didn't have anyone in the pit, and the training was starting to take its toll at Regionals, leaving me thinking fondly of how freaking awesome it is to be at peak fitness. It also coincided with some cold snowy weather, Christmas happenings, and a two week period of time that Cody was away for work. What do you think happened then? Yeah, my motivation went from 11 to, oh, -2. I was happy to be headed out on vacation for a couple weeks, thinking that it would help me recapture that fire to win.
Cody and I flew to Reno on Christmas day to spend a week with my mom and reconnect with some friends we hadn't seen in a while. While we were there it snowed a ton, making for some rad snow-cross-biking and a couple great opportunities to get up in the mountains. I miss the mountains. My motivation was still low, but I did my workouts (most of them). I didn't want biking to interfere with spending time with the people I was there to see, or the non-bike things I wanted to do. I wasn't particularly looking forward to Nationals at this point, merely accepting that I'd be heading out there whether I wanted to or not. I know, that's terrible. Don't worry, it got better.
Anyway, we went snowshoeing, sledding, watched football, and caught up with some great friends, and family. Cody flew back to Boston on New Years Day, and I headed over the hill to Grass Valley, CA. We had a nice visit with extended family, then headed down to Chico to visit with the other extended family. I rode my bike through Bidwell Park in short sleeves. We ate at the brewery. Then I rode my very favorite Chico-area ride with my dad, starting in Oroville and riding up over Table Mountain. It is so ridiculously pretty out there, and it was so nice to ride in above-freezing temperatures. Also, my legs were feeling not to bad! The motivation was starting to return.
I spent the next week in California with my dad. We spent one day XC skiiing above Truckee (for 4 hours - hmmm, good nationals prep? We'll see!), then went DH skiing at Boreal. Does it make me sound old to say I haven't downhill skiied in 23 years? Yes? Shit. Well, the last time I was 7. I've snowboarded lots since then, and I think that must help because it was pretty easy. We took a lesson with a woman who was 75, and still a ski instructor. I hope I'm still doing what I love when I'm 75. There's not a lot more to ask of life than that.
Anyway, my week in California was great. We watched 2 seasons of Breaking Bad (I had dreams about disposing of bodies). The week culminated in a great ride down around the Sutter Buttes, which wasn't exactly warm, but was extremely scenic. My dad got up at a horrifyingly early hour to drop me at the airport in Sacramento. Next up: Nationals!
A Snowy CX Ride up Keystone Canyon in Reno
Snowshoeing on Mount Rose with my mom and Cody - 8500' Elevation, that's gotta be good for my bike racing, right?
A Lentil Burger and Old Chico Crystal Wheat at Sierra Nevada Brewery. So good.
Short-sleeves on a ride through Bidwell Park!
My mom adopted this dog, Murray. He's a doll.