Friday, September 16, 2011

Right back a'Cha babe!

(By 'babe' I am referring to anything on two wheels and require a helmet.) This fall it is Cyclocross!

The autumn weather hit the Greater Philadelphia area this morning. If anyone has Facebook or Twitter, you know because that is the subject of everyone’s updated statuses. Love notes to the mornings in sweatshirts, Hate notes to Mother Nature, tweets misspelled between frozen thumbs on the way to work. Either way, I love all weather, so I was pumped there was weather to be had.

This past summer I had set my new goal to learn to ride a motorcycle. But, since I fall so often on a pedal bike, finding someone to put a motor behind my balancing skills was an unrealized task. (The search is not over though, you just wait!)

For the Fall, however, my new adventure is Cyclocross, and this morning I signed up for my first Cyclocross race!

I never heard of Cyclocross before Nikki and Kristin got a hold of me. For everyone who was in my shoes, here my interpretation of it: It is a small windy course on grass, mud, trail or field with manmade obstacles and trees in your way. Do as many laps as you can in 40 minutes and you might win. Here is a real definition, along with a few others. (I was surprised to find my explanation was strikingly similar to Trek's). The ladies invited me to a 'practice'. So, last Wednesday I went to an open field to find close to 100 cyclists from all over Philadelphia riding their bikes in circles between trees, up hills and over planks. I had a blast. They were all so welcoming and ... fit. The sport seemed simple, fast, and you must know how to unclip.

Going into mountain biking, I had a few months of training behind me. Since I have been back on my bike, I have not had a set training schedule. However, I am eager to get back to racing. So, on September 24th, one hour after my first lesson in Cyclocross with Team CF's Kristin Gavin, I will be racing!

I am stoked!

Getting back on the bike was easy. The hardest part of recovery from my ACL was not anything to do with my legs; it was all in my head! I had to remind myself that, "this too shall pass" and I will be active again. In the mean time, I had to pick up a few daily treatments to replace what I call my 'exercise therapy'. (This is entirely unscientific, but I found that personally, exercise helps me clear my lungs. So I make sure that I did a treatment a day before my run or bike).

When I got back on the bike after a few months off, I was huffing and puffing. This is one of the most frustrating and motivating factors in my routine: Not being able to get enough air in to do what I know my legs can do. I make sure I keep a tight treatment schedule, so that the only thing holding me back from climbing that hill is the 5’ X 7’ boulder.

So tune in, I’ll let you know how it goes!

P.S. - I am in the market for a Cyclocross bike, so if anyone knows someone who has one they want to get off their hands, Message me!