Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family Thanksgiving, Jingle Cross

Went down to Des Moines Thursday morning with Sascha for Thanksgiving with my mom. It was less chaotic than years' past, with just mom, step-dad and step-dad's sister and husband. We had the usual fare, and it was yummy! Sascha and step-aunt went back to Minneapolis and Kansas City respectively the same day. I stayed on for Jingle Cross. Decided to do just Saturday to avoid a lot of extra driving between Iowa City and Des Moines, and also to avoid the embarassment of my off-the-back performance this year.

I'd signed up early, with high hopes of being back in shape and able to take advantage of a good start. I was actually feeling pretty bad in the end for wasting a front row position and getting in everyone's way, so when "hole-shot" Hollywood offered gas money to switch positions back to third row, it worked out perfectly. Not sure if it was my lack of fitness or the course this year, but it was really really hard! Most people were walking up "Mt. Krumpit" this year, so I didn't feel quite so bad about it, but it was tough. Adding to it was slippery conditions on the off-camber above the bleachers and Mt. Krumpit, and I had no toe spikes (took them off for commuting earlier).

In the end I wasn't last, had fun, and had an awesome workout. My glutes are really feeling it today! I even escaped from the little group I was with, and sprinted for thirty-something place to move up a notch. Stayed on for the 2/3, elite women, and part of the elite men's race before heading back. As always, it was good to connect with the racing community, now that everyone's starting to hibernate, and it was fun as always to have the parents watch this crazy sport called cyclocross. Unfortunately the camera batteries died after three pictures, so I don't have much for picture. Step-dad brought his video camera and got some still pics with it. So not much for pictures this weekend, alas. My best pic of the three was Linda's excellent for across the barriers; the camera died right after the start of the women's elite race.

Notables from the race: podium girls, Patty Cakes cleaning up on $1 and $5 primes, free beer, slip-n-slide fun on the off-camber, watching a slick bike change through the pit, Wells brothers showing everyone how it's done, cheers helping me up Mt. Krumpit. Good times.