Elgin thoughts from JRho:
We were disappointed when the WMSR was canceled but FRO turned out to be a local gem, hosted by PSIMET. It consisted of two days of racing on two of the area’s more interesting courses. Saturday’s being a rolling, fast, and somewhat technical crit and Sunday’s involving a brutal (some would say awesome) hill climb with a rad descent. Knowing full well where my strengths lie, my goal for a good finish was focused on Saturday’s crit. Unfortunately, slimC had just moved and needed time to get her life in order so I was on my own. Heading out to Elgin, I realized that I was nervous. I hadn’t really felt nervous this season; the kind of nervous where you need deep yoga breaths and mental visualization to prepare oneself for what may lie ahead. Weird. Perhaps it was knowing there would be a stacked field. Maybe it was racing on an unknown course. And maybe it was because I was solo sans teammate. Whatever it was, I did the visualization and yoga breaths all the way to Elgin, got my number, and went for a nice warm-up. Somewhere along the way, I told myself to chill out and do what it is you do — race your bike; you love this.
The women toed the line and sure enough the field was stacked for a local race. I knew I’d be chasing Kittens and Monkeys for the next 40 minutes and that I did. I was hoping for a podium and settled for 4th due to bad positioning in the last lap but it was a fun, high-paced race. It was nice to have some firepower in the field.
FRG by slimC:
Two moves in as many weeks can leave a person feeling really out of sorts. By person, I mean me, and by moves, I mean my workplace, followed by my living place, in the span of 9 days. Adjusting to a new work routine in a downtown high-rise while packing (then unpacking) our entire house and saying goodbye to the chickens made for a tough couple of weeks.
With some exceptions, like having fun at the Tenspeed Hero Annual Gala following one of my favorite local races, Monsters of the Midway, I was tired and grumpy for the better part of the last 2 weeks. Somehow though, I managed to put my kit on (nearly) every morning to do whatever ride was on the training schedule created by L.P.V. friend and coach, Eric Blankinship. Maybe we value the constants in our life more when lots of things are changing, but I’m really glad I had Eric’s suggested workouts and a couple of fun races requiring minimal travel time to get me through a chaotic time.
Missing an opportunity to employ our ever-improving teamwork at Elgin and then finishing a disappointing 6th place at Fox River Grove seemed like another low point in my terrible-no-good-very-bad week…until a few minutes later, when I realized that I wasn’t grumpy anymore. I can’t scientifically explain the sudden change in my mood, but many things may have contributed: the physical activity, the festival atmosphere, the fun spectating on the hill, the fierce competition. After all, it’s kind of impossible to stay grumpy around Kittens, even when they are ripping your legs off.