November 8, 2012

A Halloween Fat Lip and Barton Park; a Cross Crusade Win.

The Halloween Cross Crusade weekend in Bend was brilliant, an excellent display of the Bend community, putting on a fabulous race and memory-making party. 

I, unfortunately, didn't have such a brilliant weekend; smashing my face on the asphalt on my way to work on Friday (stupid-silly a$$-over-tea-kettle, complete user error), and racing both Saturday and Sunday with my face so swollen that I had trouble breathing out of my nose and my fat lip getting in the way of mouth breathing.  

The redeeming factor of the weekend was my Halloween costume.  A dragon; made with lovely care by my Mom; who made the over the mountains to see the costumer race live and in person. Having her here was wonderful and gave me more reason to push myself  when I felt like staying the bed.  After the race on Sunday, I was forced to admit how exhausted I was.  I almost felt over as I tried to get on my bike to get in a cool-down.  

Barton Park was a different story.  After a week of rest and recovery, spiced up with a couple solid workouts, I was ready to race. 

The course was a combination of fast dirt and gravel with a few mud puddles and peanut-butter corners thrown in for good measure.  Oh, and of course, the Barton Park run-ups.  Two per lap.  This was going to be good.

I had a slow start, but quickly moved my way through a strong field of women and by the end of the first lap was in the lead.  Head down, hammering, I looked back only enough to see that Alice wasn't on my wheel.  After I confirmed I was alone, I focused my attention forward.

I was riding well and having fun.  Legs burning, heart on fire.  

Barton was a the reasons I love to race cross. 

Dirt, mud, friends, cow-bells, donuts, and suffering shared by each person who toed the line.  

I have traveled a bit more this season, going to out-of-state races, racing against super-fast women.  These races are fun, but racing at home, in Oregon, surrounded by my community - that is the best.  I am continually thankful for our community.  One of strong spirits, brilliant smiles and flannel. Yes, lots of flannel.

And Don, we certainly miss you.

Photo: Nick Fochtman

Photo: Nick Fochtman

Photo: Matthew Lasala
I really like this image.... exhausted, elated, smiling. Yes, Oregon, I really do love you!