For all intents and purposes, the 2009 racing season came to an end with Iceman. There is one more cyclocross race that I may participate in, provided that I don't get too fat and out of shape with a week at deer camp. It's now time to look back on my racing: what went well and what I can do better. Hopefully I can use this to make 2010 a much more successful racing season.
I raced in, and completed, my second Lumberjack 100. Being too stupid/stubborn to know when to quit is paying off. Even with mild cramping setting in around mile 40, I was able to get back on my nutrition plan, fend off the cramps, and push on through the pain.
This fall marked my first crack at cyclocross racing. I was able to jump right into the "B" group and not embarress myself (solid mid-pack). This was with an obvious lack of cyclocross specific skills (mounts and dismounts in particular).
Even though I didn't do a lot of racing, the ones I did do I was excited to do. Starting line stress was about perfect (not too laid back and not to antsy).
My starts have improved. In the past, I have been a slow starter, relying on my ability to pick off competitors through the course of the race. This year I made it a point to go out hard, but at a sustainable level, right from the start.
Pacing continues to be a strong point. My splits at Big M were quite consistant, with my last lap being a faster one. Upon review of my GPS data from the Maybury cyclocross I noted that my later laps were also amongst my faster ones.
The Not So Good
During much of the season, I just didn't feel like racing. I backed out on a few races when conditions looked like they would be dodgy (rain & mud). Other times I just didn't have the desire to race.
I effectively turned myself into a diesel this year. Early on I didn't do much for interval training or riding at threshold. This showed later in the season when I didn't have the top-end power to hang with the pack.
My cyclocross skills need much work. I would lose time on the barriers and run-ups. A few times my barrier attempts were "less than graceful", bouncing the bike off of the barrier tops for example. I also need to learn to shoulder my bike.
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. From not properly hydrating leading up to the event (Big M), not fueling properly and bonking at the end (Michigan Bike Festival), to not following my fuel/hydration routine early in the race (not taking my electrolytes during lap 1 at Lumberjack). I made more stupid errors than I cared for.
There you have it, my racing season in a nutshell. All-in-all I'd give myself a "C" grade. I had some successes, but I know I could've done better with a little more focus.