Saturday, January 17, 2015

December 2014: Training Ramblings....The Final Stretch!

The final stretch of the cross season....two races were left in December both of which were the final races in the two local race series - Super 8 and the Sportif Cross Cup.  

In preparation for the 2015 cross season, yup already thinking ahead!, I raced the Masters 123 race at Capital Cross. Boy, this was a fun race, the muddiest of the year and one in which I felt really strong off the back of the MABRA Championships the week previous. In terms of overall result this race turned out to be my most satisfying of the whole season. I ended with a top 10 performance in tough conditions and my highest ranking points from CrossResults (the national ranking site).  All bodes well for next season and I know what I need to improve on to continue to move up the ranks at the higher level.

A mudder at Capital Cross  Photo Credit: Kevin Dillard
 The final and 17th race of the cross season was the Sportif Series finale at BikeneticCX. I had the top spot in the Masters 3/4 series but there was an outside chance that if I DNF'ed for whatever reason that Michael Berry who was in 2nd and whom with I had had a season long battle could take the top spot!  You never know what can happen in a cross race so everything was up for grabs.  And to add some more pressure, my parents were over for the Christmas holidays and were able to come watch the race.

From the gun myself and Mike hit the gas and before the end of the first lap we were way clear of the field. A 2nd place for me would secure the series win so without taking any risks I traded the lead with Mike over the next few laps.  Then with 2 laps to go and after jumping back on after the sand pit, I sensed some doom....the left crank arm had begun to loosen! If that came off, it would be game over and the series gone! Over the next 2 laps it was a matter of nursing the bike to the finish line.  The gaps from us to the rest of the field was enough that a few seconds here or there wasn't going to make a difference.  With one to go all was looking good, we were still away and the crank arm was still easier last lap enabled Mike to open a small gap for the win but I was able to cruise into 2nd place and the series win.....Goal 3 of the season met!  And now Sarah can have her Sunday's back :-)

The Final Sportif Series Podium....unfortunately Mark couldn't make it so we photo shopped him in!
And what a fun season it was. I think that 'cross has taken priority over triathlon or road racing from now on....when does the 2015 start?  To top the season off, I was able to upgrade to Category 2 so now have no option but to race the Masters 123 races (or straight up 123 races if I feel especially brave!)

Over the next few weeks I'll review the year in terms of training numbers, races etc and get a blog post up.  Without a doubt though, the lack of an Ironman made things a lot more fun, I was able to focus more on cycling and especially cyclocross!

What I am Drinking This Month
GUATEMALA SAN JOSE OCANA from Ceremony Coffee Roasters
A maple syrup and cocoa aroma with brown butter and dates in a sweet, clean cup.

December Total: 475.00 miles/ 33 hours 4mins/TSS: 2210

Swim: 0 miles/0 hrs
Bike: 430 miles/24hrs 57mins
Run: 45 miles/5hrs 46mins
Strength: 2hrs 20mins

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