Wow, I had to actually read my blog to see where I left off!!! All I can say is it's been a while, only one post for the whole 2012 year and it was about this same time last year. A lot has happened since then. I was on track to have a decent Chicago Cross Cup last season and hovered right around top 10 for the first few races I did. Then I took a sabbatical for dryland dogsled racing. On the up side I had really good results in the bikejor and scooter events, and placed in all the races. On the downside I wasn't racing cross and my fitness was wavering. When I did get back to cross I had missed around five or six races. I could really tell my fitness was nowhere near the level it was at the start of last season. Anyways, Melas Park race was a miserable 20 something finish, and the Montrose race was horrible. I had a bad start, crashed, broke a shifter and got on my pit bike. I had it all season, but only used in on a few warmup laps. Needless to say the bars were loose, I was feeling like shit, I lost a bunch of places, and just not feeling it, so I called it a day.
As I said goodbye to last years cross season I said hello to the xc ski and sleddog racing season. I was training the dogs pretty regularly and I was practically living in Wisconsin training myself on the ski's. I hadn't been on xc ski's but one other time in my life, but I was able to take to them pretty easily after a rough start. I did a race series up in Waukesha every week, and when I wasn't there I was up in Minneapolis training and racing. I did several skijor races and was able to place 2nd or 3rd in those races and the one major xc ski race I did I was able to place 2nd in my age group. I was able to do well enough to earn sponsorship from Howling Dog Alaska, an equipment manufacturer, and Wolfmoon kennels, who supplied my dogs and have a race sled waiting for me to pick up. This season I have high hopes as several of my dogs I used last season were only around 10 or 11 months old. This year they should be stronger and more experienced. Only time will tell. I also plan on doing more individual xc ski races, without the dogs for the upcoming season. I've also teamed up with Howling Dog Alaska to help promote the sport of dogsledding and urban mushing. It'll be another busy winter.
With all the ski and dogsled racing over the past winter I was a bit burnt out to carry on my training and start hitting the bike hard. At this point of the season I've usually got 20-30 road races under my belt. I decided to take a break and train only for the upcoming cross season. I did just that and managed a couple late season crits to test my legs. I did Tour of Elk Grove and two races at the Wood Dale crit. The Elk Grove race was definetly getting the cobwebs out and surprisingly at the Wood Dale crits I had some good jump in my legs.
Fast forward to this past weekend and I did my first cross race of the season. I had the choice of either the Sheboygan race up north or the Patriotcross race down south. The distance was the same either way. I decided it might be a little cooler up north and it was also a part of a bigger series whereas Patriotcross was only a two race series.
I thought it would be a mud race because I drove through a nice rainstorm from Milwaukee to just outside Sheboygan. When I arrived at the race I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was only a sprinkle and now the sun and heat was out in full force. I signed up for the Masters 35+, and CAT123 races. Before and during my warm-up I could tell I had tired legs. This wasn't a priority race so I trained as usual with a hard long ride on Wednesday, some hot laps on Thursday with a new team I'll be riding with for this season called the Sasquatch Squadron. They seem like a good group of guys. The biggest killer was going for a run on Friday which really zapped my legs pretty good.
Now to the race. There were 22 guys signed up for the Masters 35+ race. It's not cross cup numbers, but other then the cross cup, 22 isn't too bad. I was in the second row in the middle. As we started I tried to get a good jump, but a guy to the right cut right in front of me and then stopped. I had no idea what he was doing. I got around him, but now had to fight to catch the lead group. There was a lead group of about five that were slowly rolling off the front. myself and two others were keeping pace, but not making much ground. The course sucked, not in a bad way, but just not my type of course. It was 90% hard, bumpy, grass, and 5% woods, and 5% gravel fire road with one near vertical short climb. Nearly everyone was getting off, a few were able to ride it. A few times I made it to within about five feet of the top, but had to get off. There really wasn't any point in riding it because the few guys that did were absolutely spent at the top. I pretty much rode with the same two guys, but I faded towards the end of the race and got passed by one guy to finish 9th. I was too baked to do back to back races so I just cooled down and headed home. Overall I was happy with the result considering I wasn't at 100%.