Monday, October 27, 2008

Campus Cross

The Deadgirl Express headed up to Red Deer at the crack of dawn for the Campus Cross race. This time, we invited Bill and his three legged dog in tow to make the ride interesting. As we were packing up, Bill was sitting in the drivers seat fiddling around.
Cindy: "what are you doing?"
Bill: "hooking up my radar detector"
Cindy: "uh, we're not going to need that"
One thing you learn very quickly with Cindy is that she's serious about safety. No speeding in the Deadgirl Express.
It was really windy when we arrived in Red Deer. Not only was the wind strong enough to kick up a lot of dust from the dirt parking lot adjacent to the course, it was strong enough to be pushing around racers on the course.
Pepper rode with the men this time. I thought this was really cool (and not just because it made it easier for the rest of us to podium). I like that there is a girl in the province that is good enough to take on the guys. I also thought it was good so that she had some stiff competition, which will ultimately help her get stronger (with Mical done for the season, Pepper has nobody against which to battle).
Early in my race, I broke away with two other girls. I held on for dear life until one of the girls actually got blown over by the cross wind. Then it was just me and Bridget. I stayed on as best I could until a dropped chain left me so far back that Bridget was out of sight. Keith was helpful from the sidelines, riding around the course and giving pointers and words of encouragement. There's a level of accountability that is performance enhancing when there are spectators. It's like you somehow owe it to them to do your best because they've taken the time to come out and give you support. Well, that accountability is even higher when it's Keith Bayly who's watching. He's not just clapping his hands as you ride by, he's coaching and dialing up the pressure. But, in spite of having this advantage, I was caught on my last lap as we ran through the sandpit. I'm not sure where Shatal got her energy, but I felt as though I were standing still as she powered ahead of me until she, too, was out of sight, leaving me in third place.
I felt like I'd raced my hardest race of the season. It probably wasn't my best effort strategically, but physically I was totally spent. I think I went too hard trying to stay with Bridget and that wiped me out for the last few laps. I was glad I'd done that - you learn a bit more about your body each time you push yourself farther into the red zone. Cindy had a great race, probably the best performance I've seen from her. Keith raced after us and took second, putting in a solid performance.
My prize money for third place brought my total season winnings to $205. I was wondering whether I would be expected to claim this on my income taxes. If so, do you think that would that mean I could expense my bike equipment and travel expenses?


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