St George is coming up very soon, so soon that I’m starting to get a bit nervous about it. I’m not really too nervous about my actual performance; I’m worried about all the other things. I do dumb shit in races all the time. You can hear me laughing at myself as I circle around the infield at PIR during the summer short track series, as I run into a tree or miss my pedal, or get my bibs caught on the saddle trying to sprint; I’ve done it all!
There are so many things I can screw up during a triathlon, the list is truly endless. I could get lost trying to find my bike after the swim, I could forget to put on some vital piece of clothing, I could drop a bottle, I could accidentally squeeze out all my gel all over myself, I could leave my swim cap on under my helmet, I could fall off the other side of my bike while trying to jump on, I could get stuck in my pedal trying to jump off, I could run into a volunteer trying to get water, I could try peeing in my bibs only to have the pee somehow run contrary to gravity-space-time and end up on my bottles, who knows? The possibilities are endless.
During the Bear Springs cross country race one year, I was doing really well, I think I was 2nd in category 1. I didn’t want to let up, since there were people right on my ass. The problem with mountain biking, especially that course, is that a lot of it is technical single track which makes drinking a challenge. Well I grabbed my water bottle and attempted to navigate a twisty descent one handed. I think you can imagine how that went. After that first crash, the race was just a series of crashes; at one point I actually fell right along side and huge fallen tree and literally rolled right over it.
At the first Cross Crusade series race one year (Alpenrose), I hadn’t done any practicing for cyclocross skills ahead of time (I’m category 1! I don’t need to practice!). Unsurprisingly, I came into the first barrier way too hot, jumped off about 2 feet before it, and just ran my front wheel right into it, doing a kind of weird flipping motion with my bike to keep me and the bike moving to the other side. Cyclocross is of course the ultimate place for dumb race mistakes; I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone superman-ing off my bike into a deep puddle of mud.
Thankfully, there will be no mud bogs to wade through, no slimy bridges to cross, no river rock scree fields to navigate at St George. So I’ll have to find other ways to embarrass myself, but thankfully I’m definitely category 1 in that department.