I have so much respect and love for my friends and teammates. Rosie came to visit this weekend, and she cheered for me at my race. It was really good to see her, and it meant a lot to me to have such a good friend motivating me.
Anyway, the DCCofD rocked out in Hagerstown MD. Needless to say, the boys and girls of Northern Delaware seem to know how to get it done. Pictures here: www.forty15.com/photo/hagerstown_cross/index.html.
I managed to squeeze into the front line at the start and was able to go into the first turn in 2nd wheel. The leader pushed hard into turn 2 - a nasty off-camber beast, and I pursued hard. I pushed hard to close the gap to the leader halfway through the first lap. Two chasers were coming hard after our 2-man break.
I stupidly lift the pace a little more and drop the former leader - I am completely alone by 3/4 through the lap. I stomp on the pedals through the steep run up and come across the S/F line with a sizeable gap - trying to tell my self to relax and settle into a rhythm. Coming by the pit, I hear the DCCofD gents telling me to ease up... "find your rhythm!!" They are right, if I keep this up, I'll implode and blow the race.
I settle down and get my heart rate down from 99% to maybe 87% and try to recover. I went too hard there, and Jan and some other guy catch me. I hang with Jan for a while and he jumps to cover the gap when the other guy goes. I can't hold on - too much spent on that stupid first lap (at least it was cool to hear my name on the loudspeakers). Jan works over the next laps and catches the leader. They slowly open more of a gap on me, and Jan ends up taking the guy in the last lap when he drops a chain or something. Jan wins (score for the DCCofD!) and I come across alone in third.
Podiums feel good. I just want to keep working hard, racing smart, and having fun. I can't stress enough how much respect I have for Slick Rick, fatmarc, e-town, Jan, Fort James, Diane, Dan - all the DCCofD. Some of them kill me in practice and own their races - they inherently force me to train hard. And some of them just work hard and refuse to quit and continute to improve - let me tell you: it's motivating.