So I know I'm in serious contention for the worst blooger ever award. And I know that I was planning on updating more when I got back to school and back into routine. What I didn't anticipate was just how crazy busy I was going to be. Between classes, work, and now, cyclocross every weekend through mid-December including a trip to freaking OREGON to race at Nats, it's been sort of... insane?
This weekend was awesome. We went up to Massachusetts for Cycle-Smart International, a weekend put on by the team's biggest collective crush, Adam Meyerson. It was a super-good time, I had some decent but definitely "needs improvement" results in the biggest field I've ever raced in, and had a blast doing so. It was the first super-cold weekend, which lent itself nicely to lots of hot apple cider and lots of free oatmeal. And a whole lot of awesome team antics. We got amazing seitan burritos at a place in Northampton, which is the cutest town ever, and then got really good beer at a great bar nearby. In general, it was a fantastic time. The only downside is coming home and remembering that I'm not a bike racer full-time. There's work to do!
But there's also a lot to do bike racing. The whole vegan thing is coming along very nicely, I dropped a couple of pounds this week and honestly, I am feeling really really good! I always forget just how good I feel when I'm vegan because, come on, ice cream is delicious. But so far it hasn't been too hard- it also helps that I spend weekends not eating pizza as per usual, but traveling with a lot of vegan teammates. It is weird how easily I've fallen back into the habit of checking labels and paying attention to stuff like that, and I'm eating a whole lot more whole foods- a lot of fruit for snacking! The only problem is that sometimes I get hungry when I'm working a full day- like today- and I can't really hit a vending machine for snacks (this is a good and bad thing, I think). I would pack stuff like trail mix, but nuts and me don't agree in a lot of ways. I could pack pita chips or crackers, easily, but I never think about it.
In addition to the vegan thing, I also need to work on my pitting skills. At Nats, I'll be pitting for three of my teammates at the same time, and my knowledge of mechanics is not great. Nor is my ability to hand off a bike effectively. On the flip side, I need to learn how to take a pit bike and not lose time. So my teammates and I need to start working on things like that. Additionally, I need to work on going HARD for 45 min, my starts, and riding WITH people, including things like bumping, and just cornering with people in front of me- I brake too much as it is. So we're going to start really focusing on those things, and instead of our usual Wednesday night team dinners, we're going to combine dinner with some serious mechanic lessons so I can hopefully be a teensy bit competent in the pit.
I did get new compression tights today, which I'm very excited about! I did a run this morning to drop off some forms, and it was probably a bad idea. I've never been one for recovery, but it's clear I need to start, judging by how much going down stairs is hurting now. I need to do things like stretch, wear compression stuff, and actually recover. And I need to avoid getting sick! I keep forgetting to take vitamins and use my Neti pot on a regular basis, despite really needing to, since I'm outside in the cold every weekend. Also, I keep underpacking for races and end up freezing and/or stealing teammates clothing (I had Matt's legwarmers for the past month, and I warmed up in Charlie's jacket all weekend).
The next few weeks are going to be super fun though- we have a lot of my favorite races, Thanksgiving weekend off, a couple of local weekends and a couple of travel weekends to places I love, and then Nationals! I'm super excited but also really nervous about stuff like getting our bikes there, our flights working out, getting to sit together on the plane, not losing our luggage, car rental, stuff like that. Details are nerve-wracking, but flying doesn't bug me too much. Just the part leading up to getting on the plane and taking off. We still have 5 weeks until we leave, but it's hard to believe that it's already November and most of my classes are starting to wind down somewhat and final projects are starting to be due. This means I'll be keeping my Bad Blogger Award for a while, but I'll try to post more, for my sanity more than anything else!