This is season 13 I believe, which means I have been racing cyclocross 13 of my 25 years on this planet. And I'm stoked I have been. Nothing makes me happier. I would imagine it's pretty rare that someone has been participating in any specific sport for more than half the time that they have been alive let alone a niche of a niche sport such as CX.
I'm 3 races deep in the season, I had to take a 2 week break since I fly out for BGFit school next week and needed some bike shop hours this week (does anyone need a bike fit BTW?) but the season has been a huge success personally. Results wise has been incredibly lackluster, I devoted my season to only racing cat 3's and I'm getting spanked. But fit and feel wise I am miles from where I came from after I took a 3 year hiatus from racing bikes "seriously." I've still never skipped a cross season but for a few years there I spent my time training to climb and racing cross from some weird passion filled part of my heart.
My lungs feel better, I'm attacking on the stairs and barriers again (my trademark junior move) and my tech skills are above average... I'm still getting schooled in the grass criterium part of the courses and after a year that I have already put 4000 miles into the ego doesn't feel great about it, but this might be my rebuilding year. The few Cat 3 races I did last year (before ducking my head and moving back to 4s) were even worse but the cool thing about Colorado is that I get the opportunity to race on the same course 4 time per season, that may sound redundant and like a waste of creative ability but it gives a good baseline for the racers. And my baseline is significantly higher than last year.
So I may not be getting faster right now, but I feel like I'm rebuilding a racer mentality. And that's the hard part, there are guys that will go fast because they can go fast. But there are racers who will go fast because they are physically dominating a field. Once upon a time I was better at that, my goal is to get better at that again. I want to make the 3 field mine, and for some reason I still feel like it's attainable.
Long story short: I will race hard this year and not dick around and take beer hand ups anymore, I will come in midpack at best and next spring I will have a coach. So hopefully next year when I hang my head and pretend that I'm not racing my 14th season of cross when my best season ever was at 14 years old, I can start stomping faces in again.
BTW I'm running a new corporate blog, you all should read it. It get's updated more regularly because I am paid to write it. http://blog.cycleton.com. This is me being corporate, it's still funny and it's still about bikes. You can probably find some of my soul buried in there and it really is worth the read. I feel like the majority of my whit that makes my reader smile is not context but wordsmithing, so if you like this you will like that.
Mic dropped, I'm out