Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The End in Bend: Cyclocross National Championships: 12/13/09

Oregon definitely did it right! Bend was an amazing venue for the CX National Championships. What a great weekend of racing on varied terrain, mostly dictated by weather, time of day, etc. The course was never the same! Although the actual race is only 40 minutes for me, the weekend was a lot longer and a good one. We rented a condo minutes from the course with Katie & Mark and Wendy & Emily. With Wendy, Emily and Tim doing masters races, every day there was action. Friday was the women's masters races, with mad cheering for friends and Wendy claiming a silver, outsprinting our buddy Beth, who got bronze. Saturday was Tim's race, which ended in disappointment, and then Sunday was the main event. Of course, Katie walked away with the National Championship and now will continue her domination at the world level! My race, well, that is another story, and since it is my blog, I guess I should tell it.

I was optimistic going into the race. I loved the course, and although nervous, I was excited. I felt there was a lot on the line for me. I started calmly, knowing a crash would cost me more dearly than a few extra seconds through a slippery corner. I was in good position. I was right where I wanted to be. I felt pretty good. I stayed focused, passed Mo, putting myself in 2nd, knowing there was a line of women waiting to open it up a bit. And open it up they did. Digging, I stayed with the train, but towards the end of the first lap, it proved to be too much. I could not breathe. Not in the normal, racing cx kind of way, but in the 'my airways are closing and I think I am going to die' kind of way. I throttled 'er back a bit, concentrated on oxygen in and oxygen out and was able to hold on to salvage my race for a 10th place finish. I wanted to quit. And when I saw two laps to go, I wanted to cry. Not my normal cx emotions. Tim met me at the finish line, we spent some time in the medical tent and lots of tears later, my season was over! Although it took me a day or two to decide.
I have canceled my euro campaign in order to take a break and get to the bottom of these issues. I withdrew my worlds petition and decided it was best not to represent my country when I do not feel I am racing at my best. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this, but as I sit and type this and the rain is falling, I can not allow myself to think about snow, skiing, Christmas at home, time off the bike and heading somewhere warm in spring to train! Don't worry. I'll be back!!! Stronger and better than ever! Looking forward to nationals in 2010! Let's do it up again big in Bend!

Tim done with his 2009 season!

The massive women's field! Amazing.

The crowds were awesome!!!


vicki said...

Hey Sue
Sorry to read about your asthma problems. Must have been a difficult decision to cancel your European season. I'll miss seeing your smiling face at the races here. Take care and I hope you can get recovered quickly.

Anonymous said...

Time to get fat and wear some coach shorts with me? I will even let you borrow my whistle! Can't wait!

erikv said...

Bummer you had breathing troubles, probably cold-induced asthma, eh? No biggie, lots of people have that and now at least you know what conditions bring it on.

You've done Portland proud. Good job, and happy off-season!

Monilee said...

Sorry to hear that sue ... Is it asthma or exercise-induced broncial spasms?

No fun either way. hang in there :)