Saturday, August 28, 2010

i will act my age. (at least this one time.)

After mulling it over and seeking advice from friends and even a couple of race organizer types, I've decided that I will race my singlespeed bike in the Master 45+ Womens' category at Cross Crusade. I will probably get my head handed to me by women who are fitter, stronger and have trained/raced more; but I just couldn't see the point of racing Beginner women again this year. Like I said earlier, I can get schooled by my peers, or schooled by kids. I am opting for punishment from my peers as a sort of "bass-ackwards" motivator to somehow improve myself, even on the tiniest micro-level, over how I did last year.

As one of the Cross Crusade assistants pointed out to me, for someone in my position it won't make a huge difference either way, especially since I'll be on a singlespeed bike and nearly everyone else will be on geared bikes. I'm just there for fun, anyway. And mud. I will never forget that first slap of cold mud on my ass last year, and how it charged me up and made me go faster (for all of 100 feet, but still...).

I saw my doctor on Thursday for an update on the whole asthma thing. She's pleased with how I've been managing it and is hopeful that I won't need the double-whammy of both inhalers for more than a few more weeks. When allergy season finally begins to quiet down she thinks I'll have a period of inhaler-free living until next spring. Still, she wants me to keep the "rescue" inhaler close at hand just in case; and use the steroidal inhaler only if I need the "rescue" inhaler more than a couple times a week. Also, she thinks the racing is doing my heart and lungs some real good ("your resting pulse just sitting here is 71??! That's awesome. You should see what other women your age look like on paper.") and is glad I'm racing through the fall.

After I explained what cyclocross is, she suggested I try -- gasp! -- jogging 2 to 3 mornings a week; starting with maybe ten minutes straight and working my way up to twenty, as many times around the block as needed. "Consider it pulmonary therapy of a sort, something to help with the asthma," she said. I still think running's for suckers but hey, if the doc says it could help I'll give it a try; plus it can't hurt as I prepare for cross, right?

Had a beautiful ride this morning to and from a different synagogue than I usually attend. Sweetie was feeling sort of ill -- she's been fighting some kind of stomach bug for a couple of days -- and I needed to say Kaddish for my mother, whose yahrtzeit (anniversary of her death) was earlier in the week. Needing a minyan (a group of ten or more Jewish adults), and not really wanting to sit through the Bar Mitzvah of some kid and his 200 relatives I didn't know at my shul, I opted for the shul where a friend of mine is the rabbi. It was lovely and I enjoyed a fabulous ride there and back, pushing myself harder on all the uphills (up and down Alameda Ridge) as a sort of quasi-interval-thingy. Today's high was in the low 70's, and just about perfect for riding around town. I am hoping Sweetie will feel better soon -- I want us to enjoy some more farmer's market rides together while the weather is this gorgeous!


Richard said...

Is there any way you can put a cassette on your 'cross bike? I have an old XTR 9=speed sitting in the garage. It's worn but might get you through a race or two.

The running is actually a good idea and will help your 'cross racing, just don't run on pavement or you could really hurt your knees if you haven't done any running in a while.

Kelly Carlisle said...

Your doctor's advice is right on! I'll vouch for the running thing--it's very helpful for the breathing, if not for the ego. My inner racer struggles with being slower than everybody else out there. It's making a big difference for health and breath, however.

I have so much to learn from friends who gently teach me about their practices, observances, challenges, and joys in their faith lives. Thank you for bringing this part of who you are to your blog.

This morning as I drank coffee and blogged about riding hills, you were out there doing it. You win!

I'd still love to watch a cyclo-cross race if and when I can get up your way. Please keep the invitations coming. We WILL connect!

bikelovejones said...

@ Richard: I am really, completely and totally dedicated to racing on a singlespeed bike for as long as I am able to race. When I can't race singlespeed anymore it will be time for me to stop racing.

I am taking this approach because of how old I was when I began racing (46, last year); and because of the memory of riding my bmx bike which helped to inspire my choosing to race now. That's why, when I went looking for a better-fitting frame, I chose a dedicated singlespeed frame with track ends. No derailleur hanger. Ergo, no derailleur.

Your offer is nice but I will pass. Thank you tons anyway!

As for the running, I'm going to start with what I have, which is me, my baggy shorts and my vans sneakers with thick wool socks. Ten minutes running around the block at an easy pace probably won't hurt my knees, which have no prblems otherwise. If it sticks then I'll consider spending money on some "real" running shoes for sure.

bikelovejones said...

@ Kelly: The Cross Crusade schedule can be found at
and includes all dates and locations. I plan to race at the locations that are accessible by transit, PLUS Barton Park (which isn't transit-accessible but I can get a ride and it's the best course of the series).
You are invited to come watch ANY of those races and look for me (in my somewhat garish black-blue-lavendar-pink Velo Bella kit).

They usually run all the womens' categories together so check the schedule as we get closer to the first race for the correct start times for each category. I will always stick around to catch my breath and watch the elite racers so you should be able to find me after my races.