Julie is Exhausted but Earned Her First UCI Points at Charm City!

I got a UCI point at Charm City! Basically my season is over now. I think I’ll spend the next 8 weekends sleeping in, having coffee in a mug that’s not a to go cup and experiencing what it’s like to sit on my couch and read books again. JK, there’s no fun in that. 

It was my first weekend racing without any Team Averica teammates…and after Holy Week of racing and warming up together, reviewing the course and talking about race tactics, it was pretty lonely. BUT Drew (Husband Drew) came and it was especially awesome to have him there.

Husband Drew was a good surrogate for my Team Averica teammates who couldn't come out to Baltimore. 

Here’s how it went down:

During Sunday’s race at PVD I decided I wasn’t going home from Baltimore without UCI points. I try to stick to my word…even if that word is only to myself. That contributed to a serious amount of nerves on Saturday morning. And an absurdly high heart rate at the start…like 25 beats higher than normal high. That and a last row call up had me giving myself a million excuses in my head of why it would be okay to leave without points. Maybe I was getting sick? Maybe I’m not fast enough for points yet. Maybe HPCX would be a better race to get points at…Except for that the majority of the fast ladies were in Madison for the C1 race. And Gabby wasn’t starting on Saturday. The whistle blew and we were led into a wide grassy climb, which was P E R F E C T for passing people. It was weird. I don’t normally have terribly good starts. But #climbing. The details of cross races are always fuzzy after the fact, but at some point in the first lap I made it into the top ten. That led to me acting like Bambi on a bike, which went on for about a lap. Then I remembered how to ride a bike and realized that if I didn’t move up, I might end up in a re-enactment of Nittany day one, which would have been very sad for me and my non-sprintable legs. So I moved up into 9th. I used Erin’s sage advice of making every lap my fastest lap and focusing on my turning. She should start a coaching company. Then competitive Julie came to life and I saw the girl in 8th looking a little tired, so I moved up to pass her too. From there it was just maintaining positioning to the end (and still working on Erin’s advice). What was extra awesome about Saturday was that Drew’s family was there to watch the race. It was their first cross race experience and my best race to date, so a win-win all around. Afterward, we went into Baltimore for a big family dinner. #allthefood 

There are some good #brands in this photo. Averica. Back Bay Bicycles. Seven. Lazer. B2C2. Photo Credit: Timothy Shea

I rode Challenge Chicanes both days. They are very quickly becoming my favorite tire. My bike was awesome as usual. If it weren’t so fun to ride, I’d hang it on my wall and stare at it all day.

Despite a better finishing place on Sunday, my race didn’t go as well. I have never wanted to DNF so badly. But after 2 DNFs last year, including one before the whistle even went off, I’m hoping for no DNFs this year. So I kept on pushing. The best part about that was getting to ride with Laura Van Gilder. She’s an engine. Not to mention incredibly nice…and won something like 4 or 5 consecutive years at Charm City. Crazy. Her and I traded on and off leading for a lap or two, until her surges dropped me. Then Julie Hunter passed me on the last little climb of the last lap with enough of a sprint that I didn’t even try to respond. I finished completely spent. Until I looked at the results and saw that if I had gone eleven seconds faster, I could have finished 5th. WHAT is going on with the world? I have no idea how I got into the top ten in a UCI race, rode with LVG or was so close to 5th place. But it happened. And I’m so thankful it did.

So, my new goal is to find a deeper pain cave. And while I’m doing that, to also catch up on some sleep.