First of all for those of you who wanted to know about Ashtabula it is located in the heart of where our Steel Industry is and was and it is where some steel cranksets were made in the 60s and 70s and maybe later. They were heavy and strong.
After my long drive and racing last week I was quite tired. That was part of the plan really. Training is a fine line between getting faster and getting tired. The idea is you get tired and then you recover and are stronger than before. Last week I was tired . I was supposed to be tired. This week I was supposed to be stronger than ever. I rested Monday and Tuesday, did a short workout on Wednesday and then rested some more. Saturday morning I could tell I was not the same as last week. Mentally I was ready and my legs had that spring in them. After the drive over to Salem and doing my warm up lap I wasn't so sure. The course seemed extra slippery and riding up the hill I was a little flat. I got down to the business of a real warm up on my trainer. Legs were fine, no pain they just wanted to go. I lined up thinking about a cool line I was going to use at the start. We started in the mud and most people were going wide on the first turn, I decided to cut the corner short. Start on the right and then cut straight across to the stake. It worked perfectly and I had the hole shot. I hit the pavement to mud a little to fast but held on and kept my position up the climb. Ron went around at the beginning of the second climb but I was ready. When the dirt climb turned to pavement Ron let up and I attacked. A little gap. I didn't manage to really drop Ron until the third lap when I really gaped him. My legs worked like they were supposed to, getting orders from the brain and then obeying.
State Cyclo cross champion for the second time in my life, the first was in 1998. So 12 years ago. In those years I have maybe 10 podiums so I am consistent but wins are special.
Last year when I was injured (ruptured disc) I had hoped to recover by the State Championship race. I didn't recover so this race is a year late and very rewarding. Nationals are coming up and I am feeling ready for the challenge. Not much philosophy in this blog, but I must thank Ron Strasser for making me honest on Saturday. He attacked me and kept coming back to me when I bobbled or made a mistake. Winning is only as good as your competition. The photo is of me and Ron on top of the steeper first climb. As you can see he was not giving this to me.