today's race was the kentucky state cyclocross championships. it was held at our beloved local 'cross course; an old defunct golf course that has twice also been the site of the usgp. we pre-rode the course last night - thinking, surely it wouldn't be the exact course we ride all the time. but we were wrong. it was practically - with a few cool exceptions, the exact course we ride all the time. and for this, i loved it. and so during our pre-ride yesterday, with the late afternoon fall sun shining just so perfectly and happy, it was all swoopy and zen. there were no crazy jacked up 180's into uphills or downhills; and i had already practiced all the turns and sand pits and run ups until they were embedded in my brain. i've been practicing for the last 3 months out there. i left the course yesterday happy and confident. i thought, this could be another harbin park.
and then it rained.
and a really muddy course was one thing i had never practiced. and unfortunately, as much as i try to convince myself otherwise, mud does not equal happy and zen. so the race starts on a big wide open expanse of grass and goes into one of those turns i have embedded in my brain. and as i head into the turn and see the cluster of girls on the muddy downhill turn in front of me, some on their bikes & some off, or trying to stay on - i look ahead to see one friend hop off her bike, shoulder it and run. and i think this looks like a splendid idea. so i do it too. and on other spots, where i see people dab their foot to get around a muddy turn. i think this too, looks like a splendid idea. so i do it too. and make it around the turn. these moments, while fleeting - feel good and sorta smart.