Brittany Jones is one of our most respected off road riders, however, this cross season she came into it unprepared. She has vowed that the same thing will not happen in 2016.
Sometimes things just don’t work out, and sometimes you have to accept your role in that. My cyclocross season is one of those things. All year I was looking ahead to cyclocross. I knew it was going to be an incredibly challenging season and that I needed to train if I wanted to be ready.
I didn’t. I could give you really good reasons why I didn’t train—work commitments, home-life obligations, other tertiary projects—and all of those things are true, sort of. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time to ride, because I’ve actually logged more miles this year than I did last year. I just didn’t make those miles count. I never did intervals or practiced starts. I didn’t even really ride my CX bike all that much. And apparently my butt on a bike doesn’t in and of itself qualify as training.
I spent several races trying to race myself into shape (Pro tip: it doesn’t work). The women I’m racing against are fast and dedicated. The women I should be able to keep up with were so far ahead of me that I couldn’t even see them on course. It’s really frustrating to know where you should be, but not be anywhere near it. So, I did what any self-respecting-cyclist-who-doesn’t-train-but-expects-to-be-competitive would do; I washed my hands of cyclocross for 2015 and went mountain biking.
I’ve been thinking about ‘cross a lot though. I don’t like how this year went and I don’t want to repeat it. I enjoy racing and I want to perform at my best, so 2016 will need an actual, concrete plan. I’ve even looked at training plans and debated about a coach. And as I map out my mountain bike season, I’m keeping in mind that I can’t swing from 5 hour races to cyclocross without a drastic change in how I ride and some time to make that transition. Cyclocross 2016: redemption.