DIARY OF A DFL DIRTFOO
I came into this season with no game. I'd taken a job out of town in August and didn’t get back until mid November, causing me to miss the first half of the season. In the first few months on the road I got in some weekend MTB rides and even a race (hell yeah wild west CX!) but it was impossible to ride during the week. I got back on a Friday and showed up to race that weekend. It happened to be our LA UCI race. I sat out the A race and decided to just race single speed. In my head I thought even though I wasn’t in race shape my handling skills could still keep me in the race. I had a good start but could only hang with the lead group for half a lap. Slowly I got passed by the rest of the pack over the next 3 laps until I was DFL. So that was humbling AF.
The next week at Turkey Trot I jumped back in the A race knowing I was going to get destroyed, but still feeling like I’d be sandbagging if I raced Bs. By the end of the first lap I was alone. Lynn was leading the B race and caught me in the second lap. We stayed together for a full lap. I yelled at her not to slow through the technical stuff and she motivated me to push hard even though I was already DFL in my race. She ended up beating me by almost 30 seconds but no one else from her race caught us. Then the whole team rallied for a single speed party to race for handups. A high point of the season for sure.
The next week in Griffith Park, at Districts I would hit my low point of the season. Usually I do great at the Griffith course because it’s an endurance course, but I had no race legs yet and was in the pain cave bad by lap two. Staying in the race when my mind, legs and hecklers were telling me to quit was a battle. I was racing against the fastest women on dirt in SoCal and getting destroyed. I finished and just kept riding through the park. My emotions, pride, and the heckles got the best of me. I was a wreck. I was done with racing this season. When I made it back to the team tent I told Diana that I might be done. She wasn’t having any of that. Pop tarts were almost thrown. This is why we need teammates. Seriously I would not still be racing if it wasn’t for the amazing womxn I'm lucky enough to call my teammates and friends.
I worked my ass off the whole month of December even after the series ended trying to get my fitness back for Nationals. Then over new years, just when I was feeling good about racing I crashed my mountain bike. Nothing serious but a very bruised lower back and tail bone that made it really painful to ride my bike. Nationals were two weeks away. The universe was telling me not to go, but thankfully I decided to ignore it. CX Nats went above and beyond any expectations. It was such an amazing and inspiring experience. I raced my age category Friday and single speed Saturday getting my legs ripped off by shredders from all over the country. The crowd at the sandpit was out of control giving me all the extra watts I needed to get through it every lap and up the next hill. 10 out of 10 would do the whole suffer season again just to experience that.
So much stoke. So many memories. Lesson learned, never quit. DFL is always more dope than DNF.
Meeting and watching CX Queens Katie Compton and Ellen Noble battle it out was also dope AF