So I can't say that I've been preparing at all for 'cross season. Why? Several reasons really, but primarily it's due to the inability to train with any intensity or run. I tried to gather some motivation a few weeks back by buying some new running shoes and getting the A bike ready but it has since sat in the garage and become a lingering representation of my 2007 'cross preparation, lots of potential if only some work were put into it.
Tonight I was thinking about when I first started racing 'cross. It was probably 7 or 8 years ago now. The pics below are circa '99 or 2000. I only know this for several reasons, the first is the bike I was riding. It was Trek's first year producing the X01 frameset. I was actually borrowing this bike from Race Pace's rental stock, I believe I was about the only person to ever use it and took partial ownership of it for a while. The second reason is that this race was held at Paterson Park in Baltimore either the same year or the year before 'cross nationals were there. Third, I believe I went to watch 'cross nationals with Gina and we didn't meet until 2001. I remember watching Jeremiah bunny hopping the barriers on a small uphill and watching all the top mtn bikers like Wells and Gully battle it out with the perennial 'cross champ Mark McCormick. Even Gunnar was there, when he was still racing for Diamondback, now it's cool to see him ripping up the 'cross circuit in the elite masters class.
I clearly remember this particular race too. There was a set of long riot steps that were a total shock to my system as I had never experienced running all out in between long anaerobic efforts on the bike. The second picture doesn't do the course justice. There were two consecutive sets of barriers on a fast sweeping downhill section, so fast that after dismounting for the first set, you were running so fast and trying to make the slight turn that it was pointless to remount before the second set and dismount again.
Looking at it, those aren't even regulation barriers and now I would prefer to just bunny hop something like that. I was also racing in so much clothing I could barely move, long sleeve jersey, wind jacket, leg warmers, heavy winter gloves and Lake winter mtn bike shoes that weigh about 5lbs! Now it's a skin suite and maybe a DeFeet undershirt at the most.
Maybe some Hooegarden will spark some motivation.