Resolution CX has a bit of a special spot for me. While I’ve definitely raced a time or two on the road many moons ago, ‘cross is a new monster for me. In December of 2014, when I was contemplating whether or not I was going to start racing again after nearly 20 years away from the sport, Resolution Cross was the race I went to watch to see if it was something I wanted to try.
It was super cold that day, and blustery too and I couldn’t believe people were actually out in that weather and racing. Hard. It looked just crazy enough for me to try. So I bought a new gravel bike a couple weeks later and started my second go ’round at riding and racing.
I trained on my own, with really no idea of what I needed to do to get ready for the upcoming cyclocross season and decided by the end of summer that I needed some help and hooked up with my coach Christina Gokey-Smith. Christina got me as ready as I could be, given my lack of proper training before Cross season started and I raced the WNX series, a day at Spooky ‘Cross, one day at Tupps Brewery; both of which gave no hints of the things to come at my first Resolution Cross a few weeks later.
The first time I raced there last year it was all I could do to not fall off the bike and expire right there. If I wasn’t completely thrashed on the power sections and on the long, gradual hill, I was in serious fear for my life in the technical section back in the woods.
Enter 2016, and Christina had the whole year to get me ready. By this time last year I had done a total of maybe 8 or 9 races. This year, I’d raced well 24 times. While I’m no where near where I want to be, I’m head and shoulders stronger than last year. So I was very much looking forward to Resolution this year as a way to have a good solid comparison to where I was last year.
The weather for Saturday’s race was just downright brutal. Keeping in mind that it hasn’t really gotten cold yet in Texas… with race temps in the mid 30s for me, it was really, really cold. I refused to wear tights in the race and put on a healthy layer of embro to keep my legs warm. And really, other than my toes and feet going completely numb, it wasn’t that bad. The numb feet cost me a couple positions in the race, as I missed clipping back into my pedals near the end of the race and was instantly gapped by the two guys I had just bridged up to.
Sunday was about 20-25 degrees warmer but still had a little bit of a chill in the air. They flipped the course around, turning the two steep run ups from the day before into rather chaotic descents. Contrary to last year, however, I felt great in the technical sections and was making up time on people there. Last year I would have run screaming for the hills at having to do those descents, but thanks to coach, while definitely attention getting… they weren’t the absolute terror they would have been last year.
All in all there was some good improvement over last year’s effort, I went nearly 2mph faster and actually raced both days, rather than just one day and done last year. And I can honestly say, I can’t wait to see what improvements will be made this time next year!
It’s a bit bittersweet…. with Resolution Cross weekend come and gone, there’s just one weekend of racing left for us and that’s at the toughest one of them all, the Highlander Cup race in Waco.