It's Just a Race. Nothing that will Kill Me, Right?!
by Camilla Lundberg
It´s early morning in Stockholm, Sweden, and I´m getting ready to leave for CX-pokalen in Falun. Falun is about 3 hours from Sthlm by car, and I´m catching a ride with two guys from the local CX-club.
This will be my first real race after a season of rehab; I was hit by a car in April, and there are a lot of thoughts running through my head.. "Will I manage 40 min of flat out, acid pumping CX? Will I finish last? Most of all, will my leg hold?"
Nerves on the inside, but trying to look cool on the outside, and after a while, I relax in the great Company of happy cx-riders! The Community of racing CX is something completely different from road: a lot more relaxed, and a lot more friendly. I love this!
"It´s just a race - nothing that will kill me, right?!"
I watch a couple of age group races before it´s time to do some training laps on the course. OH MY GOD. There are three rather short but oh so steep hills to conquer on each lap, and to my surprise, I can't seem to ride up the last and most steep one?! WTF!?
Okay... I just have to accept that and move on, jump off my bike and run up the hill, jump on at the top and try to click in as quickly as possible. A bit more nervous after doing 2 training laps but hey, it´s just a race - nothing that will kill me, right?!
It´s only 5-6 degrees celsius and a wind that chills me to the bone, so I throw my jacket to one of my friends at the same time as the are doing the countdown to the start, like "10, 9 - I throw my jacket - 5, 4, 3, 2 and GO" :)
I get a pretty good start and take the wheel of one of the elite ladies for as long as I can hold it, get passed by one but manage to pass 2 by myself, and I feel pretty good. I manage to hold my place for 6 laps (40 min), and cross the finish line as nr 1 of the age group ladies! I have two elite ladies behind me, which feels great!
Quickly hitting the showers and then out to the prize ceremony and the men's elite race, grabbing a burger and a coke to go :)
In the car heading back later that evening there are a lot of happy faces as we took two podium places and are all pretty excited over that!
Finally at home, late at night, I´m tired but oh so happy. Cyclocross racing and riding is just the best, filled with great people and such a friendly cycling community! You should all try it :)
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