I started the CX season with a good base of fitness, skills and confidence from riding many miles of dirt leading up to the season. The first race of the season for me was at Calimesa Country Club. I was helping with registration that day and when it came to game time, I felt a bit rushed. After a good start in the Elite Women's race, my chain dropped and I lost a good 1/2 minute to a minute struggling to get it back on as the whole field passed me. Thankfully I was able to make up a few spots and still come in 5th.
What quickly dawned on me as I went into the next couple of weekends of races, was that if I wanted to do well I needed to match the level of seriousness of my competition and get my head in the game. I determined to stop being cavalier and just jump into races thinking 'however I do, is how I do' but then finish with thoughts that I 'probably' could have done better but 'they want it more than me' or 'maybe if I wasn't so lazy I'd actually warm up before a race or start training'. So I enlisted the help of a friend who is a coach and asked him to write me a training plan. It was a huge help and provided me with the focus and much needed direction I needed.
I felt the work I put in payed off and with each race was more confident that the result I got was the best I could do and I was never disappointed in myself. I had some wins in the Single Speed races but only got as close as 2nd 4 out of 10 times in the Elite Women's race. The rest of the elite races I was on a podium spot minus one race in which I probably should have stayed home for as I was not feeling well that day.
Midway through the season I went to Utah with my teammate Rhea for SSCXWC. I really didn't know what to expect. It brought a whole world of fresh air, clearing away a lot of the 'seriousness' that had built up from the SoCal race scene. How could it not when you had to jump over flaming barriers, race up a ramp into and out of a gutted out trailer, dodge other racers wanting to take you out in the Jello pit, shoot up and over deadly steep flyovers and then realize all the while that pretty much everyone is cheating. It was insanity and it was fun.
Lastly, I could not think of a better way of ending the season than at CX Nats in Tacoma with my teammate Diana, our fateful mechanics and partners in crime (Roman and Greg) along with a contingent of other SoCal racers there to wrap up their season too. The weather was truly Belgium. The good vibes and support from spectators and the SoCal family was so awesome. And I was left happy with my 10th place result and all the work that led me there.
Looking forward to more of this with this awesome team of bad ass women.
CX SEASON RECAP // LYNN KENNEDY
This cx season was a little different than the seasons before. Usually I would be at races the entire season double racing each race day. This time I had to skip races due to work. I was still able to make many of the races...just not as many as I would normally.
In other ways the cx season was the same: spending time having fun racing with my awesome teammates & friends, being in the pain cave, camping, and partying after.
The season was just as fun and challenging. Most of the courses were pretty technical. I did not feel like I was in the best shape. No matter where my fitness was at I still pushed as hard as I could possibly go. I was happy to have a few wins and to still be able to get on the podium. This season I think we got closer as a team. It was so great to spend so much time together having fun and encouraging each other. Especially the venues we could camp at. We really got to hangout and have some laughs together.
My favorite race weekend was my birthday weekend. We raced and camped in SD. I did not do so well racing that day... but my teammates decorated our team tent, Rhea baked vegan birthday cupcakes for us and for hand ups , Diana brought a case of White Claws, and my friend Hans from SD came to watch us race and brought me a delicious vegan burrito and vegan donuts for me and the team! It was a super sweet day!
Looking forward to future races & memories with my favorites.
My 2019 season began at the end of a 2018 season full of disappointments and tears…
…but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? Maybe, but what I do know is that I was able to learn so
much from my mistakes and weaknesses and used that to fuel my training for 2019. I began putting in hard miles in March, possibly earlier than I should have but group rides are too fun to pass up and it just so happens those group rides helped build my speed and endurance. Another aspect of my training included a lot of mental strength exercises, visualization techniques, and whole lot of self-
talk. I seem to be my biggest critic and it took months to finally start believing in myself, believing that I was a strong rider, believing I could suffer… But win a race? In the Elite Women’s field?.. Not me. I wasn’t that fast…(still working on that self-belief
As the season drew closer I felt I was ready to put my new mental strength techniques to the test. My goal was to suffer and not let up, not give into the voice telling me I was tired, telling me to slow down. I wasn’t going to give in to self-doubt if a racer passed me, I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. That was my goal. If I got on the podium then that would just be a little icing on the cake.
The first race of the season was Corriganville, a fun and fast course that I really like racing on. I don’t
remember everything from the race, but I do remember hearing a crash on the first lap behind me, only to see Susie walking her bike along the course on the second lap. I was so upset but knew I had to focus as Christina and I were battling 1-2 at the moment. I raced as smart and strategically as possible and was able to surge at the start of the last lap…Taking the win! I couldn’t believe it. When I think back on it, it gets me a little emotional because I never believed I could win. After two years of racing in the Elite field and only coming in Fourth at best, how could I possibly win? But I did, and it made me feel so good.
Validation for an off season of lots of hard work, of focusing on my weaknesses and turning them into my strengths. I went on to win the second and third races of the season and took my first loss on the second day of racing at MoVal. I was so upset. I had gotten in my own head prior to the race. However, it actually felt good to lose. It felt like the pressure was off me now. When you win and then win again, others start expecting you to win. I started expecting myself to win…How could I lose and let others down. How could I lose when I did so much work? But when it comes down to it, that is something that I learned from this season…I shouldn’t focus on what others think. If I go out and give all I can, if my body hurts so bad because I pushed as hard as I could, it doesn’t matter if I win or lose.
The season continued and I started to feel burned out halfway through, racing every weekend was
weighing heavily on my body, my mind, and my motivation. I pushed on and was able to finish the
season as the Overall SoCalCross Prestige Series Winner in the Women’s Elite field.
I didn’t win them all, but I won enough and got to spray champagne. When I look back on the season, I remember the endless support I received daily from Greg, the time spent with friends, camping weekends, the badass womxn who I had the pleasure of racing with, funtimes at Santa Cross, and the feeling of standing on the Top Step for the very first time.
Looking forward to packing my cooler for the 2020 season and all the cross adventures to come.