Heading into my second season of cross I find myself very excited, and very unprepared. I have a much better idea of what to expect from the races, and how to handle myself on the bike, than I did last year in my inaugural season. I upgraded at the end of last year, moving into the Cat. 3's. I've made some great new friends in the NECX community, and feel more comfortable knowing what a great group of people race here. However, it seems the more I know, the more worried I get about how I am not doing enough. I should be increasing my training, getting better gear, practicing my skills, and improving my nutrition. I feel like I let my off season get away from me a little, and now am doing the scramble to get my bike and myself ready.
My bike has seen a lot of use, I commuted on it all year, and now it needs some love. It probably won't see much of that needed love until the end of the month though, since I've been spending most of my time fixing bikes for other people. I have parts on order, as well as a second SS specific rig being shipped to me. None of which will be here in time for my season opener at Quadcross. Being a glutton for punishment, as a lot cx'ers are, I doubled up with the Cat.3 men's and Singles-speed open races. I am really a tad nervous about my move up to the 3's this year, but I figure that the only way I will get faster, is to race faster people. It was time to leave the warm, safe, snuggly place that was the Cat.4 field, and play with the "Killer B's". The SS race should also be making me nervous, since I will be racing higher cat guys, but it really isn't bothering me at all. I think my personal challenge there will be trying to avoid getting lapped.
In the end I just need to remind myself not to worry too much, and remember why I'm excited for 'cross. I get to race around in the mud, take waffle hand-ups, give and take some friendly heckling, bring back Team Mario Party, and hang out with a great group of folks.