One thing I try to keep in mind is that my goal is to be competitive, with a full understanding that I am neither the fastest or the slowest. The other goal is to have some fun. A few weeks ago I was seriously questioning my motivations and my abilities to the point of walking away from any competitive cycling – I just wasn’t feeling it anymore.
A couple weeks ago I almost didn’t go race, even though I was pre-registered. I went ahead and raced, and it wasn’t horrible. Better than anticipated even. With some renewed interest I refocused my workouts to see if I could make things work out a bit better. I am happy to say it worked.
Without going into a bunch of boring details and self-promotion, let’s just say I have learned how to better deal with moderate to high intensity workouts, which translated directly into dealing better with race intensity. That is once I pulled my head out and treated the race intensity like I treat my training intensity: settle in and work.
With all that in mind, the only thing I am disappointed about is that I didn’t adopt that attitude until into the second lap. For whatever reason racing has always been about just trying to hold on and praying for it to be over. Something changed yesterday and it turned into real racing – working hard, measuring intensity, capitalizing on strengths and not worrying about how much I suck.
The first lap started off okay. I lost a little ground here and there, made up some ground, but somewhere on the far south end I started to fade. I am not real sure what happened – I believe it was the old feelings off self-doubt and fear. When you look up and no one is in front of you, and you’re not winning, its hard to keep motivated.
Then I started to see a few people ahead of me and pulled myself out of survival mode and back into racing. I picked up speed, picked off a few people, and finished strong. I know I had another place higher in me if I hadn’t fallen into that “middle third blues.”
So, coming away from Tranquility 2012 I can honestly say I learned something. I anxious to continue the training plan I have been working with and applying it to the rest of the Psycowpath season.
The best part of the day was that the race was just part of it. Kandy rode to Omaha with me and I raced while she took care of some other things since there isn’t much for her to see during the race anyway. Afterward we had a date afternoon and evening and had the best time. We ate and drank and shopped and enjoyed each other’s company immensely.
Still not sure if I am going to make it to Platte River but I am planning on Maskenthine and Ponca. Then its time for family things and vacation before I try to apply this new mindset to cyclocross.