Thursday, November 6, 2008


Startin' out right:
I was in the parking lot getting ready when they guy I threatened to chase the day before rode by and asked me if I was gong to chase him again. I told him I would and indeed threatened to chase him again when he was going over a set of barriers in his race. Cheering for this race was quite the experience. Jon Raleigh was cheering pretty wild, and then even started heckling a sandbagger in the Men's 3's race.

To give you the backstory, this guy has been racing in the 3's and has won every race but his first. By a huge margin. People grumbled after a while, and now are making themselves heard. I heard another racer chewing him out during their warm-ups. I feel pretty torn about it, because as much as I'd like to point the finger, I stayed in the 4's last year even though I won every race but my first. I stayed in the 4's because I was intimidated by the 3's (they seemed so much slicker than me, with nice bikes- not heavy SS 29ers- and kits with impressive sponsors) and I wanted to win the series and the State championship race. (I didn't manage the series, because there was a girl who raced more races than I did.) Sooo, I guess that's one little difference. This guy could Cat up and still win the series, even if his closest competitor won the remaining races in the series.

I hate to think that there were people grumbling about me, but there probably were a few, and I can't really fault them. I think I'm being punished now by languishing mid-to-back-pack in the 2's :) Anyhow, the question with this guy is: why isn't he catting up, and why isn't he being made to cat up? The new rule was supposed to be that after you won two races, you had to cat up, with a few exceptions of older people, I believe. Well, now I'm just rambling. I'll be interested to see what happens with this guy. It's too bad that he's making enemies, though, because cross can be a lot of fun when people aren't refusing to ring their cowbells for you.

I wasn't really feeling the race spirit, almost to the point of wanting to get my entry fee back and then slink away. It's a good course, but it doesn't hold a lot for me. I like a little more hills and not so much... non-hills. Corners, straightaways, zipping along. Not really for me. I lose the lead women so much sooner and then I'm in no-man's land. I was anticipating that I would have a decent time on the course, but that after just a bit I would be left behind. Sure enough, after not even a full lap, I fell behind. Wah-wah. I did have fun threatening to catch ReneƩ, though, as I came around to lap her. "I'm gonna get you, ReneƩ!" "Oh, Katy, no!" And there was the gummi hand-up on the run-up...

I think next year I might actually have to train if I want to stay in the 2's and have fun in the front. There's just nobody around me in a lot of my races. I can't count on a full array of ladies to show up for the 2's so that I have people to race against- I should be able to hang with the top... half or 2/3rds in the faster races. That's not asking a whole lot. But I know I need to train to get there. Not only do I need to work on physical things, I need to work on pushing myself to the limit, which is something I hate to do. First, because I don't enjoy the pain a whole lot, but second, because I'm afraid that the best I can do just won't be good enough. I hate to battle with another racer just to tire out in the end and watch them ride away on the last lap. It kills my competitive spirit a little bit each time that happens. But I'm never going to get better if I don't start pushing more. In most aspects of my life I set out a plan and want to do it right the first time, but I have to learn to accept that some things take multiple tries. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again? Losing a battle and falling back a position feels like failing to me, even though I know it's ridiculous. I would rather hang out in the back and ride than try to race and 'fail'.

Can I just say again, training. Ugh. A few nights ago I forced myself to go on a training ride with Cale just up North and back, probably between 20 and 30 miles. We kept a brisk pace, but it wasn't terrible and the weather was fantastic for fall. I was grouchy on the way out and finally happier on the way back. I realized it had been months- honestly, MONTHS, since I had done any sort of training. When we moved apartments, the running and the riding routine (that's kind of fun to say) went right out the window. I haven't done anything these past months except race on the weekends. I ran a few 3 mile errands, but there's been no practicing, no training, no nothing.

There's another thing to think of, besides training vs. not training. Do I care enough about doing well to devote my time and energy to it? If I hate one day of training, won't I REALLY hate weeks on end of it? Watching what I eat, setting aside hours per night to get on the bike and bear down? I started biking because I liked to ride around the city, to find a place to read my book until it got too dark to see. I like competition just fine, but how much do I like it?

Against that, though (MORE to think about!) is can I pass this up? I have some natural talent, and with training I could be pretty good. If I don't give this all a shot, will I regret it? I hate wasting things (food, paper, tinfoil, scraps of material- I'm a hoarder!) and wouldn't this be the same thing? I could just be throwing away my potential because I'm too chicken to find out where I'll top off.

Oh, life. I'll probably dance around training for a while before deciding to go for it, though it'll be like 'eating your greens' to me. Don't even get me started on vegetables! But you only live once, and I might as well try to make the most of it.


Elizabeth said...

If you train you train, if you don't you don't. You are awesome for never training!

I think I've stated at least once or twice on my blog is that I race because I like training. Even if I never raced again I'd still train.

I guess I just like the processes of training - watching the progression of my body through the course of a training year, and having numbers to add up and calcuate and nerd out on. I also like riding my bike a lot, you know, cause it's fun.

(dis)pencer said...

found this business looking for stuff on estabrook. very nice.

milw races are a party. i'll be back again for states, i think.
i'll have to say hi.

have fun training!

sandbagger dude = loser, not winner.