I was so tempted to put another title on this blog post. One that truly expresses how I’m feeling right now. But I’m working really hard right now in seeing the “positives” and the “small successes” – so I’m not going to be a downer from the get go.

Today was not my best day on the bike. And it has nothing to do with feeling sick yesterday. I woke up today feeling pretty good – a few pains but nothing I haven’t trained or raced with before. Today I let my mental game get the better of me. I had a not very good pre-ride – skittish and tense. Which was frustrating since I really like this race course and I’m comfortable with mud (I’m not that fast in the mud – but I’m not afraid of it). It is thanks to Marc and his help that I toed the line today. I started the race with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and some smallish goals.

Things were going okay. Typical slowish start. But I’m good at recovering from this. Then I crashed and ended up twisting my saddle so it was pointing in the complete opposite (horizontal) direction. This cost me a lot of time and positions. I had to run things I normally ride. I had to stand on the side of the course and jam my saddle into a somewhat straight position -though it was still pointing up. I put my head down and tried to catch and pass. But I was so far out of the race it was futile. Rode to the pit – got a clean bike and rode to the car. Not good. (Race Report)

So now where do I go from here? Well, I can wallow in self-pity and self-induced misery. Or I can be realistic and take each race as it comes and with it each small improvement that I’m making. I think the problem is that I don’t see my improvements. Others are seeing them. But I’m not seeing them. I look at the results sheet and I’m still where I was at the beginning of my Belgian season. Hard to convince myself that I’m improving. I think I’m actually taking the easier route – telling myself that I’m not very good – so that I have an “out”.

But, I know deep down this is not the attitude that I want to portray. It is definitely not the attitude and perspective that got me where I am right now. But it is hard to remind myself of that when I’m not satisfied with where I am right now.

It is so darn hard. It is hard to want to be something and to not be there. It is so tempting to roll over and give in. But I’m a bigger person than this. I need to remember that the goal was to race at the World Championships – not to win it! I guess this is what makes me a “type a” person. Never satisfied and too critical of my own self.

So I came really close to cracking again. Really really close. There was not one race or experience that was working its way into my brain to bring on this crack. Nope. I did it all to myself. I initially had too high of expectations. Then I reset and focused on improving on my weaknesses. But as always happens with me, I failed to see the small improvements that I’m making with my weaknesses. So the negative self-talk and the frustration set in.

I’d like to say that right here and right now, I’ve beaten the crack. But lets just say, I’ve applied a thin layer of silicone and I’m not letting anything else nasty in. I’ve got a pair of binoculars and I’m only looking forward and focusing on the improvements and gains I’m going to continue to make.

2 thoughts on “Azencross

  1. Hi Vicki & Marc,

    I’ve been following your cross racing & what really struck me was how you just jumped right into the deep end w/ your grand adventure. No one has ever accussed me of being a polyanna type but I think you need a little perspective. You are trying in a couple of monthes what the people you are racing against having been doing for YEARS. Yes sometimes things don’t go right, that’s racing. You are way too close to really see what you have accomplished. Don’t use the gauge of how you compare to people who have many years on you technically. You have to gauge yourself against yourself. Have you improved, can you now race on courses w/ features that previously stopped you cold? From what I’ve read yes to all. You could have chosen an easy route & stayed in North America but you went after the best cross racers there are. You think the leaders starting getting results from the getgo. It is an evolution & technical skills are learned thru time. I saw a result for Osmond in Europe, he was 3 laps down. Compare this to his North American results. Europe is not an easy place to race cross. Stop beating yourself up. Breathe. You have a great support network, listen to them. They all see something in you that is worth sticking with.
    cheers Ian & Marcie

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