I was out riding today and this thought popped into my brain “how do I define a great race? how do I even define a good race?”. This lead me to my next question “have I ever really been satisfied with a race?”. Even if I get a “good” result on the score sheet, I always want to do better. So is it possible to truly have a “great or good race”? What do you think? I suppose winning the World Championships would have to be considered having a great race. But we have to keep things in perspective here.
Funny how that word perspective just crept in. It really is so key to this season I’m having. Perspective. Remember where I was. Remember where I’m going. Remember what got me here. Remember that as I improve so does pretty much everyone else I’m racing against. Just like I’m out practicing descending, corners, climbing – so too is everyone else on the start line.
Not a big word really – perspective. But its ramifications and implications run so much deeper and stronger.
I guess I should step up and answer my own questions… Nope – don’t think I’ve had a great race yet. I’ve had a few good races. These were races where I was able to push my body to another level or where the course really didn’t suit me but I was able to buckle down and turn it into a good situation or there were the races where in the end I didn’t have an outstanding result but I stuck my neck out and took some chances and “made” the race. I strongly suspect that I won’t have a great race for a while. Part of always wanting more.
Speaking of wanting more. Just want to let you know that I’m okay. I’ve got my head screwed on properly again. I thought a lot about things last night. I talked with Marc more about things last night. I went out and had a fantastic ride today. Hit my favorite trails. Focused on only one thing – keep pedaling. My brain was clear, my feet ticked over, I think I was smiling, and I pushed my edge here and there. A good ride. The reset button has been pushed. I didn’t crack. I came close, but luckily the experiences of last year came back and reminded me that cracking is really so not worth it. The crack can quickly turn into a crevice which can lead to a canyon… And frankly, I don’t want to go on that trip again.
So I’m okay. Not good. Okay. I’m pushing forward. Moving ahead. Feeling better about things. And you want to know something cool? I’m ranked 42nd in the World! How cool is that? Can’t really feel sorry for myself when I’m ranked 42nd. Very cool.
Fun on bikes was definitely had today. Perfect weather for a ‘cross ride: 8 celsius and raining. Tossed on the trusty Sealskin socks and gloves and the super duper waterproof MEC pants (mine have a hole in them, but they still rock), plugged into the iPod, and hit up the local trails and roads. Me, the bike, and no brain. Just the great outdoors. Doesn’t get much better.
As for racing. Well, I’m racing on Jan. 2 in Sint-Niklaas with the junior boys and then on Jan. 3 in Tervuren in a UCI women’s race. Should be a couple days of good solid racing. I’ve always wanted to race at Sint-Niklaas – the course looks like a lot of fun and besides I’ll be there working the pits for Marc anyway, so I might as well race! I’ve never raced in Tervuren before so I’m looking forward to racing on a new-to-me course.
Plans are coming together for the trip to the Czech Republic for the World Championships. Looks like we will be traveling in style… I’ll tell you when I definitely know the full details!
Alright, I’m out. I’ll leave you with a quote from my friend and sponsor Skip (he said this today during our Skype chat):
“If you don’t try it never happens”