So the first race weekend of the 2011-2012 cyclocross season is in the books. More importantly the racing is in the legs and soul. I’ve had a few people ask me directly and obliquely about how I’m “really” feeling about my racing on the weekend.
Well, to be 100 per cent honest – I’m feeling: okay with it. Just as I wrote on this site on Saturday and Monday – I’m okay with the racing. I knew I wasn’t going to come back and be right where I was in 2009-2010 – I will get there again but it wasn’t going to happen in the first races of the season or even in the first few weekends of racing.
There is a big difference between racing and training. Yes, you and I drill ourselves in training but this is a very different sensation physically and mentally than having someone else push you to your limits in a race. It is this feeling that I forgot and I need to get familiar with again.
I’m very happy that I’ve decided to start my cyclocross season early so that when I get to my goal races, I’ll be ready to go and everything will be fine-tuned: pre-race prep, warm-up, starts, technical riding, mental sharpness, post-race recovery and training. All of these fit together to make up a puzzle – if one piece is missing, the puzzle isn’t going to look the way we want.
Right now my puzzle is coming together. The pieces are a bit jagged and a couple are missing – but with time and patience – the puzzle will come together. There is no point in panicking after one weekend of racing and only two months of training.
It will come. I will get there. Until then I have to set small goals and focus on building the best puzzle I can. So, not to worry – I’m okay with the weekend. It would have been awesome to come out and be right back where I was two years ago – but it didn’t happen. I will get there. No doubt in my mind.