"... like a f***ing roller coaster for hillbillies." - Tomasz Golas
"Cycling is a bitchy sport at times..." - Jamie Scott
"Well, MTB season is officially over. Can't say I'm heartbroken. Had a couple good races early on, mostly shit otherwise." - Adam Rodkey
I almost feel like I don't need to write a whole post on this; my husband's tweet above says it all. The other two are just kind of funny/fitting.
Yesterday I wrapped up the disappointing last half of my XC mountain bike season. When I look back I realize that it was mostly disappointing because I won the first race of the season, and then it went downhill from there. Without that initial success, I could have just gone through the season with the excuse that I was just coming back from surgery and was focusing on cyclocross. As it turned out, I tossed those excuses to the wind, tried to reach beyond the comfort of mediocrity, and failed.
"Held up so high on such a breakable thread" - Avril Lavigne
It's hard to decide how I should feel about this. I knew that first win wasn't against particularly strong competition. However, as the season progressed more girls started racing or moved up from Cat 3, and winning wasn't so easy. I was the slowest women's Cat 2 winner in the history of the BCSP race and the fastest last place in the history of Logansport. My eight place time from yesterday was faster than the second place time at the same race when I first raced Sport/Cat 2 back in 2007. (I know the course has been altered, but the men's times are about the same so it's not just a faster course.) So it's not like I actually did super bad the last the last few races, but at the same time it's frustrating, after six seasons of racing, to be competing against girls who have been at it less than two years and not be winning.
"The competition's getting younger. Tougher broncs, you know I can't recall." - Garth Brooks
In reality, I was faster overall this season than I ever have been, but only by a small amount. In light of the fact that I did have major surgery over the winter and trained fewer hours, I guess even a small improvement should be a happy surprise. I feel like I'm actually a lot faster for the first 30 minutes or so of the race, but I'm just not able to maintain it. I'm kind of hoping that the improvement to my top end will be more pronounced in 'cross races where 30 minutes is all I'll need.
So for better or worse, another mountain bike season is in the books. I have a nice mental list of things to do differently next year, but for now, all I can do is move on and try to have the best 'cross season I can with the fitness I have.