Monday, August 29, 2011

End of MTB Quotes

"... 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.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lindsay,

I don't think it is a case of looking for excuses, but of taking stock and looking at what you controlled and what you didn't. At the end of the day, your aim is to always go faster than you have previously. Sometimes that means you will go faster than others, and sometimes they will still be faster than you. But your goal is always small incremental improvements.

Surgery, new goals, new training... lots of changes. You had some successes, some disappointments, and hopefully from those, you learn a little bit more about yourself and how you race and perform. That all goes in the soup for next year!

I'd try not to focus on those hwo have come into the sport and seem to enjoy early success. That will always happen. Comparing apples with apples, you are training your body in a way that perhaps you haven't trained before. You are changing your physiology in a fundamental way. This means that your "time in the sport" with the "new" physiology you are building is now only one season! In a short time, relatively speaking, you have gained more power and speed, perhaps to the detriment of your endurance. But you can build on this over time... endurance is always easier to build, or at least quicker to build, than strength and power.

Just some thoughts to put into the mix!

Lindsay said...

Thanks, Jamie. In a way I did start from scratch this season, and I think I have make some good progress in areas where I have traditionally been weak. I definitely had more power at the first CX practice than I've had in the past.

I think I mostly just had to put my disappointment with the last few races down in writing so that I could move on. I think it worked.