What a useful bit of wisdom from a fictional character who knows how to take lemons and make lemonade, or more accurately take petrified dragon eggs and make dragons. Maybe my yet-to-be-purchased track bike needs a dragon name.
But this weekend was about my ghetto-named cyclocross bike, which I am apparently not as good at riding as I was last season. It was also about my bedazzled skinsuit:
Since the early fall weather usually only warrants a short-sleeved skinsuit for 3 or 4 races at best, I opted not to buy a new short-sleeved skinsuit, and instead recycle the long-sleeved one from last season. I also opted to do the alteration myself, hemming up the free edge with a Bedazzler rather than bland old sewing. It was a hit.
Anyway, on to the racing. Since the ICX opener was moved up to this weekend after I'd already signed up for the Lionheart CX tune-up race, I got a double-dose of big girl class racing to get the season started off right. Or at least started.
Basically, work has sucked most of the time since last 'cross season ended. I think it actually started sucking towards the end of the season, but I was focused on winning the OVCX championship, so I didn't notice as much. (I remember going home crying after being kept late in a somewhat pointless meeting during one of the really dark days of the year a few days before Kings CX, and riding in the dark out of spite. Missing my intended workout obviously didn't hurt my performance that weekend.) Anyway, once the OVCX season ended, work took over, and I apparently let the next nine months slip away in stressed/depressed fog thinking, "Oh, I have plenty of time to get ready before the season starts."
And then it started. Crossresults.com had me predicted for a solid mid-pack finish in my first 1/2/3 race for Saturday, but I found myself slipping off the main pack early in the first lap. There was one girl behind me and I tried to force myself into thinking she was right on my wheel so that I'd be motivated to keep going hard. That is when, "If I look back, I am lost" came into my mind. Then I looked back. I saw I had a good sized gap, only to look forward and see the lap counter had two more laps to go than I was expected. Total demoralization kicked in and I started thinking about how I couldn't take five more laps of pain. Then my gap was gone and the girl passed me right before the stairs on "Heckle Hill" in front the biggest crowd of spectators boosted by the early-season tune-up race.
I'll admit that I totally gave up at that point, but I couldn't just drop out, so I kept slogging along. Then I realized the girl was coming back. When the gap had all but closed with a lap and half to go. I threw down an attack before a muddy twisty section knowing that holding the lead to finish would hurt, but at least my pride would be salvaged a bit. I made it and felt good about the fact that I had turned it around a bit, and spared myself last place at least. So 45 minutes races really are a lot harder than 30 minutes races, but I guess the extra 15 minutes was enough to completely lose it and still kind of get it back again.
Sunday, not so much. I had low expectations since the Cat 3 field consisted of myself, Rebecca, and Val. Considering that I had been on the tail-end of that trio so many times last season, I didn't really expect much to change unless one of them had disintegrated even more in the intervening months than I had. Sure enough, they each did extremely well, staying within a minute of the overall winner, and I languished in DFL no man's land. Since there were only three of us, I still managed to get on the podium, so I figure I need to post the picture since I expect these will be much more rare this season.
So as Debbie Downer as all that was, back to my original point: If I look back, I am lost. I can't get the last nine months of training back. Nor can lament the fast Cat 4 I used to be. All I can do push forward with what I have now. Time to jump into the fire. I might get burned, or I might come out of it with a dragon.