The Rothrock Trailmix has come and gone. Unfortunately, my legs didn't come with it. I showed up on Saturday morning hoping that they would come around, but when we hit the singletrack, it was the same old racing-heart, weak-legs, and inability to hold a line even at the minimal level of effort required to keep rolling. I only rode the first loop of singletrack and then pointed my bike back down the gravel road descent to the start before I got myself further out to a place where dropping out would require more effort. Frank's back held up surprisingly well, and he went on and rode most of the long course without me, except that he did take an easier trail in instead of subjecting himself to John Wert.
The only interesting point of the day was when I was slogging through the rocky part at the top of Bald Knob Ridge, which is normally my favorite section of trail. However, with my redlined-wobbliness, I wasn't riding as cleanly as I normally do. I'd also gone so slowly up the climb up to it that the majority of the short course riders had caught us, so we were in a lot of the short course race's mid-to-back-of-pack traffic, so that wasn't making things too smooth, either. Everyone who was in contention for anything was well past, and I guess I thought we were solidy in the "shit happens" part of the race.
However, when I stalled out on a rock garden which requires you to lift your bike up on a ledge if you don't make it, I had the audacity to stop and gather my wits a bit before doing so. I didn't even realize that anyone was behind me except for Frank, but then I heard yelling and turned around to see a very grumpy old man making a big stink about my blocking the good line.
Okay, I get that it's a bummer when you don't get to ride something that you perceive to to be rideable, but as I said, on a slick, crowded, rocky trail, shit happens. You will get messed up by another person at some point, and you should know that going in. I'd had to stop a few times already when I didn't want to, but I knew that would be the case. Anyway, I turned around, gave him and exasperated look, and asked, "Really?!!"
He ranted a bit more and road off only to have us catch him when he messed up on something later on. He ranted at me a bit more as I rode past. I kept riding, but I guess Frank accidentally tipped into him as he went by and the guy accused him of doing it on purpose. All I heard was a bunch of a yelling as I rode away, but apparently the old guy said that he could fuck Frank up in five minutes and Frank said something about his saggy balls. Good times.
I think the worst part of about this is that I've been the freaking out uptight asshole in the past, and strangely that why that behavior shocks me even more now. It sucks losing your temper over dumb shit. I think that's why I don't like racing cross country anymore. It's so much intensity and pain wrapped up in the first few minutes of the race only to be only with your own self-deprecating thoughts for an hour, and it's even more of a bummer when you can't ride fast on the downhills or technical parts, which are the only things that are fun, because of someone going slow in front of you. However, time (and cyclocross) has taught me that shit happens, and I'm a lot better at keeping my cool when I'm in pain than I used to be.
Anyway, I'm glad the race is over in one capacity or another. It was great motivation when I needed prompting to get out and ride and push myself to go further, but when my body crapped out on me and pushing myself only made things worse, I think the stress and guilt over the race made me feel worse mentally about feeling bad physically. Now I can work on my steady diet of short, easy road rides and try to come out of this funk at my own pace.