Monday, October 29, 2012

Monkey Off My Back

My mindset has been different since Joules Cross, I looked adversity in the face and laughed that day. I have read and reread my post all through last week and into the weekend trying to analyze what I may have learned of myself from that race. It is like a light has turned on and I now have the confidence to do what I want to do. I showed up to Boss Cross this weekend feeling prepared and hungry for everything that I have been working for these short few years on my bike. Saturday's race could not have gone any better for me. When the whistle blew and for most of the first lap, I was sitting in third place. In the last straight away section of the first lap I had a moment where my butterflies and any nervousness faded and in that split second my brain said "GO FOR FIRST", and so I did. I never looked back either. I lead the rest of the race with a pretty decisive lead. I was all alone out there flying in the wind, setting the pace of the race. When my legs began to hurt and my mind was telling me that it was ok to slow down and or settle for any podium, I would calmly tell it that nothing less then 1st was good enough. Up until this season I have never been anywhere near finishing top ten let alone a podium position. So you have to understand that anywhere up there is uncharted waters for me and a huge improvement from years past. So you can see where I may begin to rationalize and complacency might set in. Sunday was equally a great day for me, I finished 3rd place. You heard it correctly, two podium finishes in one weekend. With those two podiums I have managed to take the points lead in the Boss Cross series.

The top photo is of my win on saturday and the bottom is of me in 3rd place and I am wearing the leaders jersey.

Only two more races to go in the series, and those take place in three weeks from now.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Don't Look Back

Dropped my chain on the first lap yesterday. As I sat there trying to fix it everyone and their mothers passed me. I was all alone, it was quiet and all I could hear were my thoughts,"why bother now", "I'll just dnf", "I just paid for this race and it is all over". That last thought pissed me off. I got on my bike and started cranking. I eventually caught up to someone and passed him, then another, and another. The single speed guys were out there at the same time as us 4s so I kept looking for derailleurs. I felt great, a lot better than the day before. I kept fighting for positions, and never looking back which is strange for me because I find that all I do is look back and worry about those guys catching me and passing me. I also found myself wishing for extra laps. I never think that way, I usually feel like there are way too many laps left to go. Every time I was about to pass someone that person would surge for a little or they would try and take up most of the lane so I couldn't pass but I would eventually find a spot and pass them, again without looking back. I kept my eyes focused on the next person in front of me, my next target. It was fun being the pursuer, chasing down the next victim. When the race was over I had no idea what position I finished in, but I knew that I had just had one of my best races ever. Why was it one of my best races? Because I actually enjoyed every single second of it, I felt great the entire race, I had plenty of gas in the tank so to speak, and I didn't want it to end. I fought for each and every spot I gained and earned them all. Nothing was given to me and no one took anything away from me either. From the time I got my chain back on not a single rider passed me, so every time I passed someone it stayed that way. Like I often do, they all accepted their destiny. Yesterday I was going to make mine and not just accept it. On the final climb just before the finish I found one more guy that I felt I had enough lap left to catch, and pass. I saw him look back at me when he turned back around I got up and started sprinting for the finish. He took a second look back and saw that I had just gained a ton of ground on him and he began to sprint for the finish as well. I kept my head low and I watched his front wheel compared to mine. He had the inside lane and was closer to the judges. When we both crossed the line I thought it looked like we were even. I figured the judges would give it to him since he was closer to them and from their angle it might have looked like he finished first. Afterwards I walked over to him and thanked him for the fun sprint. I told him that I thought he had beat me and he said that he felt like I had beat him. So now all there is to do is wait for the results to be posted. I went and sat down with the family and recounted my race to whomever would listen. I finished 8th. I was completely surprised. I never would have guessed, I was convinced that I would had finished 12 or 13. I caught and passed 22 riders including that final sprint. I will remember that race for years to come. I just fell deeper in love with cycling.