Every time I call my mom after a race she always asks the same thing, "Are you a weiner?" And it seems like lately I always say, "well, sort of. But not in a winning way...." and then she gives me encouraging words and listens as I recall and evaluate the race to her. It's awesome to have such wonderful support - I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
I think the hill repeats earlier this week, if anything, gave me a mental edge. Somewhere in the process of climbing 5 times up Norway I told myself that quitting is not an option and neither is giving into the pain. Well apparently that hand played out nicely during today's state road race.
The players - TGH - about 6 of them showed up. On WOW - about 5. Then Ti Cycles had about 8 women. And a few of us straglers - Byrne, UW, Axley, etc...... it was a good race. Surprizingly no one attacked on the first hill - and we stayed together as a group. The decent scared some people off - we were cruising at mach speeds - my favorite. Attacks were thrown left and right but I knew because the teams were out in full force - they would reel them back in. The only one that looked truly threatening was Lisa's attack - to which I said just loud enough to motivate Tia - "well there goes the race." She immediately steam rolled up to Lisa and quickly shut down the gap she had on the field. I sat on for dear life. I'm finding that if I stay positive and not let the "I'm burning matches" infiltrate my brain - then I surprize myself. I don't think I give my body enough credit. It's in incredible shape - although it still has a ways to go - but it can handle the punishment. Pull a Murdin and grind it out.
Ok - got off on a tangent there... sorry. So basically we continue on the attack, attack, chase, chase routine - and we always group back together. Until the very last lap, which goes super slow. The winds were definitely a factor today - they were super strong and you couldn't stay out in them in full force. The final climb came - I was passing people! And then I stopped passing instead of continuing to grind it out and lay it all on the line. Ending me up in a 10th place finish. I know the exact moment I should have gone - and I hesitated. Darn. Well I guess that's what experience will do for you. And I guarentee I won't let that exact situation happen again without giving it my all. It's not like I wasn't tapped when I got to the top - but for some reason if I don't find myself in the top contention for winning then I seem to settle for where ever I end up - and that's not good. I need that killer winning instinct to come out again - regardless if that means 1st or 9th - or where ever - time to give it more -- finish STRONG.
It was a better race for me - I stayed with the group and suffered through the pain with the best of them. I hit this one pot hole though that sent a shocker up to the crotch. Owie. But I'm happy how I did - and the fact that I'm learning is great. To give myself perspective - last year at a state crit I couldn't even finish the race. These road races are wonderful endurance training for the track - preparing me for a national level track comp. Oh I can't wait for the sprinting!!!!