12 May 2005
Wax On, Wax Off
I’m waxing philosophical about my waning racing career tonight. After replying to a post on the local mt. biking list about racing, my brain wants to spew about why I race. I think I’m trying to talk myself into the impending race this weekend and not doing a very good job with it. After moving into the Expert category this season and getting my head handed to me in the last two races, I’m starting to wonder WHY I continue to torture myself in this manner? If it’s sooooo much fun, why do I care if I win or lose? And if I don’t care if I win or lose, then why do I bother to race at all? You see, it’s viscous cycle, (no pun intended). So, I’ll list what I love about racing and in no particular order.
1. The process of doing something very hard and finishing.
2. The added benefit at becoming a better mt. biker in general.
3. Hanging around people who love their bikes the way I love my bikes.
4. Adrenalin, endorphins, and the woozy feeling you get when a physical effort makes it impossible to see straight.
5. Discovering and exploring places I’ve never been.
6. Having Scott, family and friends as my cheering section, mechanic, and race support.
7. Eating lots of heavy carbs and protein. I do love pasta.
8. Being outside.
This last one is the rub. I don’t win. In 3 seasons of racing, I’ve won exactly one race and that was a fluke. Some dude ran head long into a tree on the course and we all had to get off our bikes and hike through a bunch of high brush to get around him and the medics, which essentially started the race over for all of us girls. We were all back together again and I was able to get a good position once we got back on our bikes. The girl who should have won flatted out and walked off the course. So, it seems that as much as I like winning, I really haven’t got there yet.
Here are my excuses for not doing as well as I think I should:
1. I work too much.
O.k., my one excuse, but it takes over my life. There’s no time for training and what extra time I do have, I’m just too exhausted to get any meaningful miles in on the bike. What this comes down to is motivation or lack there of. I have none and racing Expert requires at least a little. Yes, sad to say, I’ve been skating by these last 3 years. Putting in the minimal amount of effort to stay competitive and eking out a series win last season. I suck.
So there you have it. I love racing for a lot of different reasons. I think, usually, I’m just too tired to really give it everything while I’m doing it. I’ll probably end up going to this next race by myself. Scott is working a billion days in a row and can’t get away from the shop. I’m not looking forward to going by myself, but it is a new course for me and who knows, it might still be fun. I resolve to ride the whole race as fast as I can and have fun doing it. NO more settling for the finish. It’s just not me. My whole childhood and into my 20′s was spent being focused on competition and I won a lot back then. My brain is having a hard time figuring out if racing is worth it if I’m not winning. I’ve spent the last 3 years justifying my mediocre performance in one way or another just so I can get myself to the next race. Is that really the way to race? I have gotten better, but I keep talking myself into racing because I hope to surprise myself one of these days.
It’s weird when you’ve been operating in a way that is not right, but you don’t know it. The one thing you do know is that something is out of whack. Then, frustration settles in and you are forced into trying to make sense out of the wackiness. Hopefully, the fog clears and you end up in a better place than where you started. See, now I really am waxing on….