Today was the first day of the Nebraska Cyclo-Cross Weekend. I raced twice in the category 3-4 race and then in the cat 4 race. I only have two words for my feelings on how I did after the races today: MOTIVATION & FOCUS.
Today I sucked. Again. I just didn't have it in me. In the cat 3-4 race I finished last. That is driving me nuts. I keep trying to tell myself that this is really only the first time I've raced cross but I just can't get past it. It's killing me. I know that I'm better than that. In the second race the cat 4 race I finished 8th out of 10. Still not that great. I know that cross racing is a different discipline but there were some guys I raced against in mountain races and killed that I had no chance of keeping up with today.
The races today really made me think hard about how I've been the past couple months since my last mountain race of the year. I've been kind of lazy and finding a lot of excuses not to train and eat right. The poor performance today really has gotten me back on track to start thinking about how I need to be in the off season to be ready for next year.
As for the races themselves. I wasn't really that prepared for the first race the cat 3-4. When the whistle blew I got a bad start and ended up leaving the start close to the end where I ended up staying the whole time. I don't even know what to say. The dismounts and barriers killed me ( I fell over them my second time through). I was just so damn slow getting off the bike and then getting back on and get going again. I know it is something that I just need to practice a lot more. The course had one big hill in it that required me to run up it. The second time up I'm not sure but I managed to lose a shoe and had to stop and put it back on. After that as the race went on I just started feeling worse and worse. Eventually I got to the point where I just tried to keep pedaling and make it through the race.
The second race started only 15 minutes after my first which in hindsight was probably a mistake to do 2 of them back to back like that. When the whistle blew for this one I was ready and got off the start in second and rolled into the first turn in first then I flew through the first section of tight twists and then boom the first barriers and everyone went around me except for the poor people that were right behind me and I was holding them up. After that I went through the race ok but still couldn't really catch up with anyone in front of me and my I ended up just trying to keep in front of the two people behind me.
I don't know what to think. All I know is that I need to get back to work and really strive to make some improvements over the winter. I need to really force myself to train harder and I've said this before but I need to be able to stay at me top end for a longer period of time if I have any chance of achieving my goal for next years mountain bike season. The goal for next year is a podium spot in every cross-country mtb race. I've kind of made up my mind that nothing else is acceptable.