When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

Expectations can be motivating.  You set specific goals with the best intentions and desire to attain them at some point in the game.  Sometimes our best just isn’t good enough.  Sometimes we can’t get our heart and head in sync.  This weekend I couldn’t transfer my heart and mind into my legs.  My heart’s desire was big.  My brain knew just what I had to do to get where I wanted to be.  My legs couldn’t deliver.  I literally pushed myself to a near unconscious state.  I can honestly say I left everything on the course.  How many people can honestly say the same?
Saturday’s course was more like a grass crit.  It was sunny, warm and the ground was dry and fast.  My technical skills would not be needed.  I had to depend on what little fitness I had and hope my fast-twitch muscle fibers would forget to blow up after the 1st lap. 
Have a good race, ladies.
Hole shot…again…shit!!!!  Really?  I honestly don’t try to get the hole, but I seem to get up there anyway.  I have serious power in my legs…still haven’t harnessed the energy for more than a lap.  On the bright side, I kept the lead much longer than normal.  Megan 1, CX Satan 0.
Autumn making me look awesome again.
  Grace eventually passed me when I took the turn out of the woods a little too wide.  I went through the tape and into the trees.  I rode it out and lost first place positioning.  Ok, so now I’m second.  Less pressure.  Let’s do this. 
My legs were dying.  I kept looking back and Jenna was always right there.  I pulled away a few times, but she was having a great day and passed me in the barriers.  Ok.  So now I suck.  Keep pedaling.  I was in my dark place at this point and wanted to throw my bike.  “This shit is stupid”.  Yep.  That’s what I was thinking.
Jenna pulled away in the gravel.  I couldn’t stay on her.  We climbed the hill of death and I caught her back.  I was focusing on her recovery.  She wasn’t pedaling much, especially where she could coast.  I put my bike in the big ring and pounded my pedals as hard as my body would let me.  I was an inch away from her wheel.  I was trying to get in her head.  We came to a slight downhill and a sharp turn.  I stayed with her.  We rolled into the gravel and around a few more turns.  I was on her.  Into the woods, I stood up and tried to pass her before the single track.  No such luck.
We came out of the woods and onto the hardest part (for me) of the course.  I had nothing.  She gapped me and made the barriers.  I had nothing.  She took off to the finish line.  I had nothing.  Jamie yelled “If you want her you gotta go NOW!”  I had nothing.  I shook my head in disgust.  I had nothing.  I pedaled as hard as I could to the finish as to not look like a total D-bag wuss. 
I saw spots.  I couldn’t focus my eyes.  My head felt dizzy and my lips were tingling.  “Get your ass off the bike before you black out and skin up your face.”  So I got off my bike and laid in the grass.  I could taste blood.  I just kicked my own ass.
I was infuriated because my body didn’t do what I wanted it to do.  I have an amazing cycling family with more support than a newbie could ask for, so I got over being butt hurt pretty quick.  I grabbed my cowbell and started cheering for my team.  They are AWESOME.
I finally participated in the MTB race for fun.  I was DFL.  I got beat by a dude with flat pedals.  No biggie.  That’s pretty standard for me on my MTB.  I’m always last and I get beat by a lot of people with flat pedals.  I still finished and I got an extra 30 minutes of training. 
LITERALLY following in Duckman’s footsteps.  Not a bad place to be.
Sunday.  Ashevegas.  Pisgah Brewery CX race.  Need I say more?  I got to see a lot of my friends from Boone (I miss ya’ll tons!) and hang out with some of my favorite people.  I was trying to prep myself for a “no pressure race” but given my competitive nature, I knew I was kidding myself.
My race summed up in a few sentences…
Start line.  Got second behind hole shot.  Felt great for a second.  Hit the woods.  Got passed…a lot.  Legs said SCREW OFF.  I died.  I couldn’t get in my big ring.  I superman’ed my bike on the 3rd lap at the barriers (and saved it).  I got really pissed off.  I got really tired.  I kept thinking, “HOW MANY DAMN LAPS ARE WE DOING?!”  We finished.  I suffered.  I got UNpissed off.  What more could I expect from trashed legs?!  Exactly.
First lap.  Still feeling good…
Lap 392,184…my inner child was crying
Good news?  I wasn’t DFL!  Bad news?  I gotta suck it up and realize I’m not going to be great overnight.  Patience.  Gotta find some…
Now to the fun stuff…

This has been a very interesting weekend to say the least.  I’m learning things about myself I never thought possible.  My cup is full.  It would be pretty difficult to make things any better right now.  I’ll take it.  God knows I deserve it.

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