Patience While Racing

I’m still learning patience while racing. My adrenaline tells my brain to go, go, go but my legs remind me to wait. 

During the road race, one of my awesome teammates did a lot of the work on Saturday and we were able to control the pace for the first part of the race. I managed to get in a break on the last lap, but lost the front two girls once again (I’m really going to work on this because this is twice now). I snagged third during a sprint, but I’m going back and forth as to why I keep getting dropped once I get in a break. Mental or physical? Probably both. Regardless, it’s such a bittersweet feeling to get away from the peloton only to find yourself in no mans land. 

Feeling good going into today’s crit (perhaps a little too good), I did not remember patience. Although not a large group, I was hesitant to be in the back incase of a crash, so I stayed up front entirely too much. On the last lap, the girl who won yesterday took off and I responded immediately. I ended up sprinting entirely too early and got swarmed at the last 500 meters. I have SO much to learn, but damn, I love racing my bike. 

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Optimistic Attitude in Racing

An optimistic attitude is needed in life and it’s needed in racing. Pretty obvious, right? I know this, you know this, and I’m sure we have all given the PMA speech to others, but it hit me last week that I wasn’t practicing it.

When I first started racing about nine months ago, my goal was to finish. Then it turned into not getting dropped. Clearly, these weren’t very extravagant goals and because of it, I kept selling myself short. I’m not much of a baby-steps kind of person outside of cycling, so why was I setting such limited race goals for myself for so long? With this kind of mentality, I wouldn’t win until I was 50.

Last week I looked for anything to keep negative thoughts from creeping in. In addition to my normal training, I listened to new music, read quotes, watched inspirational videos, and read race reports from women I look up to. It all helped, but what stuck the best for me was saying to myself, “I’m going to win.” At first I felt really weird even thinking such a thing. Am I insane? If nothing else, I felt exceedingly awkward because it seemed like such a cocky mindset to carry. When my coach or close friend asked how I was feeling about my upcoming race, I finally said it out loud - I’m going to win. Sure, I didn’t walk around belting it from the mountain top, but the more I thought it, the more I started to believe it could happen.

Saturday ended up being a challenging course with fair amount of climbing and a killer finish. I turned every single detail into a positive that day with one simple phrase in mind - bring it. I’m pleased to say that because of this, I made a break from the peloton on the second lap and placed fourth. No, I didn’t win, but while stuck in no man’s land for the last 17 miles turning myself inside out to catch the girl in third, I stayed positive and never gave up.

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