Last week I upgraded to Cat 4, not on points (for those not following along), but because I’ve completed a certain number of mass starts. Feeling good, thinking to myself “I can hang”. I can hang, when I don’t blow it. But maybe I’m being delusional.
Every Tuesday the 4/5 group does between six to eight laps. The 3/4 were slated to do twenty last night. PIR is a two mile loop. Do the math, that’s a big jump. My training plan calls for an hour and twenty minutes of training. I threw that to the wind and lined up with a three teammates. I stuck my hand in the fire and I got burned. Bad.
I was more nervous than usual, my HR was around 120 when we started the race. Still I got myself in there and fought for my position. Sitting about five or six wheels back. Hanging on to my teammate Craig’s wheel. The second lap was a hot one and the pace picked up a bit. I knew I was in a good position and I started thinking about picking up some points.
Last week I learned that if I jump at the right time I can stick it out. Sadly, this week mirrored last week in more than one way. Just before the last set of turns one guy started to go, I stood up to go with him, but he was blocked. One of the stronger riders near the front saw him and he stood up as well. Knowing how strong he is I jumped too. They were gone. I tried my hardest but I couldn’t catch their wheels and get out of the wind. I languished in the no man’s land between the peloton and two break away riders.
Coming into the line it was obvious that I wasn’t going to make contact and that the group wasn’t going to catch me before the line. I started to slow up with the hope of catching some recovery before we were reabsorbed.
So that’s it. I picked up a point or two. I missed the timing and paid dearly. Fuck, I wold have let those guys take the big points had I been able to catch their wheels. Instead I blasted myself and paid dearly.
As the group picked me back up another teammate yelled for me to get back in. I tired, but not hard enough. I knew it was going to happen, I tired to stop it but it was all for naught as I watched the pack ride away from me. I rode one lap alone, over the course of which the gap went over 30 seconds. On the back half of that lap I was passed by the Cat 1/2/3 like I was standing still. I pulled over and quit. The idea of chasing, alone for the next 17 laps was more than I could stand.
After I got home last night and was safely under the covers the Lady said to me ” I don’t like it when you’re tired like this, you’re less fun”. Maybe she said “No fun” I’m not sure. Without giving too much away. I’m having a shitty week. Last week was good, and I thought I was turning a corner, but alas I’m back in the gutter trying to slog through the shit. Emotional stress affects how your body recovers from the physical stress.
These aren’t excuses. I’m just stating facts. It’s my job to manage those things. I’m failing at that. I know this is the most amateur of amateur racing, but it still means a lot to me and words can’t express how upset I am with myself.
My once and future strength coach told me “You’re the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror every morning”. Today I’m having a hard time doing that.