I mistimed my upgrade from the lowly category 4s to the slightly less lowly 3s. One would hope to upgrade to a stiffer level of competition when they are feeling fresh and strong. I upgraded after I accepted that it was time for a bit of rest. Tonight I jump back into the fray at Portland’s Tuesday Night World Championships, in the 1/2/3 field. If I’m being honest, which we are here. Then I have to admit that I’m a bit scared.
To be fair, I have done some racing with 3s and a few training rides with riders of a much higher caliber than myself. Some of which has been at the Tuesday Night Worlds. But the 3s that hang out there are either sandbagging, or doing themselves a disservice by racing with the 4s. I know this because I did the same last year when I raced the 4/5s as a 4. That was after getting my hand burned in my first 3/4 race (psst. Which you can read about in “The Ride Journal” issue # 6!) That’s what I’m afraid of.
I’ve trained with ones and twos many times. All have been great, but I can remember one ride in particular where I tried to hang on when the pace jumped. I’m stronger now, that’s for sure, but the feeling of that subtle shift those riders made has stuck with me. It was a thing of beauty really. As was the nuclear explosion when I tried to hang on.
So what’s the problem? This is what I wanted is it not?
It is, and the fact that I’m a little frightened about it is a sign that I need to be there. Not in the 3/4s where I know I’m capable of finishing in the top five. At this stage its unlikely that I’ll place that high in the 1/2/3 field, but the racing will be hard, which will increase my fitness for the big goals I have further down the road. Which is secondary to learning whatever I can about who I am by pushing myself harder than I ever have before. This is waht I’m here for. This is what its about.