Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cyclocross Season #2: Races #2 and 3...Biketoberfest and Ed Sander's Memorial Races 2015

Before I tell you about my races, I must tell you where I am emotional which will help you to understand my racing state of mind...

Friday, I had a meeting with my mentor and friend, and the moment that I sat down, I went into the ugly cry. You know the kind of cry where you can’t control your breathing. Yep, that kind of cry. He allowed me to cry and talk out all of my emotions and then we got down to business. (I was not sad; I just needed a safe place to cry.)

On Saturday, before my race, I finally got the chance to do a little research on this writer whom one of my dear friends wanted me to check out, Bryan Stevenson. Well, I read all about him and even had time to listen to his TEDTalk. My people, I sat in Wholefoods and uncontrollably cried; this TEDTalk touched me to the core, and I cried and cried just about all the way to my race.

I got to my race, Biketoberfest, and pre-rode the course which was one of the most hilly CX courses that I have ever been on. After one lap of just pre-riding, I was pooped, but I was still going to give this race a try. Why not right? (I was feeling happy and energized.)

There were eight ladies in my category, and we took off when the start bell sounded. I felt great, I was taking the turns, riding with ease the few down hills, and even mastering the climbs. However, I got to one steep climb and jumped off my bike to run it. Let me tell you, running those hills was even more tiring than riding them. But, I really didn’t have a choice since I definitely couldn’t ride them.

After the second lap, I wanted to cry.. I mean my heart was racing uncontrollably and my legs were absolutely, completely done, but I was determined to finish this race. The third and final lap was brutal.... running and riding those hills just wasn’t for the faint at heart.

When I crossed the finish line, I felt like my lungs were on fire and my poor legs. I checked the race results and sure enough I finished, but I was last....

Let me tell you about the self-doubt that I was having.... I texted a friend to tell him that I felt defeated and maybe should stop racing. He asked if I tried my best, and I did. He went on to say “So, why would you stop racing?"(Happy for friends who don’t feed into my emotional craziness.)

Anyway, I went home after the race, got in the bed feeling a little down, but I decided to try racing again the next day.

I had no idea until I got outside that it was raining this morning. Now, many people who race cyclocross have no trouble with rain and many prefer to ride in rain, but not me so much.

On the way to the race, I had another crying spell, not sure what sparked it, but I allowed myself to cry...

I got to the race site early, Ed Sander's Memorial Race, and pre-rode the course in the rain. And, it was muddy with a few steep down hills that would have been rideable if they were not muddy, but in the mud, I would definitely have to run those steep down hills, and you know what, I just didn’t feel like it. I totally skipped those parts on the pre-ride. The rest of the course was fine but scary in a few places. However, after riding that course, I decided that I would not race but would take my butt home, and I did just that, all the while doubting if CX is for me.

However, I got home and the sun came out, and it was nice and warm, and there was no way that I could pass up the opportunity to practice CX skills on a beautiful fall day, and I did just that.

Beautiful fall day in Virginia!

I was riding up hills, down hills, dismounting and remounting over and over again... My happiness level went to the sky!

One of my co-workers has been doing very well in CX this season, and while I was outside, I decided to give him a call to talk about CX. He assured me that steep down hills in the mud and running those hills give him the blues as well, and he reassured me that I needed to keep riding them, and I will get better. I hung up with him and rode my bike with passion.

Now let’s talk about those crying spells.. Nope, I am not sad at all; I just needed to cry! I’ve learned to allow myself to feel whatever I am feeling and to never, ever trust my emotions; they are fickled!!!

Needless to say, I will continue to CX race, I am ready for tomorrow, looking forward to my safe haven, Tuskegee’s homecoming, and I am hoping that my crying spells are over...

What a weekend... Enjoy your week, My People!


Ayesha said...

So glad you kept goinf. Self doubt is super stressful, i ugly cry often. Good thing is, you usually feel awesome the day after a good ugly cry! Woot!

Jacqueline said...

Ayesha, good to see you over here on The Big Sea.... I’ve learned to embrace the ugly cry. I’ve been following your journey, and I am cheering for you.

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