Start of Race Season…Almost
Today I’ve had a lot to think about. Yesterday marked one week until my first race of the 2012 season. I feel stronger than I have in a long time and my bicycle fitness is better then it has ever been. On the flip side, my technical skills (though improved) are not where I was hoping they would be for my first race of the season.
I am starting in cat 3, but I really really want to move up to cat 2 within a couple races. As more of an endurance athlete, I know I would benefit from the extra lap, assuming I dont have to walk my bike for 1/2 of each lap.
Also, with so few women out there, I really question if there should even be a cat 3 category. I mean what does it realistically mean to say you won cat 3 or qualified for nationals…basically it means you showed up and finished the race without DNFing.
So while my goal is to be the overall points leader for the root 66 mtb race series in 2012, I would prefer not to do this in cat 3. I want to feel like I actually accomplished something and overcame my fears. Yes, my fears, as that is currently the biggest thing holding me back on a mountain bike. I lose so much time and confidence when I have to get off my bike and walk. Then I get frustrated with myself and it compounds on itself. So really my goal for the year should simply be to stay on my bike each race.
Back to next weekend, my first race, I could very easily be the only woman in my category/age group. I want to do well, so I feel confident upgrading to cat 2, but how do I know how hard to push myself when I am all alone in the woods? I’ve learned how to push my body in other sports and more recently on the road/trainer, but I still have a hard time in the woods. Most of the time, my fitness wants me to go faster, push harder, yet my skills tell me no. How do I override this part of my brain for a race?
That is what I need to learn how to do, and I hope it comes together for me next Sunday. I want to show that I am not just a racer’s wife, but I to am a racer and can compete against other women. Though at least if nothing else, I will look good on my sweet new 29er!