10.17.2003

RACE REPORT: Ed Sanders Cross Race as hosted by NCVC

This is the fourth time I have started this race report and this time
I am going to finish it. This report is going to be told without
graphic detail of an carbon monoxide filled drive in a big blue
truck with hot coffee in one hand and a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich in the other. Nor am I going to unleash a long list of
preloaded excuses as to why I am not faster or in better shape.
No one wants to hear about my hedonistic week with the family
down in Florida lounging on the beach watching the sunset over
the gulf trying to eat my soft served ice cream cone faster than it
can melt after a long day of chasing my son Dean around in hot
sand into the bath tub warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, that is
not important. People are sick of hearing me drag on about how I
am substituting Red Bull and Circus Peanuts for training. And
most of all there will be not talk about how I slapped together a
tune up as quickly as I could the night prior, choosing to accept a
wheel that will not hold its true rather than a new wheel that has
been in the basement for over a month out of laziness, and never
testing the new cleats on the new shoes till the warm up lap
because I was more interested in entertaining my guest from
Idaho and downing another glass of red wine, this is not
important to the reader or the race results. All of these details
have been covered in past race reports in one way or another,
same story/different race and if you want to hear them you can go
back through the archives and read them yourself. I will spare
everyone the weak attempt to be poetic as I pontificate about the
sights and smells of Indian Summer, no I won't drag on about
how baggy turtleneck sweaters, cold mornings with the sight of
my own breath, piles of dry multicolored leaves, porches
decorated with uncarved pumpkins and care crows and candy
corn all make me think about cyclocross, because it is honestly
this is just not true. There will be no effort to cleverly define what
CYCLOCROSS is, or what the origins of this quasi-european,
cold weather, short lap, timed race, steeplechaseque, road bike
on not so technical terrain is....it is assumed that you already
know this. But rather I will try to step into a roll that is a bit more
on the level of Sport Psychology.

In hindsight I see that the greatest failure of my approach the Ed
Sanders Cross Race as hosted by NCVC was not my sleep
deprivation, my red wine hang over, my poorly tuned bike, my
poorly toned body, my carbon monoxide filled lungs, the lack of
warm up before race time, or my being a mountainbiker and this
being an event that is more geared to the road biker. My failure
reflects greatly upon my approach to this race mentally.

I did not race this day, I did a race that day.

Need I expand on this?

Simply this....
I did not psych myself up, I psyched myself out. I entered the race
line up seeking a mid pack finish, I gave a mid pack effort, and I
got mid pack results.

There was not any over exertion, no over extension, no bursting
of myself, my limits were not tested. It was all rather 'ho-hum."
Sure, I had a good time. It was a hoot and a holler. I enjoyed
myself. But, I did not take any risks. Never for a second did I test
my limitations. In hindsight I feel it would have been better to
make an attack, try and take it all and fail, rather than to just
attend the race. This is not to say that I should have won this
race, by no means am I as fit or as fast as my opponents. But, if I
am to really respect myself....I must give my personal best. Race
the clock. Test my own personal limits. Show up to race. Wanting
to win, trying to win, and finishing as strong as I can.

With that said...I can feel my legs starting to cramp just thinking
about this whole race thing.

But as it is a road race it is fully within the ethic to pay the fee, line
up at the start, sprint off into the first lap, and pull off into the pits
realizing that it just is not there today. So at the next race expect
to see me sitting in the pits massaging my sore calves as my
opponents burst their legs and their lungs to finish the race we
all started together. Or actually expect to see me limping around
the course realizing I went out too hard, but still pig headed
enough to try and finish, fighting my hardest not to get lapped
and pulled from the course by the officials, but at least knowing
that I gave it my all. Because after all, that is all I have to give.

this race report sucks!
I should try to scratch up one of the other ones that talks about
the drive up, the misty hills in the distance, a labyrinth maze
winding through the lily ponds, but those written words were
tossed into the trash and there is tv to be watched. So rather than
thinking of the race past, I am going to step away and start
thinking of the race ahead. (or at least watch Roger Lodge and
Blind Date!)

good night

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