|A nice muddy course!|
Last night it rained. Not like baby Southern California rain, like Euro downpour deluge from the sky complete with terrifying thunder and lightening. By the time the team relay rolled around at 6pm the rain had eased to the most beautiful glittering sparkle in the sky, falling through the tall, narrow pine trees and when the sun came through it felt like a fairy tale in the woods. No joke, we were hiking through mushrooms and hundreds of baby frogs hopping all over on our way to spectate.
So the rain was beautiful and all, but when you are a Southern California based mountain bike racer, rain isn’t always your best friend. Sure when you’re at home and it rains you rave about the hero dirt for days, and pine to be riding 24/7, but when you travel to Europe, where there is no shortage of tree roots, rain is a much different story! I know after Germany and France I at least have some experience with mud riding/racing, but racing this course in the slick still isn’t my preferred option!
|Did I mention the course is a maze? :)|
Fast forward to this morning, my last chance to check out the course before going to battle tomorrow. The standing water on the course from the night before was gone, but it was still pretty slick in the rooty sections. The good news is that the techy man made rock features were no more difficult to ride than yesterday in the dry, but I did loose a pedal once, and there were multiple spin outs on roots and rocks in the steep techy climbs. Yeah, tomorrow should be interesting if it doesn’t dry out more!
And now the random pre-worlds thoughts :)
I don’t know what I expected the Czech Republic to be like, but it is SO SO beautiful here. Never ending farms, beautiful houses in quaint villages, fruit trees everywhere, wide open spaces, and forest. There are mushrooms everywhere, the people are so kind, the food is incredible (at least at our hotel) and the weather has been as close to perfect as you can get. Our hotel is owned by a man named Pavel (how perfect is that for an Eastern European hotel owner’s name?!) and his son, Pavel Jr is a super serious teenager who clearly wants to run the hotel one day. Last night Pavel gave US champagne for HIS birthday!
When I rode the course today they were hosting a kids race, so I rode down into the stadium after my laps into a sea of little spandex clad shredders, just riding around, warming up, fully kitted out on mini mountain bikes. It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen,seriously thousands of little kids, so serious, looking more legit than me!! Haha I think cycling culture here in Eastern Europe is very very strong. It was rad to see.
On mental game, I go back and forth with my thoughts/feelings about tomorrow. I am so excited just to be here, and I feel like just completing this challenge will be such an awesome accomplishment that I really can’t go wrong as long as I put it all out there. But the other part of me feels like I should be setting ambitious goals about finishing top 25 and focusing on my mental game and being totally crazy serious and result focused. I think the second mindset scares me, because I will be crushed if I don’t have a good result. If my goals are centered around results it leaves a lot more room for disappointment. On the other hand, isn’t that the whole reason I’m here, to tear my legs off, to leave every piece of me on the course, and to place as well as possible among the best in the world? I’m trying to find a nice middle ground, where I enjoy the experience, but still set an ambitious goal to BEAT ALL THE GIRLS!!!!!!
And this brings me to another thing that’s been on the forefront of my mind lately. Everyone on social media has been so so so nice, so nice, and I know I could come off as some fast pro bike racer who is racing amongst the best in the world this weekend… BUT honestly I still do and probably always will feel like the doofy girl from Silverado who laughs out loud on descents, and interrupts people when she shouldn’t (I’m trying to stop!) and who is kinda fast, but not nearly as good as all those FAST girls. So it's weird (in a good way) to me how crazy supportive everyone is. I feel so blessed to have so many friends and fans who are always cheering for me, little old me :) Not sure what I’m trying to say here, except that I am so deeply beyond grateful for this opportunity, this life experience that I will take to my grave, for this year of not teaching and racing full time, and for every single person who supports me, from nice words on the internet to financial support, it is all so so meaningful to me!
|Waiting it out for the race :)|