I've dealt with disappointment before, with sub excellent race results or failed workouts, and I know there will be many more disappointments in the future, but this one has been especially hard to swallow.
|Arkansas is beautiful, I can see why they call it the natural state.|
I flew to Arkansas on Friday morning feeling confident, calm, relaxed. I knew the course wasn't the best relative to my strengths, but I had faith in the training I had done, in the plan my coach laid out and in the fitness we had built. On Saturday morning I pre-rode the course, a 21 mile 'loop' of mostly narrow, rocky, flowy fun singletrack with a few short climbs. I felt good about the terrain, comfortable on my bike and confident that I could make the course work to my advantage.
Sunday morning Menso and I rolled to the course early, I did my warm up and arrived at the start still feeling good.
|Lots of rocks in Arkansas. I loved it. The trails were pure mtb bliss.|
And that's the scenario keeping me up at night. If I had just sat in and drank/eaten a bunch I could have stayed with her and tried to out-sprint her. I should have been smarter. I should have thought it through. If I had only...
It sucks so bad to feel so confident about something, to feel like the race is yours, and then to come home empty handed. To think about how things would have played out if there had been a fire road to pass on, or someone had seen the shady behavior to corroborate what I experienced (I think the technical rule is you aren't supposed to block others).
But a wise woman once told me that you will have more losses than wins in your career, so knowing how to deal with defeat is far greater than knowing how to deal with a win. I'm still processing it all, feeling the emotions, letting myself feel the pain and disappointment, and hoping that I learn something from this that makes all this unhappiness meaningful.
In the mean time, I'm on a rest week, licking my wounds and doing my best to keep looking forward.
|We flew home so fast after the race that I had to get on the plane still dirty from racing :)|