Tuesday, October 28

Emotional Turd Control

Before I get to anything else, I want to remind people that The Backyard Experience is this Saturday.  It's a one of a kind event that has the best bang for the buck anywhere.  Four stages of straight  racing plus a bonus stage all held on Charlotte's most technical, feature-laden trail (jumps, stunts, and gnar), beer, food, prizes from Maxxis, Mountain Khakis, Bike Source, Backcountry Research... custom hand-made awards.  Nothing like it anywhere.  Only $25, pre-registration ends Thursday night, day-of is $10 more. 

We've been working hard to get everything ready for race day...

and the weather could not be more choice to spend the day in the woods riding, hucking, racing, and whatnot.


Nuff said.  Next thing.

I was talking to Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever after Zac and I had completed our Double Dare experience.  We were discussing what it really takes to win.

"Control of your emotions." ~ Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever

Correct.  Huge.  Something I'm terrible at.

At the Double Dare, it means many things.  Knowing you should never let pride take control and Tin Cup your way to one too many checkpoints.  Knowing you need to stay outta the dark place, as the sads will only slow you down.  Move forward, robot style, agenda driven, focused but not engrossed.  Eyes on the prize.  Not my style, per se.

Although the Wilkes 100k was only about five hours long, I was all over the place.  Pissed to see so many people get away from me at the start when I knew how important it was to get a good position going into the woods.  Delighted to taunt Mike Jarz into making passes in the crowds of riders we encountered.  Pleased to be passing people, but then sad about all the effort it took to make the necessary moves to get around them.  Angry that so many parts of my body were in pain, not affecting my pedaling ability, but distracting me from putting out a full effort.

This all over the place emotional rainbow blinded me to just how much I had moved up in the field.  With the benefit of hindsight, I can see that I scooted up from somewhere in the fifties or sixties (maybe even further back?) all the way up to 16th overall by the finish.  Focusing more on my emotional ups and downs as opposed to counting the riders as I passed by meant that at the finish, I assumed I was in the top forty or so riders.  I was way off.  I coulda been in a much better place had I know I'd passed "X number of riders" before I hit the halfway point.

I know how to count.  I just didn't.

Then I wouldn't have convinced myself to "finish just for fun."

The pain in my ankle and shoulders would have pulled less of my attention away from going faster.

I know there's no reason to try to ride 60 miles on two bottles, but once I convince myself that it's now the new challenge and distraction to keep my mind busy?  Shit.

Maybe I coulda worked together with Jarz as opposed to either wishing he would drop me or fall off my wheel.

And maybe this is all part of why I race.  Not so much my desire to beat others, but some strange pull towards stringing together a series of moments where I control the story.  It happens sometimes...

2013 ORAMM

2014 Tussey Mountain Stage of the Trans-Sylvania Epic

Those are my most recent moments that I can recall.  Times when I "won" despite the demons and crossed the line feeling victorious, regardless of the outcome. Times when I managed to keep the demons away just long enough.

Oh the desire to be one of those cool-headed people that I read about on the internet who manage to tell themselves to...

Sorry, but if you're looking for that guy?

No comments: