Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Day of Frustration and Doubt

Eric's Spring Cup mtn. bike race was today. With all the rain we received yesterday I was anticipating a slow muddy course. To my surprise the course was relatively dry. Oh there were some soft spots and the grassy areas were slow. There was one huge mud hole in the last mile or so of the course. I managed to find it on the first lap and went ass over tea kettle. Fortunately I went into the bushes and didn't do a face plant as some others did. However, when my bike came to an abrupt halt and my body kept going over the handle bars, my right foot stayed in the clips and I felt a rather painful pull in my right hamstring it tightened up immediately. The race hadn't gone well since the start. I had difficulty catching my breathe and getting into any kind of a rhythm. Call it lack of experience, out of shape, whatever you want. I felt shitty from the start and my bike out performed the rider for the entire race. The 46 miles logged on the road yesterday were also having an influence on my performance. What the hell ever happened to rest the day before a competition? Stupidity and arrogance on my part I guess.

I had actually thought of scratching after the first lap, but I continued on. The thought of dropping came again as I came in at the end of the second lap, but that just wouldn't have been tolerable. Better to finish in shame and pain than to not finish at all. By the end of the race the tightness in my hamstring and pain in my lower back (herniated discs) were getting damn close to intolerable. I'm happy I was able to finish, but my performance was a total disappointment and this was a relatively easy course with very little elevation gain.

I found this on another local rider's Blog (The Red Lantern) hope Dan doesn't mind me borrowing it for this particular post, but it's kind of where I'm at right now. Is it applicable to mtn. bike racing? I definitely think so.

This was me today... The Lanterne Rouge (Red Lantern). The name is taken from a long-standing tradition of bike racing in France: the lanterne rouge is the rider who is in last place and is a symbol of the underdog, of perseverance in the face of having no hope of victory- but carrying on because it's a good thing to do.

I don't feel worthy of wearing a LSC jersey. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this competitive shit and should stick with my love to just get out and ride. I'm lacking that competitive drive and desire.

After the race I went over the the in-laws for Mother's Day. Of course I showed up an hour and a half late to be greeted with hellos, smiles, and a few shaking heads. Some people just don't understand. The food and company were both excellent.

Patti and her friend Tia went to the MOA for the Race For The Cure run. They had a really good time despite the chill in the air along with the brisk winds. We are both feeling kind of tired this evening. Rest will feel good tonight, but right now I need to go to the basement and work my back and sore hamstring. One thing that I have to remind myself is that this is only my second mtn. bike race. My first was Chequamegon last September. Talk about starting off backwards.


grasshopper said...

No matter how much you train for a mtb race you are never ready. You never know what the trail holds or how your body will react to the terrain.
Its all about the experience and the ride. You against the clock.
It gets better with each ride the pain just becomes steady so you dont know its there, the confidence grows along with the stupidity (ask Bob on a red wing warm up)dont give up its not in your vocabulary.
Also never give a time when you will be home because you will be about 2 hours late, that is experience.

Kenny said...

YOU FINISHED! Think of all the people that can't even compete in such an event. I only wish that I was there so I could have beat you by 2 or 3 seconds (maybe)!
I've only DNF'd on one race in my life, but I've wanted to quit just about every damn one at one point. Every race at Afton in particular.
You did fine. Yes, we are always late.

chickenboy said...

as my friend said as we stood at the starting line of twin cities last fall, "dfl (dead funckin' last) will always be better than dfn."
you showed up, you busted your arse, you finished, focus on that. great work vito! keep it up!