My account of life both on and off of two wheels...... "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The voices in my head.

I woke up Sunday morning not feeling much better than the day before.  My head was still stuffy and I had developed a cough.  I had a really good night rest so decided to stick with the plan and head up to the race.  I planned on just using this event as training anyway.  I told myself that I would not over do it and if for any reason I felt sick, I would stop.  It is a hard thing to do when you are out there but I have hurt myself in this type of heat before.  It ended badly with lots of puking and chills, so I had no interest in reenacting that nightmare.

I made some green juice for G and I and we were off to the race.  

It was already 78 degrees at 8:00 in the morning so we knew it was going to be a long hot day.

The heat and coughing just added to my normal list of issues I now have to deal with since surgery and treatments.  The heat just makes these issues worse- my ankles aching and arm tightening- I am sick of even talking about it so I am sure you all are sick of reading about it.  I am just starting to understand how to accept it- but I am not there yet. 

Racing is as much mental as it is physical.  A week ago, I actually felt like I could have done well in this race but you just never know until you start pedaling that day.  I felt pretty good heading into the woods.  I tried not to get carried away with the freight train of ‘sport’ class men that passed me on the trail. I just tried to find my own grove and settle in and let people pass when it was safe to do so.

It was not 45 minutes into the race when I heard my guy yell out- ‘is that my wonder woman?”.   I knew he would catch up to me so it was nice to hear his voice.  We actually ended up riding most of the race together and having a good time.  We both were struggling with the heat and the same cold.  For the record, he gave it to me. 

It was during the 4th lap that I was starting to feel like a 5th lap could potentially bury me.  G was having the same feeling so we both decided to end our race after 4 laps- 43 miles.

I thought for sure I was last, so we decided not to hang around in the blazing heat and headed home.  I was surprised to hear that I was not last and actually got 6th place.  My lap times were not impressive by any means and while I did not cramp or overly fatigue myself- I still did not feel like I had a good performance but it did feel pretty good not to be last.

I could have gone further that day, I know I could have but I didn’t want to completely deplete my body so that I could not function the rest of the week.  Another lap could have put me in a world of hurt and it just was not worth it.  I felt pretty good Monday morning and I know that if I had pushed myself that would not be the case. 

Even my phone had enough of the heat! 

The more I think about it and the more I critique my race- the more I get mad about Sundays race and the races since my cancer diagnosis.  I am my own worst critic- I want to summon my race performances before my diagnosis.

I cannot help but get angry at cancer for setting me back so far from my competitors. 

I am racing now with women that I used to beat or had a chance of beating and they are crushing me.  It is so humbling.

I line up on the start line and think that I am lucky to even be there.  I think how these girls have no idea how hard it is for me to get back up to the strength that I have today.  I may look the part but truly, I am a long ways away from being in the top 3 of a race.  I have to allow my body to come back on its own which is not easy because it involves patience on my part.
I know that I have to get out of this mind set because it really is not helping me race any better.   

I am not as down on me as this sounds, but these are the voices in my head.  It is hard some days to tune them out.

I have settled into this place that is very unfamiliar to me and I do not like it any more.

Next up is the Darkhorse 40 in 1 month and I would like to have a good result. 

In the meantime, it is July 4 and the summer is flying by.  We are off to Maine for a long weekend of visiting G’s family and some friends of ours in Portland. 

Have a safe and happy 4th of July.