more than just another bike blog

Saturday, March 03, 2007

third time's a charm

today was race #3 in the CCCX series. interestingly enough, I almost didn't go. you see, I just got back from ten days in Colorado last night, and I had about 1,000 excuses when the alarm went off at 4:30 this morning.

first, congrats to my beautiful teammates.

Elizabeth did her first race clipped in the entire time -- and she had more fun than I've ever seen her have during a race!

Justine raced her single speed and got 2nd in the sport women's race, beating a bunch of geared girls. Jenny raced sport as well -- and got 5th in a super-competitive field.

and Janet came to pre-ride with a friend and cheered and took some great photos!

so, I'll start my report with the punch line. why the punch line, you ask? because my race today should have been a joke. but I guess the joke was on my because I won! yes, I won my very first race (at least where there was more than one competitor in my category).

but now I'll digress. I went to CO to participate in the elite/level 1 coaching clinic for USA Cycling at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. during the clinic, my favorite speaker was Kristen Dieffenbach, PhD, who discussed sport psychology. this is one of my favorite topics. one of the more interesting parts of the lecture was her explanation of athletes with a fear of success. she also classified athletes with an aversion to failure (although not necessarily the same as a desire to win). this is an interesting group of athletes, and I bet everyone in the bike racing world can identify at least a handful of these types. you see, these are the athletes who have pre-qualifying excuses about why they won't do well in a given race (poor sleep, catching a cold, gained weight, etc) -- anything that they can cling to post-race to explain why they didn't succeed. but in having these pre-qualifiers, the athletes also didn't fail because they told you in advance that the pre-qualifier would affect their performance.

so, here are my pre-qualifiers for today:

  • I flew home yesterday without sufficient time to prep for the race last night, which meant that I had to unpack from my trip and pack for the race this morning.
  • I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed six pounds more than when I left 10 days earlier. tell me that doesn't affect a woman's mental game, even if it only is water retention!
  • I ate crap yesterday and this morning, including wheat, which I'm allergic to and which triggers my asthma.
  • I was chronically dehydrated in CO -- probably from too much coffee, the occassional beer and not enough water.
  • I kept re-setting my alarm this morning, finally getting out of bed 15 minutes after I'd planned to leave the house.
  • I got up so late that I grabbed a piece of banana bread at Starbuck's for breakfast instead of my usual oatmeal and strawberries.
  • I arrived at Ft. Ord so late that I only got 20 minutes to warm-up and pre-ride part of the course.
  • I forgot my tire pressure gauge and over-inflated my tires, causing me to slip & slide all over the course, especially in the sandy banks and turns.
  • my muscles all hurt from my non-cycling activities in CO. My core was blown, causing me to miss my line about 100 times during the race, riding off-course, into the grass, and basically just being sloppy. My hamstrings, abductors, and adductors were screaming at me when I walked, never mind when climbing on the bike.
  • the race was a bit intense, and I didn't GU at all (and only drank twice).
  • I snotted all over myself several times.
  • I kept trying to clear my throat, making a really loud, scary sound (which must've given my competitors a mental edge thinking I would die soon). When not clearing my throat, I was breathing like a horse.
but somehow, I put it all together and held off the competition. Ayshe and Jackie sat on my wheel for the entire race. I'd open up small gaps on the climbs and flats, but they'd catch me on the technical sections because I slowed so much due to my over-inflated tires and under-inflated core muscles. Ayshe passed me at one point in the first lap, but Jackie nudged me to close the gap and I passed her back and she was never able to pass me again.

with about a mile to go, I told myself that I wanted this more than the two of them, and there was no way I was going to lose another race in the final minutes. so I turned up the heat a bit and hammered to the finish.

as I approached the line, Rod announced me as the winner of the women's race. I started to cry. knowing that I was finally going to win my first race was an overwhelming feeling. the next second, I realized that my competitors could still nip me before the line, so I pushed it to the finish.

it wasn't a pretty race. but the gold medal is beautiful!

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At 3/05/2007 10:12 AM, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...


At 3/05/2007 10:37 AM, Blogger lauren said...

yay! good job girlie!

At 3/05/2007 10:51 AM, Blogger CyclistRick said...

No longer the bridesmaid.... Maybe its pyschological impact of wearing the spiffy new kit. Way to go!!

At 3/05/2007 12:30 PM, Blogger chatterbox said...

Wooo hoo! You rock! Now that you're over your fear of success on the MTB course, what next?

At 3/05/2007 1:24 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Atta girl! I knew you would win one soon.

At 3/05/2007 2:39 PM, Blogger Velo Bella said...

I like the new kits!

At 3/05/2007 9:43 PM, Blogger alicat said...

you're amazing! and you've got cool new kits too.

At 3/06/2007 7:15 AM, Blogger ginmtb said...

Wait I thought a different jersey design won for 2007. So confused (say it with Chinese accent).

At 3/06/2007 7:41 AM, Blogger velogirl said...

thanks everybody! it was a long time coming.

Gin, you're thinking of the club kit. that's the kit that we sell to the public (even you could wear it)!

At 3/06/2007 9:08 AM, Blogger marscat said...


and i like the new kits too.

At 3/06/2007 9:10 AM, Blogger marscat said...


and i like the new kits too.

At 3/06/2007 1:33 PM, Blogger funkdaddy said...

you go, velo-girl!

hey, i'm one of those "pre-qualifiers", can you give me some winning secrets?

btw by far the most annoying winners are the ones that have excuses and win anyway ;-)

At 3/06/2007 7:25 PM, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

way to go! very cool...didn't expect the twist at the end after reading the pre-race list...

At 3/06/2007 11:50 PM, Blogger shawnkielty said...


Colorado in the winter is pretty dry -- extremely dry. Like -14% humidity.

I think I am going to come to the crit with my camera. I'll see you then -- please introduce yourself.

At 3/07/2007 8:11 AM, Blogger Pizie said...

Elizabeth ROCKS! Wait till I tell Rosalind she races without those BMX pedals.

At 3/07/2007 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hats off to velo girl!!!

you've come a long way...

At 3/07/2007 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you've come a long way...awesome!!!

At 3/07/2007 4:44 PM, Blogger Erein said...

Pixie- Hey wait! I LOVE my BMX pedals. Believe me I'm ONLY clipped in at CCCX. :) Otherwise I'm rockin' the flat pedals. :)

At 3/08/2007 9:14 AM, Blogger Nome Agusta said...

Damn I miss Mountain Bike racing.

That's it, 08' and I am back to the dirt and shedding the roadie scum sit at the back and don't do a damn thing sprint at the end bastards.


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