Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Morning Before
I went to bed at 10:30PM and was awake for about 45 minutes before finally dozing off. Thoughts about the race, my legs, my bike, the wheels I'd be using, my roommates in Burlington, my 'Cross teammates racing in Vermont, my mom, Olivia and what I'd eat for breakfast swirled. As each thought came into my mind, I found a way to reason with a stressful disturbance and solved the problems so that I'd mitigate anxiety or stressful importance of each. I thought about my training and my nap earlier in the day when I thought about my legs. I thought about breakfast when I thought about the race. I thought about my thrashed training bike and how I'd get my new stuff from the mechanic to bring home for the winter months. I thought about the contract I'd signed for next year with Team Type 1 and how I'd need to be well prepared for next year. I decided my racing this past season was good and that there was nothing here for me to lose. But, I do have another chance to chase the coveted "Stars and Stripes Jersey."
Last year, I raced each race like it was the last race of my life. I found myself struggling with that former excitement for a while this year. My fire was burning low, but after a Green Mtn Stage Race with friends on CCB and guest rider Justin Spinelli ('Cross Teammate), I reignited the flame and hurt all the way through the GMSR. I was coming off an injury and fought hard, ending up 6th GC and with the KOM Jersey on poor form. Great things can happen when your mind is in the game. Each race might be the last one I'll ever do, so why not go as hard as you bloody can? Not senselessly, but don't be afraid to get in and hurt. Otherwise, it's not fun if you're not risking anything for the glory. This is my time!
Don't mind the disconnectivity of points made. That was an example of how I, personally, can talk myself into a positive emotional state around a big race. Mental motivation is #1 for a competition. One must be in control of the things he can be. As Tim Johnson told me, "You can only control the controllable." A good competitor will do just that and forget about the rest. "Forget about what your legs feel like," Mike Creed told me, "Just go out there and be ready to hurt." It's all about the mental preparation. Take it and link it to imagery, and your'e ready to fire the missiles.