Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting Over Stuff

There are things that make me annoyed, frustrated, disappointed, etc. Those things most frequently revolve around racing and what goes into a race and can happen after a race and the consequences of racing in general.

Ok, racing. Yea that kinda covers it.

When you hold yourself to a high standard you ALWAYS want to reach that standard.  When something gets in the way that's out of your control you really can't do that much about it. Crazy swims, windy bikes, rain, heat, etc...can't do nuthin' 'bout them thangs.

But when I do something that I can only blame on myself well...then we've got ourselves a little problem.

I can think of one, very specific example of this from 2013. One shining, stupendous example of my own ineptitude. My lack of care. My poor preparation.

NC State TT

I came into this race off a relative high. I had CRUSHED the SC TT.  My time may not have been otherworldly, but I beat some of the best time trialists in the tri-state area. This little triathlete comes in and takes away their prize. It was SO. AWESOME.

As an aside, there are very few things I love more than taking prizes from roadies. They frequently look down on triathletes so crushing their dreams and making them go home and whine about it to their roadie, weight-weenie friends is spectacular.

24.99 miles in 54:56 at 27.3 mph AP/NP 287/288.

A great, relatively even effort.  Flat course, wind, hot. Great "fun."

Fast forward a bit to the NC State TT. A shorter, more rolling course. Last year I had ridden a 55:35 and come in a (fairly distant) second among Cat 3s and 8th OA.

In 2013 I was coming in with a faster bike, faster equipment, and more fitness. I was hoping to break 54 on the (slightly shorter than) 40k course.  My power was good but my time was not. I was extremely frustrated the last 5' of the race as nothing FELT weird but my time was much, MUCH slower than the year prior. I got off my bike completely flummoxed by what had happened. Something HAD to be wrong, right? Well, it wasn't until I was pushing my bike that I noticed what that might be. In my haste and time-crunched rush before my start time I had plopped my disc in without much care for carefulness.  I had shoved my rear brake and it was rubbing. Not BADLY enough to notice while riding but badly enough to where it wouldn't turn more than 1 revolution when you lifted the rear and spun the wheel.


It's important to note that you SHOULD be proud of your success.  You should also be aware of your failures but realize that they, in no way, represent you in your entirety.  They are but one paragraph in a small chapter of your life. They are learning experiences.  They help make us stronger.  Despite my 2+ minutes slower time I was still under 58 minutes. I was still third in Cat 3's. I still beat a LOT of people. Was it as fast as I could've gone? No, no it was not.

But I'll never know what I was truly capable of that day. That is what compels me to write this post. To advocate realizing your own mistakes and failures but to LEARN from them. So many people make mistakes but then never realizes the lessons that were in that failure. Either that, or they take the wrong messages away and let the failure itself bring them down.  Don't miss the forest for the trees.

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