Monday, October 20, 2008

Beyond my Shadow Podium

Mental framing of the race weekend far superior to last week! I recovered from an entire week of grouchiness and falling behind with life and raced what I think were my best races. I was in the mix - in fifth and almost thinking I could make it up to the front - for a short while both days, then fell back to 8th. Sure I made some errors (lame on Granogue descent), but I rode solidly and I just think I am 8th-place strong right now. I sure wish I were faster. I hate listening to the announcers call the race ahead of me, with racers/friends I normally consider my peers/rivals duking it out while I am just doing my own thing missing out on all the fun and drama. That said, New Englanders Rebecca and Mo are riding superbly, Dee Dee has not missed a step with the new kid, and LVG has absolutely raised the bar with her awesome leap into cross. Still 7 weeks to go... I traveled down from CT to Granogue with Utah teammate Kathy Sherwin, who is also on her way back from injury (a mangled broken hand that cut short a breakout mountain bike season). She is doing a better job keeping recovery perspective, holding onto the gratitude of just being able to race again, mindful that it's a long process to rebuild the confidence and fitness you had before. Not to mention that it's nice to experience the outsider's wide-eyes, to travel with someone who actually has excitement for crossing the GW Bridge (for the first time!), to be excited for someone's first experience of the awesome venue of Granogue (even while she then proceeds to kick my butt on the bike...) We stayed with my college friend Andrew (cousin of Dee Dee) and hashed out the implications of our Myers-Briggs typings for our racing endeavors and the perpetual puzzle of the racing-work-life juggle. Good fun. All except the drive home. Pictured: shadow podium at Wissahickon (I won), real podium at Wissahickon (I wish), the fork I broke driving under a tree branch arriving at a race two years ago - reminder to avoid frazzle, my cracked bleeding finger burn in essential shifting spot - I am skipping Kentucky so it can heal, should have taken 287 on the way home, that GW Bridge, and Kathy at Granogue.

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