We got down there early, around 8:00. Tammi is racing the Womens 4s this year, so I walked the course with her and Elora. A 4 year old's opinion of the course is pretty interesting. She wanted to stop and just dig in the sand at the baseball diamond. Maybe that's what I should have done because as it turns out, Jackson Park was probably the worst race I have ever done. For whatever reason, my head wasn't into it at all. Lined up, got our instructions, whistle and I felt like I was in slow motion. The course was great, but not my cup of tea. I felt like I was sprinting then braking then turning then sprinting, braking, turning then repeat. Difficulty in the sand- WTF! Never got into a flow. Then problems with the results. I went from 36th (wrong) to 14th (also wrong) and now its 33rd (as wrong as the other 2). In any event I wasn't in the top 10, so its not like it really matters.Then comes Interbike which was awesome. Lots of bike porn. Cross Vegas was very cool. I had some time to do some thinking, introspection if you will. Why am I racing? Just for a result? No way. I'm racing because I like the race. The speed of it. The coolness of it. Last year I was 9th at Jackson Park, but there were only 28 or so racers. This year there were over 50 in the 40+ Double the racers, odds are half are going to be faster than me and the other half slower!
If Jackson Park was the bad, De Kalb was the good. I love De Kalb. This course has such a flow to it. Nice wide lines, super fast. Just alot of fun to race. We had Elora at a sleep over, so it was just Tammi and I. Plenty of time to pre-ride and get warmed up. I rode the double (42/34); I liked having the 34 for the hill. No call ups this year so I'm in the 2nd row of 50 riders. Whistle and GO. My starts suck. No other way to say it. I'm back in 25 th or so, we hit the hill, lots of congestion and I have the bright idea to drop into the 34 and clank, clank clank, I can't pedal. Somehow the chain got stuck. I had to jump off the bike, fiddle with the shifter and got it going and I'm now last up the hill, 50th I guess.
Now I'm pissed. It was like a light switch going off, eye of the tiger and shit! Just focus on the next wheel in front of me, catch, rest for a few seconds and then go. Hit the pavement sections and sprint. On the 4th lap, as I'm heading through the start/finish, I can see Eric leading the 30+ coming off the pavement, we're like on opposite parts of the course. No way I'm going to get lapped. Work harder. I got the bell and stayed on the lead lap. Ended up 21st. Not so bad considering I was in 50th or so after the first time up the hill.
It's not so much the result as that I put everything I had into that race. In the end that's all I can ask of myself: leave it all out on the course. I can only control me, not the ocurse, not who else enters the race, not the weather, only me.
I was upset after Jackson Park because I didn't do that. Lesson learned.
Racing in WI tomorrow and then BBVP's race Sunday.