Expectations are a tricky thing. They can totally lead you astray, let you down, or build you up. I once read a book about relationships that suggested eliminating expectations. According to the book if you don't expect something from someone then you will not be let down when your expectations are not met. Ideally this would leave you in a constant state of "How nice of a surprise that was!" I spent some time thinking on this notion and I simply don't feel that this mentality is within my grasp. I have so many expectations from myself and others every day, to accomplish stuff at work, be a good husband, etc. I also feel it is important to have expectations for my performance in training and races. If there is no expectation then where would the motivation to suffer come from? I just don't think I could dig that deep, regardless of how wonderful it would be to always think, "What a surprise that I was able to finish!"
It is an interesting notion but it seems I will just have to proceed with having expectations and opening myself up to the possibility of disappointment. With that in mind I prepare for this coming weekend's race, the final race of the year on my mountain bike. I will do my best and hope that in doing so I will fulfill my expectations. In this case though, disappointment can be fuel for winter training! Yeah I am already looking forward to the 2012 MTB season!!!!!
With that out of the way... "It was a nice surprise to win this weekend!"
Plans were laid very late to head to Camarillo for the Pacifica Crossfest, the second stop of the Socal Cross Series. Saturday when we awoke we still didn't have a plan but it came together nicely! After a morning of gluing tubulars (Specialized Tracers on Williams CX wheels) we did a short CX ride from the house up to SRP and back.
After the ride I prepped bikes and packed the bike stuff in the truck while Allison packed the essentials for the weekend. We shared the ride and hotel with a buddy (Thanks for joining us Scott!) and that was great because it made the trip much more reasonable cost wise.
We started the drive with a stop in at Rock N' Road in Anaheim Hills to pick up some much needed stuff. The rest of the drive was painfully slow and I was not such a happy camper (think pre-menstrual female), sorry to Scott and Allison. Though eating an entire bag of Trader Joes triple chocolate chip cookies did seem to help...
Sunday we were up and had our typical race breakfast, except I went bonus and ate a fresh waffle from the "Continental Breakfast" at the motel. (YUM!) We arrived at the venue with lots of time to spare and then proceeded to walk the course. The course was RAD but walking it took way too long. In some regards I am glad we didn't ride it due to the 1" tall rebar puncture section (this was later fixed I was told), destroying our only set of tubulars pre-riding would have been bad! After walking the course and checking in I suited up and started a warm up. It was nice to have already connected the course up in my head from the walk!!!!
I found out on the start line that 1st and 2nd place from last Sunday's race were not racing this race. That was a bit of a disappointment. I was looking forward to a rematch! I got a call up though and that is always nice. On the sound of the horn I decided to drill it and take the holeshot to avoid a possible pile-up in the first slick wet left hander on the pavement. Once out front I decided to go ahead and stay there where I wouldn't have to worry about dicey handling skills or questionable tactics.
I knew that a chase group would form and a couple laps into the race they caught me. I was stoked to see Jeff and the other guy (MRI was all I remember from his kit) as it gave me a chance to recover some in their draft. We were only together as a group of three for a short time as the guy in the MRI kit made a mistake crossing the slippery sidewalk at high speed and went down (I tried to avoid him and his bike but ran over his ankles, very sorry!). I was forced to put in a very big dig to catch back up to Jeff after having slowed significantly due to the crash and was unsure of whether or not I would wind up able to hang for the remainder of the race!
I passed Jeff again a lap or so later to take the wind on the long sections and wondered if it was a smart tactical move but gambled that I could save more energy through the corners if I had a clear track ahead. My tubulars were working great and I had the corners dialed! Jeff stayed close to my wheel right up until he made a mistake entering the stairs. It was very bumpy and sandy and I heard him go down behind me. I yelled back "Sorry Jeff!" as I didn't intend to wait up. The finishing laps I rode solo as I played seek and destroy through some of the slower riders. It was a great race!
After my race I led Allison around the track and pointed out my lines, then grabbed a camera and did my duty capturing images for her before lubing my chain to warm up for the Elite men's race. I didn't plan on doing great in the race but wanted to maximize my workout for the day! I even talked Allison into going again! The second race was very taxing but this time I only had one minor spill and finished 14th, still on the lead lap! Good times!
Time to prep for State Champs on Sunday! See you there!