I got 3rd in the D race and 7th in the C race today. At the finish of both races I though I could have done better, but the ride home gave me perspective. I pretty much got the exact spot I deserved in both races. Good legs = good luck. If you're strong and you're confident then you don't have to worry about positioning and you're able to overcome obstacles.
Which brings us to the title of this post, "the trap".
For years I played golf as an 18 hcp. About a year and a half ago I made a commitment to try and improve my game and after some hard work I got down to a 12. That satisfaction lasted about two weeks before I started shooting for 10. Every round after that wasn't measured against the 6 strokes a round improvement I had made, It was measure against breaking 80.
If you would have asked me last night what would have been a successful day today, I would have said " placing in the D race, and finishing the C race". But no sooner were those things realized than I was already looking forward to next week. I could have, should have, picked up at least three places in the C race. I shouldn't have even been in the D race, and I left during the B race already looking over the guys I'll be racing next week.
So the trick in all athletics is that fine balancing act between satisfaction and expectations. There's an inherent drive in all athletes thats needed in order to keep progressing...a focus forward. At the same time there needs to be some recognition of the ground covered. Too much satisfaction and the athlete goes static. Too little appreciation and the sport becomes an endless source of disappointment and misery.
Its been 5 years since I've done any real racing, and I have to say that I've been humbled by the friendship and support that I've seen the last month. Cycling has a reputation ( well earned) of being a selfish and adversarial sport, but I've seen none of that. People have been very welcoming, very encouraging, and incredibly supportive. Its been a real treat to see folks that I haven't really seen much of in the last few years. And I have really appreciated the encouragement of the better riders who have taken the time to take note of my return. All of that has been helpful in trying to keep everything in perspective.
I'm going to stop now. This is all a little too introspective and rambling for a blog about beer farts.