I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to even start saying what I want to say... lots of thoughts going through my head right now... so many that I have a hard time gathering them into anything coherent for this post! But I guess I'll just start from the beginning. I did a 20K TT on the bike yesterday. It was very hard. As all TT's are. I did fine- rode faster than I have all year, found out what my current max HR is on the bike, avg something like 23mph for 12 hilly miles and placed 3rdOA. I should probably have felt pretty satisfied with that.
But I didn't. Hmmm.
I haven't talked to coach about it yet- though I know he'll just tell me to get over it and that I did just fine- and he will be right... and really, I'm over it now... mostly... but it's an interesting feeling to do well yet not be satisfied and I think it's probably something blogworthy to explore, don't you?
And now I'm stuck again, because as I try to write that what I did yesterday wasn't good enough, I find it silly to feel that way. But is it wrong to just want to be faster? I mean, we all want to be faster, right? And is it ever the case that we would have a super race and think, That's it! I am as fast as I ever want to be!? Or do we finish all races, even if we did our best ever and yet still think I want to be faster.
Maybe its insatiable.
The feeling silly part comes when I think about the type of training that I have done this year, and my actual goals for 2011, and that it is FEBRUARY... If I take a step back and look at the Big Picture I see that I am doing very well- right on track- and should be happy. And when I look at it that way, I am. But yesterday was a race. A short little local race that means absolutely nothing, but a race nonetheless. And I got beat. Handily. But when the warm up you do for a race is the hardest riding you've done all year, is it reasonable to expect to be able to go out and win? To beat people who actually train fast several times a week? Um, not likely. So why does it feel shitty? Silly, no? I think we can agree on that.
So how do we fix it? Is it fixable? What do you do? Shy away from races if you're not going to be 100% satisfied with the results? That would probably mean never racing if it's actually insatiable and we're never truly satisfied. Or do we lower our standards and stop worrying about how fast we are? Is that even possible? Not sure it is for me? It's likely a matter of changing perspective and something that clearly I need to continue to work on because I have not mastered that.
This is where my athletes come in handy. In an email exchange with one of them yesterday, I was asked what I would tell one of my athletes if it was him/her who had done that TT yesterday and performed that way. Yep. Duh. I would have said, "Smokin'! Awesome job!" So why can't I tell myself that? This is why even coaches need coaches- to keep things in perspective in a way that is hard to do when it's you. It's so much harder for me to be objective and rational when I think about myself and my training and my racing- yet so easy when I'm talking to one of my athletes. Of course.
Then this morning I got emails from two other athletes I coach who also raced yesterday. This is what I read:
Great job this weekend, I’m proud to call you my Coach. And,
Thank you so much for guiding me and celebrating in my successes and helping me through the hard times. Seriously you are such an excellent guide and inspiration. I really really like working with you and knowing you are out there kicking ass and loving the sport too.
Reading that washes it all away. All better. Mostly.