Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Truth

Yesterday was the Calendonia Kisscross race. It was a beautiful day, though it seemed a little chilly before I started my warmup lap. I think I may have been better off with my mountain bike, given that the course contained more dirt, wood chips and roots than is usual. However, I did my best and rode down a lot of hills that seemed scary on my cross bike.
I finished last, which is not unusual. Billy, the eight-year-old (maybe nine now?) son of our friend Frank raced as well. Last year during Kisscross, I was able to beat Billy. Once I almost lapped him. This year, Billy finished well ahead of me at Highland Park, even though he missed the start and jumped in after I had already finished at least half a lap. At the Caledonia race, he finished 9th out of 20. Either he's getting better or I'm getting worse (or both).

I started thinking during the race and have continued thinking about it since. Here are some truths I've been examining:
  • I suck at racing, both mountain bike and cyclocross.
  • Racing alone, without training in between, doesn't make you any faster.
  • I've been so busy patting myself on the back for having the guts to race and finish races that I haven't trained at all.
  • I'm not going to get any better unless I start training.
The conclusion that I've come to is that if I just continue with the way I've been doing things, it's just stupid and pointless. I either need to train or I need to quit racing. Plain and simple.
Now let me qualify that a bit. There is something to be said for doing something just because it's fun. There's also something to be said for not needing to be first all the time. And doing something that involves physical activity and getting outside is undoubtedly better than sitting on the couch eating chips. However, the fact of the matter is, I've been letting my laziness get in the way of improving at something I'd like to be better at. I've also been giving myself a pass for that laziness just because I've been making the effort to get out there and to finish races. I don't like being last, but it hasn't bothered me enough to quit or do something to make myself better, and that's just wrong.
I can't continue to rest on my laurels, and I can't keep telling myself how much guts and determination I have just because I'm racing and finishing. The truth is, any reasonably healthy adult with no debilitating diseases, in or out of shape, could finish one of these races. It's just a matter of how fast or slow you do it.

So what do I need to do? The clear answer is that I have to train, because I really don't want to quit racing. I just need to come up with a plan, so I'll have to start working on that.

Today's Eating
(This is as of 4:45 p.m., so I'll have to do some updating later.)
  • Breakfast: Nutrisystem Nutrifrosted Crunch cereal (cal. 110)
  • Morning Snack: Peanut butter Fiber One bar (cal. 150)
  • Lunch: Hot dog (?)
  • Afternoon snack: Lowfat yogurt (lemon meringue pie flavor) (cal. 100)

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