A tough weekend race made me learn something about myself...something surprising that most people that know me wouldn't say about me. My sense of self preservation needs to be dialed back, I need to find my limits....
If you know me, you are looking incredulously at the above statement. True I do have a history of jumping into things head first and seeing what I can pull off. Like starting to race super sport motorcycles on the track months after I got my bike.
...Or after crashing head on into a cement wall and flying over it at over 100mph destroying my motorcycle buying a new bike and getting back on the race track (it all worked out I ended up getting my dream bike :p). Athletically I've gone into some races sooner than recommended, Half Ironman was my first triathlon.
Thats why this just perplexes me. I cant seem to go to that redline with the bicycle. I've had the last 3 duathlons to get familiar with the route and I've improved over the 3, but I've never gotten to that leg burning this is my limits redline. Which is silly, I can stumble through 4k even on exhausted legs. The first race I was in rough shape after going as hard as I could in the first run, and had no nutrition on the bike. The second race I had a race plan to stick to and that was to stay behind the competition until the end. This 3rd race the plan was the same but I ended up seeing the competition ride away from me.
I may not have been able to catch up, but I should have been able to push myself harder on the bike, see what I could actually do. Thats the part I love about racing is just going to that next level and removing the barriers in my head of what I'm actually capable of. It's one thing if I were on the bike with legs burning, heart pumping, but I just never got there, it was a hard ride, but not a race hard ride. Its the first time I've paid attention to watts in these races, and I think I got scared off by some snap shots of high watts.
Triathlon is all about balancing the 3 sports, and I think I ride with that mentality. I'm wondering if it would be good to try a bike race, to go out and just think about the bike portion with nothing waiting at the end. To really feel what it means to race a bicycle, instead of just the break from running or swimming in triathlon or duathlon.
Running I'm more familiar with how my body responds, I can go to that redline, and I have a good enough sense of self that I can push those barriers without exploding. It was a tough race, I'm definitely glad for my time back in the West Texas winds, the crosswinds had me travelling about as much sideways as forward, and the only part of me that is sore today is my abs from wrestling my bike in a straight line :p
This is the good part about C races though, I learned something about myself, and got to see how I improved over the time. I'm pretty proud to say I got 2nd female overall in the series, in my first attempts at Duathlon. Even better I found out how much I enjoy Duathlon, its bloody tough but I love it. This just gets me all fired up for my next race, an opportunity to take what I've learned and apply it to the next one. I'm looking forward to a solid few weeks of training and to the race season ahead :D