Strong-woman Lanier shares the softer side. Here’s a little bit about what happens after a race doesn’t go quite as planned. We’re sure many can relate.
Congratulations to all Naked women who raced the Louisville crit yesterday! My fellow Cat 3’s were amazing. Susan H and Megan had a great race, so strong. Kat and Cathy provided coaching, encouragement and post-race muffins. So wonderful to see so many Cat 4’s racing, and Naked elites mentoring. Congrats to Brittany & Amanda C on their top 10 finishes in a huge field! And watching Berta and Kimberly battle it out later that afternoon in the P-1-2 race was an inspiration.
So, now for a little story! Those who know me know that there is nothing I detest more than getting dropped from the field in a crit, which is what I let happen yesterday. Since this was not the first time, I know the pattern. For the first 24 hours, it eats me up from the inside. I think of what I can do differently next time. I write down the top 3 areas of improvement in my race log, and try to put it behind me. Then I think of 10 other improvements / excuses / reasons to feel sorry for myself. I call my race friends to rehash the race (thanks, Sharon, Amanda C; Jen Muto!). I cry and gnash my teeth thinking of all the time and effort I put into training. My husband tells my daughters to steer clear.
I was still in sad phase when I started my training ride today. With each 5-minute build, I felt better. Builds into the wind – even better! With each person I passed, I felt best of all. By the end, I was even smiling at other cyclists and thinking what a beautiful day it is. On my cool-down ride home, I decided to actually practice some self-restraint and go easy to the top of Jackass Hill (yes, that is really the hill’s name and no, not because I live there). So I’m cruising up in my easy gear, and suddenly a guy in a retro Italian jersey comes up next to me. Still feeling friendly, I say “Hello!” He says back, “OK, c’mon, let’s go!” Immediately, I’m in the final stage – anger. I replied, “Well, this was supposed to be my cool-down, but OK…” and proceeded to leave that poor unsuspecting Sunday afternoon rider in the dust. I turned back, saw his head hanging and yelled in my most chipper voice, “Have a great ride!” and whistled all the way home. Race grieving is a process, and mine is now complete.