Mental Toughness? Not today.
This is really embarrassing. . . but Saturday I failed to finish an XC race. Here's the story.
I was up for this race and the course is a favorite. I pre-rode the course the week before, and rode it very well - personal best. I warmed up for 25 minutes, and kept my adrenaline in check before the start. There were only a couple of guys in my class (sport, 40+), and I knew one guy would beat me handily. I wasn't feeling any pressure.
I went out moderately at the start, but soon I was suffering badly during the climb - though I consider myself a good climber. I've raced XC for 2 years, so I'm familiar with the pain of racing, but it seemed unprecedented Saturday. Even so, my lap time was pretty decent at the end of the first lap.
On the climb during 2nd lap, suffering yet again, I came to a stop when a small ditch robbed my momentum. I simply quit at that point. I got off the bike and took about 4 minutes to recover and ponder. I simply couldn't pedal during that time. I got back on the bike, finished the lap, and reported at the scorer's table I wasn't finishing.
I have a whole list of excuses, but they provide little relief from the guilt. After all is said and done, I've decided that my weakness Saturday was between the ears and had nothing to do with the heart and legs.
Yeah, I'm an amateur, weekend warrior, so bailing on a race doesn't change much in the grand scheme of things.
End of confessional. It's time to store this in the "life experiences" file and move on. I feel much better. Thanks for listening.