I managed a solo ride at Yankee Springs Sunday evening. I ran into Neil and Jody before their speedy laps around the trail. Dan was there too....possibly trying to sneak in a lap or two without telling anyone! He is in my class so I find this disturbing....but alas, I was here to ride for myself and see what these legs are capable of.
The weather was awesome. It had rained on and off since Saturday so I was prepared for a fast trail. To my surprise....the WMMBA had done a trail day and I cannot remember ever seeing this trail in better condition. Kudos once again to this group for their hard work. If not for soccer I would have been shoulder to shoulder with you....but my kids will always come first!
I pace myself by the mile markers. Each one I pass I look at my time and can generally tell where I will finish. I got thrown off a bit by the re-route that took out a nasty root infested climb (which is appreciated by me). It will be a nice section to ride, especially once it is beat down more. The mile markers were ticking by and I reached the first grinder of a climb for me....the trench. I never know how to approach this climb.....but on this ride I picked my line and just found a comfortable gear. To the top....sip....hammer down.
The time went by and the climbs were hard as usual. I felt slow....heart rate was high....uninterested. I started thinking about other things and nearly took myself out by taking a corner wide and barely missing a tree with my shoulder. That was enough to get my attention and regain my focus.
The rest of the ride was a blur. Taking mental notes of how I wanted to ride. Lines I wanted to take. How I want to finish. This time on the bike was important for me to get my mind right for the first A race of the year. There will be a lot of people in my class. A lot of people to chase....a lot of people chasing. I feel like I am in a good position to do well. I am focused on what I need to do. Looking at the list of competitors......I know who I want to beat....and who I want to chase. There are others I don't know yet....but they are not my focus right now. I can only control myself....my legs....my mind.
Is your mind right?