What is Good racing? Some may say catching that Win or even a prime. Others might consider it good to just stay with the pack. For me, Good racing involves what my face and mind are doing before, during and after. You can tell if I am having a good race because I smile, joke and say silly things.
Today was a good race! I gained confidence in my ability to corner with each lap. It even started to sprinkle a little.
From an outsider's perspective, I got dropped. From the start line.
There were only 7 of us to begin with (Thank God the Pit guys were able to get Alice a quick flat change or there would have been 6! She flatted on the warm up lap!! We tried to stall with the official until she got to the start line!)
Of the 7, 3 were my friends (Alice, Jamie, Britta). One of the girls I didn't know attacked at the start line. And we were off! I wasn't even in my pedal yet!
Off tearing toward the first of 10 turns. Off tearing down the bumpy, pitted, uneven, pot hole filled course. At turn 1, I somehow managed to put myself in front of 2 other ladies. With mixed thoughts, I braked and tentatively negotiated that turn, worried that I was hosing the girls behind me but wanting to remain upright.
To my relief, I soon found myself behind one of the girls and found that she was similar in her approach to the turns. We were still dropped. We could see Alice up ahead but no one else. We chased and worked together. After about 1/2 a lap, I realized the other girl wasn't behind us. Joan, the girl I was working with, let me know it was her team mate, Margie, who had just returned to racing after a fractured collar bone. (Oh, not a fun course for the first race back!)
Joan and I worked in vain to catch Alice. We'd get closer, often with Joan's efforts in the straight aways (She is STRONG!) but never caught up. BUT, I realized, I was having fun!
Soon I was able to dive into the turns, without my fingers even hovering near by brakes! I can't remember the last time I was able to race around a crit course, let a lone a technical one, with such confidence. And you could see it all from the smile on my face!!!
I also carried a smile on my face from hearing Kube yell words of encouragement out to me. At one point she even told me I looked pretty! :)
At some point we lapped Margie and she joined in the chase and then Joan powered away and I powered away from Margie and we were all split up. Alice stayed steadily in 4th position on the course with Joan feverishly trying to close the gap. It looked like Joan got close at one point but held her off.
I finished 6th. One place out of the money but with a solid smile on my face. I felt strong and confident. And very happy for my friends (old and new!) who raced well too.
Judging from the results, you may not have concluded this was a good race for me. The smile on my face and confidence in my heart make me feel like a winner!