Thursday, February 01, 2007

Summerhill Worlds Diary

Now sitting on the plane home from Brussels, here is the last installment of my diary about my trip over to Belgium for Cross Worlds.

I believe that I left off about 2 days before the race, with an overall feeling of nervousness and anxiety about the upcoming event and as just about every other night over here my night sleep went a little bit like this: go to sleep around 10 or 11 and wake up around 2:30 without the ability to go back to sleep.

Knowing that I really needed to get some good sleep each night, and being nervous knowing that I kept having trouble sleeping, compounded the problem because as my nerves got worse and worse my sleep suffered equally.

Another aspect of preparation I needed to work on was my bike situation - which two days before the race I was still trying to get totally dialed in. I had left my two race bikes over in Belgium when I came home after the Euro Camp, and they needed some work. I also brought a 3rd race bike with me for this last trip of the season. With two bikes already having gone through some tough Euro races, and adding a third bike, I needed to get all the bikes ready to go. After checking over everything and hours of tuning up by the mechanics, my 3 bikes were as dialed as I have ever seen them.

With the bikes all set, I decided that in order to get over my fear of switching bikes and risk having a different position (which could mess a lot of things up when you are going full throttle) I went out and did what I called a blind trial which was basically not looking at the bike I was on before getting on it and going for a ride and seeing if I could notice a difference in the way it feels. This turned out to be a very good idea just because having gone through the whole season with out taking a bike change making sure the next bike I was going to get on was the same was very important.

Another thing I noticed while being over here this last trip was the incredible lack of interest I had in doing anything but thinking about my race and everything surrounding it.
For instance - all the hard work that a number of different people had to do just to get me there to race in Europe, not to mention how much work they did for me in getting me 3 working bikes, sweet race wheels, extra parts, tires and all that weighed very heavily in my mind, and thinking of how I would feel if I were to let them down after all of their hard work kept running circles through my head!

I also noticed a major difference in my attitude towards a lot of things over there, being so focused on doing well in the final race of the season...but most of all my irritability and feeling that I could emotionally snap at any moment. As much as I prepared, it was still pretty stressful!

Emotions and thoughts before the race go as follows:
- top 10 would be nice
- top 5 would be awesome
- podium: I never really thought about being that I didn’t want to feel the let down if I were to not make it to the podium sooo I didn’t really plan on getting a medal as being one of my goals

But as the selection was made it was already clear that I would be getting a top 5 and I was ready to settle for that until the last 500 meters when I realized that in the sprint finish I had already surpassed my goal of getting a top 5 and was now looking at a medal!

I feel that if I did one thing wrong and one thing at all (besides crashing) it would be that I didn’t quite believe Noel, my coaches, my parents, and anyone else who ever told me I could get a medal at the World Championships…because believing in myself the whole time like I did in the last 500 meters could have changed my overall mindset of how I was going to race the race in the first place!

Small things like being nervous or not being as confident leading into the race, I already know might be the reason for the problems sleeping I had, but since the race I have been having trouble sleeping again since I have been so excited about how the race turned out! I still hasn’t fully hit me that I got a silver medal in the Junior World Championships!!

Photo credit: Russ & Nancy Wright/

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