So, yesterday I decided to do my first track race of the season. I have never been really happy about racing on track, and a pause of two years have not made it easier. My last race you can read about here.
When I saw the start list I was ready to pull out! 26 riders on the track and me as a nervous wreck was not a great combination. I don’t even know if I have ever tried being so many on the track in the past, but this year I only had to deal with maybe half of that amount, which is more than enough for me to handle.
But, I’m stubborn and a fighter, so after trying to find way too many bad excuses for not to race, I decided to at least give a try.
I warmed up on the rollers, but I was shaking so much, that I had a hard time keeping my balance, and my heart rate was blowing through the roof, even though I hardly moved.
First start was “Først til mølle” (I don’t know the English version) and I lost the fight for a front position at the barrier. Actually, I didn’t even get a position, so I had to go a lap to get back to the end of the looong line. Embarrassing much?
The start was off, and I was too afraid to do anything but stay in the back. But, nothing happened, and suddenly I saw a possibility to attack. So I did! But, I made a mistake, not sharing the lead with others, and when they passed me, I got scared and let everyone pass, so I was in the back again and stayed there for the rest of the race.
Well, lesson learned and after 5 min. full gas in the wind I was more relaxed (ironically enough). I had more than an hour to get ready for the second race, Scratch. Ate something and talked with friends and fellow riders.
Second time up to the barrier I fought for a position, and ended in the middle of the bunch (already a successful race right there), wuhu!
The race went on but again, nothing happened, so I attacked and this time I tried to orientate and get people with me, but no one wanted to play. I tried many times without luck, and in the end I went out of energy. I never got back on a wheel in the bunch to relax, so I was unfortunately in the back for the last few laps.
But, what a SUCCESS for my first race this season! It can be rather difficult to explain how I feel when the anxiety takes over, because it is, or looks, so easy for everyone else on the track. So, just being in the race was a big step forward, but also being able to actually try making the race (with a lot of mistakes though) was more than I had hoped for.
I still have a lot to learn, tactically, technically and most important mentally. But I am slowly getting there, and every time on the track I get more comfortable.
It was a long, but happy, ride home, and I was so tired because of getting up at 5:30 for work and being home at 21:30 from track. But, it was worth it 😀