Monday, June 07, 2010

humiliation in chronological order

i need to respond to rand miller, but first i want to talk about myself. my response will come tomorrow.

well, despite a string of road races earlier this spring that led me to believe "yes, i can do this road racing thing!", the month of may told me loud and clear: "go back to the track, bitch!!"

so there you have it... track it is. you heard it first on beth bikes! "i will not do another road race in 2010. i will not do another road race in 2010."

so, how did my utter confidence shattering occur?

let's back up. it all started the week of the sacramento grand prix. as you know, i was very excited about the race. it was a big week for me. i got to ride with pros. and my bell lap team kit finally arrived! i was ready for the big times--- [and by big times, i mean matching jersey and bibs....]

or, so i thought.

fail #1: scotts valley grand prix

the highlight of my race occured in the second number one of the race. i lined up at the back of the pack. i was right behind tibco's megan guarnier. the whistle blew. i clipped in immediately. megan fumbled and missed her pedal. i said: "rookie". she guffawed so loud i could still hear it at turn 1. eat it, megan.

yep, that was the highlight of my race.

i think i tail gunned the entire thing. this wasn't on purpose. i tried moving up. *i did!* but then i ended at the last place again and again. it was apparent i sucked, so i made some bargains with myself to try and give myself little confidence gains: "beth, just try to be second to last around that turn next lap..." then, sure as shit, i was last again. anyway, it was pretty much pathetic how i was mentally incapable of racing my bike that day. i was so disappointed in myself, i thought the only fair thing to do was be sure i was very last across the finish line. it seemed an appropriate day to dfl, given how much i sucked.

the only up of the race was i got some good pictures of me in my new team kit.

unfortunately, i couldn't write a race report for the team blog. a post titled: "well, at least i looked good" with a few pictures apparently wasn't good enough for a race report.... (don't ask my why... that is really the only reason a chick is on a masters men team anyway).

[thanks rob evans & paul duran for my picture poaching. not that i asked you or anything...]

the is the team kit in full body form.

apparently i am happy at the start line. this is funny, because about 7 seconds later, i went from happy to extremely frustrated.

if you want to know what tail gunning in action looks like, this is it. yes, the dopey face is done even while tail gunning.

fail #2: sacramento grand prix

well, i can't actually call this a fail. my goal for the race was not to be tail gunning. i succeeded in that. i was perhaps near the back a lot, but not on the back very much at all. and sometimes i was even in the middle of the pack. and on one rare occasion, i was even in front of the pack!

that was when i went for a prime... but got second.

in a one-place prime.

so, there you have it, fail. but again, i got some sweet pictures of the race. my goal was to race near some pros and get a photo of it, so i am happy to say i got some pictures of that.

dopey face #7,841. looking good, as always.

not last. see, that girl in red is clearly the last one around that turn. or, actually, there is someone even behind her. score! i'm so far up!

here is me, not winning a prime. it looks like i am winning doesn't it? well, that is because you can't see the girl in front of me. (that would be the girl from lithuania) despite losing, they should have given me the $100 because i am from america. she can win primes at the vilnius grand prix.

so this is proof that there are famous people around me. sure, at first glance, it might look like a lot of local riders... but i will specifically point out jessica philips at the front of the picture, the time trial national champion. so there you have it, my goal for the week: complete! got my picture taken behind someone famous! thanks garrett lau for the pix!

thanks so much to the wells fargo team for letting me race with you that weekend. it was a really cool experience! thanks to cody for letting me wear her kit, and susannah for letting me feel all cool and wear her helmet and shades so i matched and felt totally official. also, sorry emily & cody- i forgot to give you candy before the race. it was in my pocket ready to distribute, but i forgot, as i was distracted by the "i chose sram" commercial on the big screen, and failed to hand out the peach rings... then after the race, they were kinda sweaty and gross, so i opted not to hand them out. next time, i owe you.

okay, so fail 2 wasn't so bad. i rode mid pack, lost a prime, and got a picture of myself behind someone famous. but, this blog post is about failing, so try to think of the negative as much as possible. 34 people finished ahead of me. how is that for glass half empty?

fail #3: mt hamilton road race

what was i thinking??? good question. i don't know!

it went like this. it was blazing bitches fast from the gun up the mountain. never did i think i would see a pack strung out single file going up mount hamilton, but sure as shit, it was. i made it to the first downhill section of the climb (there are 3 uphill sections) with the pack. the girl who was drilling it suddenly was near me, so i rode sketchy for 30 seconds to prevent her from going back to the front and setting an unreasonable pace. i pretended like i was playing high school gym class basketball, dodging left and right. then she rode on the gravel to get around me, and sure as shit, there we go again! i made it half way up that second climb, til i popped off the back.

this was pretty demoralizing, because we were probably 13 miles into a 60+ mile race. after a minute, i saw a group of 4 ahead of me that was also off the back. i tried to catch them, but i am fat track rider, so that didn't happen.

then some chick caught me near the top, but she went down hill so fast, i was again alone. here is a picture of me going down the hill like an old grandma. it kind of looks like i am constipated. apparently the girl who dropped me like it was job on the decent wasn't even drilling it, as she could wave to the camera...

i just point that out to show how lame i am.

then i rode alone for a *very long time*. then some girls passed me and said hi, as they were riding in men's pack. then i rode more alone and started feeling like a big loser. then i started cursing my boyfriend for going to the finish line and not the feedzone, cause i wanted to quit, and now i had no choice but to finish. then i started to feel more and more sorry myself. then i started crying. for a second, i had a vision of tom hanks in that 'league of their own' movie-- his stupid speech about no "crying in baseball". then i had a vision of me punching tom hanks in the face and proceeding to my sob fest. then a pack of 6 girls caught me right as i was snotting on myself, so i latched onto them and was thankful i had sunglasses on, so they didn't see me all red-eyed being a pathetic, self-loathing dropped rider.

wow, that is lame.

anyway, the race continued. there was this obnoxious group of guys we kept bunny hopping with. i grew to hate them. as they'd sit up everytime we passed them. going into the finish, we even tried to giventhem lots of space between us, but, then with 2k to go they sat up so much, that we caught them again. wow, they sucked. (especially the dude below.) with 1k to go, i just started leading it out, cause i was pissed off at these men.

here is me scouling at the biggest dipshit of this group. he was the one who kept leading the guys passing us, then sitting up approximate 1 second later. i am so happy my sentiment here was caught on film. lauren hecht then blew by me and all the guys, and i was never so happy to be passed by someone. i wish there was a picture of that too.

so, yeah, that race made me feel like a pretty big loser.

fail #4- memorial day criterium

so much so... that i decided to not even show up at memorial day criterium. yep. awesome, huh?

that is the attitude of a real athlete- quitting!

fail #5- butterfly criterium

i got up at 5am.... for a 3pm start. micahel was announcing, so we got there early. had a nice ride in pacific grove. i chatted with some cat5 guy on my little morning spin as he was cooling down from his race. it was pretty classic.
"that was my first race. it was really hard. i am not used to taking turns like that. i mean, there were some cat 2 and cat 3 guys who were riding in my field."
i guess ben stern downgraded from a cat2 to a cat5 for the butterfly race!

[as you can see, i still feel entitled to talk shit........despite sucking.]


anyway, back to me sucking....

i think i got dropped in the first lap.


first lap.

honestly, i wasn't worried about getting myself gapped off, i figured i would just close it. then we went around another turn and it got bigger. then another turn, and i was definitely off the back. then i chased, thinking i could catch back on. then i gave up.

i think i did 3 laps, then the boyfriend who was announcing gave me the axe sign.

i was in awe. i got dropped. from a criterium. in the first lap.


so i did what any respectable person would do.

i went to my car, covered my face with a sweatshit, and cried like a baby for the next 2 hours.

i won't try to play-off like i took my utter failure well. i didn't. i took it like a 3rd grader.

unfortunately, i still got some pictures of myself. how in only 3 laps your presence gets documented to the world, i don't know. i was hoping to just hide and pretend that this never happened, but no, those photos demonstrate my presence at the butterfly criterium

thanks steven woo for documenting my humiliation.

this must be lap2. when i actually thought i could catch back on. i poached this "unregistered" from KSBW for publicizing my dropped face in your newspaper without my permission.

and here is my laughing... that i am so the first 5 minutes of race. laughing from utter disbelief, not actual pleasure.

it's a super big bummer i sucked so bad for this race, because the fields were small, the prize money was $1,000. and i need to buy a washer/dryer.

why can't my life just work out?

well, if you'd like to a snapshot of my life in the last month according to usacycling, you can see how much i stink:

well, i thought writing about my shortcomings would be therapeutic. but actually, this post got me kinda depressed. i am going to go eat some chocolate. oh wait, there is no chocolate at home. so, i think i will do the next best thing and gnaw on my fingernails...

in an attempt to make myself feel better, let me give myself a little pep talk. "beth it hasn't been all bad this past month! [fake smile] track has been going pretty good. [fake smile] road racing is lame. [real smile] no more road racing in 2010. [real smile] no more road racing in 2010. [real big smile]"

okay, i feel better now. perhaps another day this week, i will write about the fun track races.... but not know. i am tired of blogging. this post is much too long already.

and there we have it. road racing: it was fun for a little while. but in the end, track racing is just better.



Marian said...

Oh! But I liked racing road with you! If it makes you feel any better, I just got back from Mt. Hood, where I was dropped in the first corner of the crit. I still think you're a stud. :)

Marian said...

And! After a bad uphill TT last month (is there such thing as a good one?) I spent about 3 days alternately crying and feeling shitty about my life. True story. 3 days.

seigle said...

haha, and i've been feeling shitty about the 3rd AND 4th day of mt hood! cracked hard in the RR with 20 miles to go and then dropped from a crit the next time to downgrade? life was so much nicer as a cat 3...

Rick Adams said...

I do not see how in the world you got dropped in a FEMALE crit when you finish a P12 Points Race so bloody strong!

PS -- thanks for the lead-out in the last sprint of the Points Race last Friday :)

Marissa said...

Bethie - you rocked for kicking @ss on friday night at the track. We all have these shitty days/months. I did the same thing at dash for cash. But you know what the BEST thing about cycling is? there's always another race to redeem yourself! So forget about May - it's a crappy month of racing anyway :) But please do me the honor of continuing to race road with us!

anthony said...

At least you're a 2. I'm a lowly 4, getting my ass kicked at Mt Hamilton, felt like dropping out at Butterfly, and I'm still plotting on how to race more before the season ends.

July will be better.

Holly Roberts said...

What's actually slightly worse than crying is crying until you hyper-ventilate, and then standing on the side of Highway 9, heaving and hyper-ventilating for everyone to see and think "Wow, what a stupid cyclist.". It happens to all of us. Usually for me, it happens on some random hill, somewhere (about once/year). I call it the "come to Jesus ride".
Race your strengths, train your weaknesses... :o)

The Bearded Wonder said...

At least you didn't crash and then drive your bike into the garage door like me.

DNA The Splice of Life said...

Not being a racer I probably don't have a right to say anything but, I feel useless whenever I ride with a good friend and he kicks my ass on my home roads that I've been training on for 2 years and he's never ridden.

At least you weren't riding a home race :)

joie du franco said...

you are so awesome beth! don't ever let these times get you down, because the reality is that you are a super talented and strong chica. Keep busting ass and just remember that at some point everyone needs a rest, even superwoman ;p

Anonymous said...

at least your blog doesn't suck quite as hard as it has over the last year+
I'd rather you sucked and you're blog prospered, than vice versa. at least someone benefits through entertainment

velogirl said...

you know, I make that funny face, too. it's our noses. I find I'm pushing my glasses up -- with my nose. I'm guessing you are, too.

Andi said...

Don't quit the road!! You are just having a minor hiccup. Besides, Mt Hamilton isn't a race, it's just a thinly disguised torture festival meant to sap your legs and break your confidence. I can't tell you how many other people were discouraged after Mt Ham. I foresee many championships in the future for you!