Racing emotions: between pain and frustration

18 Jul

Last week was an intense period of racing, consisting of five days, four races, including two National Championships, one National Cup, and even an ebike race. I invested significant time and effort into preparing myself both physically and mentally, juggling commitments between work and family. Waking up at 5 A.M. repeatedly for training sessions wasn’t an easy task. But nothing worth having comes easy. In this blog post, I’ll share my experiences and emotions throughout the week.

National XCO Championship – Wednesday, 12th of July: After carefully studying the course on Tuesday and ensuring my preparations were on point, I felt ready for the race. However, amidst the excitement, there was a conflicting mix of emotions. Celebrating my son Felix’s 6th birthday with chocolate pancakes added to the whirlwind of feelings. Nervousness and excitement intertwined as I constantly questioned myself, wondering about the “what ifs.” Although I started strong from the front line, I made the mistake I had warned myself against: pushing too hard without pacing myself. As a result, I paid the price in the last two laps, narrowly missing out on the bronze medal. The lingering question of “what if?” haunted me.

Reflections and More Thoughts – Thursday, 13th of July: Taking a moment to reflect, relax, and spend quality time with Felix, I decided to ride a few laps on the Flow line. It wasn’t just a birthday present for him but also a heartfelt thank you for his support during my previous race. We both thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Once again, happy birthday, kid. Daddy loves you.

National XCC Championship – Friday, 14th of July: This marked my first XCC race since the previous year’s National Championship. Feeling somewhat uncertain, my strategy boiled down to going all out. The physically demanding course involved a lot of climbing. Fortunately, the presence of Simona, Felix, and Filip as my enthusiastic supporters throughout various sections of the track uplifted my spirits. After the intense 25-minute race, I needed a solid 30 minutes just to catch my breath. Despite my best efforts, I finished fourth once again, missing the medal by a mere 13 seconds. F*ck.

3rd Round of the XCO National Cup – Saturday, 15th of July: Approaching this race, my primary focus was on pacing myself wisely. The course demanded caution at the beginning, as going too hard too soon carried severe consequences. I observed considerable improvement in my lap times, maintaining consistency and flow during descents. As the race progressed, I managed to overtake more and more riders, emulating their achievements from a few days prior. Nonetheless, my efforts culminated in yet another fourth-place finish. Double f*ck.

My First Ebike Race – Sunday, 16th of July: The race began on a positive note, although I made a few errors during the initial technical climb due to the higher speeds of the ebike. Despite this setback, my initial lead alongside Martin Wallmen was promising. However, a long and treacherous descent caused me to lose approximately 50 meters. Subsequently, I encountered further difficulties, such as hitting a rock, breaking a spoke, and experiencing issues with the bike motor. Regrettably, I was compelled to withdraw from the race. Consequently, while I received immense support from my family, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed and frustrated for falling short of my goals.

Overall, the week of racing was a testament to the unwavering support from my family, for which I am immensely grateful. Many thanks to Ovidiu D. and Alex D. for their help at the Feed Zone.

Nevertheless, I can’t deny my disappointment and frustration at not achieving any of my objectives. It’s now time to regroup, refocus, and return to work. Cheers to new challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

Yours, Vlad.

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