Day 5 is in the books and despite the overall fatigue encasing my body, I feel a sense of sadness that this race is coming to a close. This week has been a huge highlight to my summer. I feel immersed in adventure and addicted to the challenge. Every day presents a new opportunity to fix the mistakes of yesterday and to hone in on the skills that make us better at our craft.
This morning I woke with joy in my heart. The night left many of us feeling shattered. Our little corner of tent city was heavily laden with snorers and partiers that kept us up at all hours of the night. I felt tempted to become frustrated and to dig a hole of exhaustion, but at BC Bike Race camping is a part of the event. I feel that learning to deal with these challenges has made me a better racer overall. You must learn to succeed when everything is not perfect.
So I went around camp in the morning lending out smiles and hugs to all who would accept and I stood on the start line to once again see what my body would give me for the day.
The race today was fairly anti-climactic which is probably a breath of fresh air during a stage race. I pushed hard from the start and held a consistent pace as the climb dragged on and on. I could see 2nd and 2nd could see 1st as we marched our way up the climb. I often lie to myself while racing. I tell myself things like, “the race will be over soon” or “it’s all downhill from here” when it fact I know it’s quite the opposite. I fought hard to believe myself today and I continually promised my body rest that I knew it would not be receiving.
I crested the final climb only about a minute behind 2nd, but it wasn’t my day to fly. During the 5 mile descent I was constantly picking poor lines, over correcting on corners, and questioning jumps and logs. This is part of the challenge. While we often get to pre-ride courses, BC Bike Race presents racers with the challenge of riding things you haven’t seen previously. Unless someone has raced this event before, the next corner remains a mystery. I think this is just one of many ways BC Bike Race is making me a better competitor and a more seasoned athlete. 3rd place again for me today and a whole lot richer in knowledge and skill.
Tomorrow is the shortest stage of the week but I’ve been warned that short doesn’t mean easy. It’s the most technical day of the week as well.