There is a 1 in a MILLION chance you are going to have the perfect cross season!
I like those odds.... but if you don't block a few PUNCHES you are going to get your fricking HEAD KNOCKED OFF! If you think you can get in the RING and not get hit... you are crazy. If your not careful you'll be talking about "NEXT YEAR" before this year even has a chance to get started.
The first few minutes of every race is DEFCON 1. You will want to quit. You will doubt everything about your entire existence. I want you to be ready to get hit and hit hard. The first few minutes of every cross race... I find myself screaming at my inner self.... "COVER-UP" dude "COVER UP".. The attacks and hard accelerations are like boxing's equivalent to body shots that are breaking ribs. Early in a race there is always someone that can hit harder and faster.
My advice to all racers is to get your head ready for the MENTAL JUNK SHOW of Cyclocross. It is a roller coaster of a season. You are going to have some killer days and some where you get crushed. It is a beautiful sport, but absolutely vicious. Get to every starting line you can. You just don't know when you will have a killer day. You are going to flat, wreck, and just plain make some stupid mistakes. The season is short and will probably make you a bit bi-polar. You can't wait for it to start... and by December you will barely want to clean your bike. Don't worry about places. Don't pick random NUMBERS for results. Don't say I want a TOP 5. That is insane. If you want to pick numbers go buy a lottery ticket. Top 5.... think about that. What if SVEN, COMPTON, TREBON, PAGE, ALBERT, STYBAR, .... show up.... Are you getting top 5? Don't think silly crap like that. You are a mature adult with a college education. It is BASIC MATH. I know in our own heads we are all ROCK-STARS. Destined to be discovered. SHOOT for the damn MOON.... but don't worry about where you are going to land.... BEFORE YOU GET THERE..... FIRE THE DAMN ROCKETS AND GET OFF THE LAUNCH PAD FIRST! Just put the pedal to the floor. Don't pack a parachute. Just crush it. See how long you can survive.
Just race your brains out. Places don't mean a thing. Try and race an honest race.......where you get a good start.... race patient... then push yourself to the limit. Race for the PLACE right in front of you. That is the only place you have control of. Race to not get caught by the racer behind. Tons of riders including myself have ruined a good season looking for some random number or result. I have won some races and ridden awful. I have lost tons of races where I have ridden stellar and performed to almost personal perfection.
My only other advice is to give your RIVAL's the credit you want them to give you. They trained hard this past season, and it was probably with the sole purpose of kicking your ass. They love to suffer.... and if they beat you... they must have gotten pretty good at it. They probably secretly almost hate you... and you secretly almost hate them. (NOT REALLY BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT) They want to beat you.... YOU want to beat them.... Some of them will sell an organ just to finish in front of you. They bought CARBON THIS... and CARBON THAT... You matched their Carbon and RAISED them..... with a new Coach & 5 a.m. workouts. It isn't just a race ....it is almost a war.
THOSE WHO CULTIVATE POWER,
IDENTIFY WITH POWER.
TAO TE CHING
Everyone you are racing has probably gotten faster. If they SMOKE you... be glad they figured out how to beat you. NOW you have the chance to figure out how to turn the tables on them. That is how the game works.
You don't deserve to beat people if you can't take a good beating. As racers we have all had those miserable car rides home after a bad or humiliating race. So when it is your turn to be STOKED... be STOKED.... when it is your turn to be humbled... be humbled. Next weekend or Next season you will have a chance to do it all over again.
Nothing makes me happier than to have a killer race. But nothing has made me improve like getting my EGO totally mud-stomped. The beat-down is what I need to get my sh*t together. I find more motivation when everything is going wrong. When someone has me pinned to the floor and is just pummeling me. This is when you wish you could pass out or just quit. But you made the mistake of training hard enough to ENDURE the violent beating, but not enough to win in the exchange. You are taking it... and not giving it. These memories are quite vivid and very UN-forgettable.
YOUR MANTRA NEEDS TO BE THIS!
I WOULD OF...............