12 Steps To Post (Suck) Race Happiness
With the help of too much first hand knowledge on recovering from a suck race effort, I now share my 12 step program to get back to cycling happiness. Please note that this program is not endorsed by any coach, doctor or high level athlete. It is however twelve easy steps to help you KEEP racing and firmly in the mid pack or whatever non podium pack you reside.
12 Steps To Post Suck Race Happiness
1. Drink beer. This is sort of a must. If you don't drink. Do what ever sort of mind numbing liquid, chemical, herb or activity you want. I prefer to forget the race for a bit with some quality craft beer.
2. Eat. Eat comfort food. Food that makes you feel good and food that helps replace all the calories, protein, etc., that you lost during the event. Mexican food works for me. Plus all the gas it gives me makes me laugh, forget the race AND it play a part of #7.
3. Hydrate. After #1, you MIGHT want to finally start to hydrate a bit.
4. Accept A Higher Power. In this case the "higher powers" are the gods of cycling. Accept that sometimes they just have other plans for you during a race. Someday their plan might work in your favor, so keep 'em happy! I find finally cleaning the puke, sports drink, sweat and mud off your bike is good penance and the gods seem to dig it.
5. Think. Now you can start thinking about the race. Not about the bad things, those are too obvious right now. Think about the good things. (Finished, had fun for 75% of the race, didn't die, no snakes, hung with some great people, rode (and sadly walked with) my bike all day.
6. Go for a ride. It's been a couple days now. You don't want to turn into a fat bloated, drunk. Go for a nice recovery spin, put some music in you ears and just enjoy your bike again. Spin along knowing that even though you suffered, you surely gained SOME sort of fitness.
7. Get Re-Stoked. That didn't take long... just about 3 days. Sounds about right. Way to grow a set. Think about the next race or epic ride and congratulate yourself by doing something manly like scratching your nuggets, farting, looking at porn, or something like that. Note: If you're a woman this one may change just a tad. But then again, what do I know, there are some tough free thinking, free spirited chickies out there racing.
8. Think. (again!). You've accepted that shit can go wrong, you've thought about the great parts of your last race, and you've developed a plan to do another race. NOWWWWW is the time to think of the things that you f*cked up during the race that WERE in your control. Nutrition? Hydration? Rest? Now develop a plan to TRY to rectify for the issues for the next race. It might not work, but it will at least help you to try to gain control.
9. Ride (again). Now it's time to ride again. But ride with oompf. Ride with the desire to start building again. Not TOO much!!! Not yet! But ride with the thoughts of your next race in your mind.
10. Enjoy. This one takes on even more meaning late in the season. Ride because you love it. Ride to earn yourself some beers. Ride because it's so f*cking sweet! Bask in the dirt, in the mud, in the knowledge that you are out on two wheels in the woods and snow might be on the ground in a couple months.
11. Race again. Race ONE more enduro, one more XC or get super silly and race some cross.
12. Drink a beer. I like the whole "full circle" thing. Plus I stole this whole 12 Steps thing from SOMEONE, and I feel I owe them some business. That, and I ran out of steps.
Use this wisely. If you had a great race, good for you. You can just do steps One and Twelve. But I doubt that the sorts of people that have great races read this blog. But I could be wrong.