"How about just plan on having a great race?" Holly Brooks
Sometimes the simplest sentences can have the greatest impact. What happened was, I went to the Grand Prix bike races at the Marymoor Velodrome. The event was rained out after only a couple of races, but not before the Kiddie Kilo, an awesome little event wherein children of every size and skill level scoot their little selves around the flat inside track of the Velodrome. This time, there was a little girl having trouble getting started as the pack left her behind. I could totally relate to her frustration and embarrassment as all the other kids took off, and my heart went out to her -- I've been there, little sister!
And then the coolest thing happened -- one of the pro women racers came out onto the track and rode with her, smiling and encouraging her all the way around the track. Yay, pro woman racer!
So I wrote about it on Facebook and only-half-jokingly said, if I fall off the back of the pack at next year's Birkie, I wonder if Holly Brooks will come out and ski in to the finish with me. And Holly, because she's awesome like that, wrote back and said she would try, if she wasn't wrecked from her own race, but then she said,
"How about just plan on having a great race?"
And in one instant, a lightbulb went off in my head and my attitude did a complete 180. How about, indeed? Why not plan on having a great race, instead of automatically assuming I will be terrible? Wouldn't that make the seven months between now and the Birkie a positive and exciting adventure, getting stronger and fitter and more eager for race day? How about?
So even though I had a ton of stuff to do on Sunday and the day almost got away from me, I headed over to Discovery Park in mid-afternoon to roller ski. It turned out to be a bit of perfect timing; I planned to do three repeats of the big uphill, and amazingly, I met up with the shuttle bus driver for both of my trips back down the hill! Yay, shuttle bus driver! On my second trip down, I was the only passenger, so we stopped for a minute to pick blackberries, which were a decided improvement over the chocolate Clifshot in my pocket. My second-most favorite moment of the day: the driver said, "Isn't that really hard, what you're doing?" Yes, my friend, it's really hard, and really good, and it's going to make me stronger and faster this winter.
I got back to my car just as gorgeous fat raindrops started falling. After this hot dry stifling stinkin' summer we've been having, the rain was too delicious to miss out on, so, my most favorite moment of the day, I switched to running shoes and headed out onto the trail, coming back half an hour later completely soaked, lungs full of sweet clean air, muscles full of lactate, brain full of happy. How about, indeed.