It's freezing out. It gets dark early. Your body is cold and stiff, you don't feel like doing anything but drink heavy beer and eat soup. The last race you did kicked your ass. You felt like hell the whole time, you couldn't push yourself as hard as you normally do, and everything just felt "off."
For me, this is all true. I've raced cx long enough to know how it works. What is true is you have to put in a ton of work to improve, especially after a few seasons. Gaining that extra 5% takes 50% more effort, but that 5% is the difference between winning and getting lapped in a 1 hour race.
I had work to do in September, I knew I did. I needed to do volume, I needed to ride more on my mtn bike, I needed to put in higher intensity work for longer periods of time. I knew by the time today came, I would either have "it" or not have anything. I'm feeling empty right now as far as speed goes.
If you are like me, you probably expect to get better, have an idea of how to, you just haven't implemented a real plan or strategy that you can hold yourself accountable to. If you did, you wouldn't be reading this, you'd be out riding, or, you'd be getting all your work done now, so you can leave early and go ride. You could also be doing all kinds of other things to make you faster. Buying healthy food, cleaning the house so that your spouse doesn't mind you leave to ride, stretching, doing aerobic workouts inside, lots of things.
You should be hiring a Coach. Kent knows what you need to do to get faster. So do you, probably, but he knows more, and it's worth it. Train smarter, get faster in less time, do what all the other fast guys are doing.
While your at it, buy a new bike from me. Ti ss with carbon cranks, revox brakes, wcs carbon superlogic bars, zipp 303 tubulars, $2200. Or 13lb. super fast carbon bike for $2200. Buy both bikes for $4000. Or how about a new carbon hydraulic 11 speed super bike with 303s, for $4000?