Monique Sullivan understands what she needs to do next. The lone Canadian track cyclist taking part in last week's sprint events at the World Championships in Melbourne, her results may not have caught the eye: a last-32 in the individual sprint, knocked out in the first round of the keirin.
But the 23-year-old Calgary, Alta. native is excited. She knows she has reached a new stage in her career.
Part of that feeling comes from the atmosphere of success around her. Canada picked up silver medals in the men's omnium and women's scratch races, plus bronze in the women's team pursuit, en route to its best-ever medal haul at a track cycling World Championships.
"Watching them train is phenomenal," says Sullivan of her colleagues Zach Bell and Tara Whitten, two of Canadian track cycling's biggest names and both medallists in Melbourne.
"The team was so ready coming into this - we prepared mostly for the London World Cup [in February, inside this summer's Olympic Velodrome] then carried it over to these races. I've been around the national team for almost 10 years now and it's never been like this before, we've never had the support we have now.
"It's incredibly inspiring, when you're a young rider and you see people winning those medals. You think they're so different to you and there must be something special about them. But it usually comes down to a lot of hard work. Look at Zach and Tara, every day they come to training, they put in the work and to me that says: 'This is possible. This is what it takes to get there.'"
There is another side to Sullivan's optimism. Tucked away in the week's results was a personal best for her in the 200m flying start, a race used as a qualifier for the women's sprint finals. Sullivan finished ninth of 29 entrants, ahead of well-established world-class rivals like France's Sandie Clair and Australia's Kaarle McCulloch. That raw pace opens up a new side to her game.
"That's the best qualifying placing I've ever had, I took two-tenths off my personal best," says Sullivan. "I think it's the first time I've had the form to start looking at the tactics.
"Before, tactics didn't mean anything -- they don't, if you're half a second behind the others in qualifying. I've had so much help building up to this year with the support staff, and now I need to start getting the tactics in."
That is where the problem comes. Sullivan was the only Canadian sprint rider in Melbourne for a reason: nobody else on the program is close to her level. The women's sprint finals become an intense cat-and-mouse game between two riders, trying to first lure your opponent into a trap, then beat them to the line. How do you practise that on your own?
"Because there aren't any other female sprinters in Canada, it's tough to get that training in practice -- I can't sprint against anybody," admits Sullivan.
"We've tried bringing in some junior boys but they don't have that experience. So it's figuring out how to get that into my training now, that's more of a priority than before."
The World Championships are all the more important for Sullivan because, in the absence of anyone to train against, she can spend every moment of spare time watching the races, seeing how other people do it - and occasionally trying her hand against the world's best.
"The tactics and confidence are so important," she says. "Bike racing is not just about raw speed and power, it's about racing. That's part of what I love about it but it's also the part causing me the most difficulty to get good at.
"Not making the keirin second round hurts, I'd love to get up and race again, but I went up against [British former keirin world champion] Vicky Pendleton. I had that opportunity, it doesn't come around very often. I tried to make the best of it and it didn't work out for me, but it might next time.
"You just have to know that everyone's beatable. There are relegations that happens, mistakes that are made, and as a newer rider people can underestimate you. If you capitalise on those things it builds momentum for yourself.
"Last year I was in a keirin ride with Vicky and I crossed the line first -- I ended up getting relegated but that was like, 'Man, maybe I can do this.' The steps forward are small but if you keep pushing and keep trying, eventually you'll get there."
The rewards of the trip to Melbourne don't end on the flight home, either. Also travelling with the Canadian team was a member of staff appointed specifically to capture every race on film.
Ahead of the Olympics, for which Sullivan is not yet confirmed though she says selection "is looking good," much of her time will now be spent in front of a screen.
"I will have all the races on my computer at home," she confirms. "It can take 10 minutes to go over one keirin, putting yourself in each person's shoes, seeing what mistakes they made and what they got right, trying to build up patterns.
"You can start to learn those so it's an instinct - not you thinking about those things, you just feel it."