1. Warm-ups are crucial. It's worth the extra effort to lug around a trainer, even with a complicated travel arrangement, if you're going to make the effort to get there in the first place.
2. In a P/1/2 crit, 5 min early to the line is already too late.
3. If you want to recover, you've gotta eat, no matter how you're feeling.
4. It's worth it and satisfying to credit yourself with the things you know you achieved, such as a mid-race effort or a mental attitude, even if they are less accessible than your finishing place. This is another way of developing strength.
5. Doing a race where you are the little fish in the pond is good for revealing what you need to work on. Give it a good think. Maybe you knew what you had to do to achieve a better result, but it didn't happen. Why? In my case, I knew I needed a good position going into the final, decisive climb, but I didn't get it. After thinking about it I realized that the place I had been planning to move up was a fast downhill leading into two tight corners, and actually my problem was that I was resistant to getting to the front at that speed and leading into the corners—thus I should probably work more on cornering and descending at speed/in packs, not losing pack position in the first place, and for the immediate future, more carefully identifying good locations/times for me to move up.