You can train and run and do all the gym stuff all you want, nothing is going to prepare you like racing every weekend will. Ask Pasta boy.
I do not train. I do not go to the gym. Don't run, eat sensible, abstain from alcohol or sex ( hell, thats my cardio training), all I do is race. I realize some people actually have lives and budgets and real responsibilities, but you are never going to get the experience if you only race 3 or 4 times a year. You are going to get tired, frustrated and possibly injured.
Unless you are some kind of phenom that has gobs of natural talent, you need to make a commitment, tell yourself you are going to ride at least one or two races a month, go slower than you want to so that you can actually FINISH a race, screw the result, just learn what it takes to get to the end.
Then work your way up from there.
Now if you'll excuse me....