Is it okay to race not too lose? Saturday I raced not too lose, and had a good result. Two weeks ago I raced to win and had a better result. Granted, one course I felt fit my skills and build perfectly… which had a decidedly different mindset than this week. Saturday, I tucked for eight minutes straight at nearly 50 m.p.h. and caught up to two elite climbers… then I tucked my tail between my legs.
I quit my grit.
These two had just freewheeled down the hill. I was all risk and made up a minute with my extra ballast.
Who was I kidding? I was lucky to be here.
The good news was the chasers were out of sight.
We hit the climb again. Rather than go all in as I had two weeks prior, I let them go. I dosed my effort and raced not to lose.
Why press my luck?
When I got home I compared my times to last year. This year’s winner, was also last year’s winner. But this year’s winning times equaled my times of last year. In other words, my effort from last year would have had me on pace to ride with the leaders this year.
In fact, I made up time on those two as the race wore on.
The point isn’t that I would have won this year… the point is my mindset was different. I wasn’t feeling it.
Last year we raced an age group down, and had a much bigger field. I knew the people between me and the winners weren’t “that” much better, and I dug a lot deeper because I “knew” I was good enough to beat the guys close to me. Some of these other guys were riding buddies and I was confident that I could hang with them.
There was nobody in between me and the leaders this year… lonely pavement and stoic cacti.
Two weeks ago, I’d told myself if I can make it up the hill I have a chance – it was a flat finish after a long descent. The closer we got to the finishing line the luckier I felt.
Is there something wrong with racing not too lose? I don’t know the answer to that.
Just sometimes ya feel luckier.
Can you make your luck? Kinda, by preparing and caring and doing all you can to be ready… picking the right course.
There’s (sic) other things outside of cycling that make me feel lucky.
They seem to spill into all the empty spaces and buoy me. A clean office, being in synch with the TW, scoring a big order and having some extra coin in the bank, a call from one of my kids just to say hi, a good night’s sleep, seeing the sun shine at day break, taking time to pray and appreciate life before the day starts, a good comedy movie, a Rocky movie…
…maybe it’s age?…
Young TB used to just crank the metal music and get pissed off to unleash the mighty fury…
…what a punk!