Saturday, August 4, 2007

Time to harden up, after some rest

Got some very wise advice from two hard men the other day that I would like to share with some of the other riders:
"Take note of the battle you have with yourself as you are getting dropped. That point where suffering meets giving up is critical.So many times the pace eases off only a few minutes after you have surrendered - often you don;t know this as the group is around the corner and you are hanging your head." - JL
"Don't wait for them to go, you go - go until you crack, 'cause the next time you will be able to go a little longer and little harder. As soon as you let others dictate, then things become a little more difficult.You are under your control." - PM
The last couple of days have been in recovery mode for me. My legs are not feeling 100%. I felt on the verge of a sickness after the last race, so talked with Bernard and agreed that the best course of action was a couple days away from the bike. I still have almost a month left of racing. I have learned a lot so far, so much that it will probably take me all winter to even figure most of it out. But these lessons pointed out really strike it home for what has to be done. Every time I race, I suffer a little bit more that I thought I could. The problem was, I was actually suffering more than I had to just to stay in the race. I was too far back, waiting for the race to come to me. The back of a 200 man pack is hard. Much harder than it has to be. And to be fair, I don't have the strength to sit it on the back. The last race helped me to realize this. I raced much more competitively and came out feeling much better with my race after riding much closer to the front, and then not giving up when I got into trouble. It is always worth it to spend a little extra energy to move up or go with an attack when the going gets a little easier. If you hurt a little more while the going is easy, it will make it easier for you when the going really gets tough. Less gaps to close, less effort required sprinting out of a corner. And the simple fact that you will at least be there when the race is made. Whether you have the legs to make the race will be seen, but at least you will not be left wondering what if? This is seen even more here in Europe at all levels. Back home, many feel pride in sprinting for 50th place, here, the race was made long ago so most will keep trying until they have to stop, but no one sprints for a place that doesn't pay. The chase never gives up, though no one tows around a group. Races break up. Thats when you must suffer if you really want it. There is a hard point like this in every race, it is up to the rider to grit his teeth and stay with it.

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