So it's "all in" on the "career" front, but also racing. I realized I had started to get complacent racing this last month, using my training-through the races as an excuse to not go ape-shit during the race. But really, if riding a few hours before and after a race is going to make you race like a nancy, you may as well have skipped it.
Well I fixed that at the Carnation circuit race, where Lang, Clayville and I were tied for third in the series and one of us had to win both the intermediate sprint and the race to win the overall. Not necessarily planning to stay away the whole time I put in a couple of attacks in succession on the third lap of ten and got away solo. Wanting to take the race by the horns and actually apply some legitimate pressure, I put my head down, went for it, and won solo by a hair over a minute. Back in the pack the boys apparently did the same, getting FIVE in a break of seven. We took first through third, got seven in the top-10 of the race, and took first, third, and fourth in the series.
This was also one of maybe three races this year where I raced with a power meter, so I have all the numbers. I broke away after 1:30 of riding (rode to the race), and started with 2min averaging just over 500w with two jumps of about 1100w. That was two attacks in a row with a few seconds rest before countering myself. Then then the first two laps (10min or so) was an average of 419w, and the whole 1:10 break was an average of 384w. Not actually as high as my "mental average," calculated by remembering the numbers I saw during the race, but it makes sense as I was riding for average speed not average power and feathered it a little on the tailwind and downhill stretches. Also of interest is over 3500kj in 3:15 riding, and an average speed of 27.2 for time off the front.
Great to win our own series, and a good affirmation that the legs are still going well when I want them to. Beyond that, it's a nice reminder that you should ALWAYS go ballistic and leave it all out there. Every race where I try to take it by the horns it pays off, or at least I make something happen. Sitting back and thinking about racing has never seemed to work for me.
Racing by numbers is like painting by numbers: yeah, you drew a nice picture of a pirate ship, or whatever. It guarantees some quantifiable result. But it also guarantees mediocrity and shuts the door on blowing doors wide open. Every year I race I believe more and more that it's way more about what's going on in your head than in your body. Of course, that extends into "training," where you need to go for it with the same gusto you hope to race with.
My one caveat to this new rule is that self-sabotage is almost worse than not trying. The suicide attack is ballsy only if you actually have a shot at sticking it, cash in ALL your chips in the process, and actually yourself believe you'll make it. I don't really understand the riding like DZ did at US Pro, going away solo on the first lap then pulling out. Who did that help? Is it just an excuse to drop out and say "well, I tried?" I wish that guy would get over the one-trick-pony syndrome and realize he can do WAY more in the sport besides a good TT.
So here's to ALL IN racing and living, taking races by the horn, and make things happen the way you want.