in Training

Racing your ego

I admit, one of the hardest things about racing is not racing–holding yourself back when you need to. Especially in a 5+ hour effort. It’s so easy to get carried away and try to get pass everyone in eyesight.

I’m reminded of High Cascades 2 years ago; I pretty much blew myself up in the first 50 miles of the race. Well, turns out there were still 50 more miles to go and a mountain or two to summit. Well, shit. All those people I had to worked to pass? Yeah they all pedaled right by as I stopped for 40 minutes at a rest stop to pull myself back together.

During that 40 minute "rest" break, HC100 2014

During that 40 minute “rest” break, HC100 2014

This weekend I was out with some folks, and the ride ended with a 30 minute time trial. We were supposed to stay at zone 3/4 junction. Yeah I wanted to keep up so I ended up way above that for the duration, more like the upper half of zone 4. Oops.

It’s so, so hard to let everyone go by. Of course, a weekend ride with friends is different from a race, but it was a good lesson for me: I cannot let my ego get in the way of executing the plan. Thankfully I didn’t have to go run a half marathon after that, although for the first time I did run a bit directly after the ride. It was not nearly as terrible as I remember it being, although I only ran a mile.

I’ve learned this lesson about pacing myself many, many times. It usually takes a few race-pace efforts at the beginning of the season to really have that lesson sink in. Hopefully that was enough, since St George is only 2 weeks away.