I've had some great emails, phone conversations and in-person meetings with many of you lately. It's really great to get feedback on how all of the training we did over the fall and winter are paying off in the spring. I love hearing from riders who said that rather than letting other riders set the pace that they decided to be the one leading the break and taking that chance. We all agreed that its better to give it a shot rather than sit back and wonder what could have been. Even if it doesn't pan out, and it did for several riders, its better to test our limits. My coach once told me that until I absolutely can't finish a time trial that I don't know how hard I can ride. We save those efforts for training but we do do them.
I know that we all have that self-doubt whether it's facing the intervals on the schedule, joining in that super hilly century, running a marathon, etc. but always know that you've trained well for your event. Be confident in that knowledge! Tell yourself that at the start line. You're ready and you're going to have fun. Be calm. Breathe steady. Put your energy where its needs to go whether into the pedals, into the pavement, or into the water. Enjoy how great it is to be fit. I guarantee that as soon as your finished that you'll be wishing you were back out on the course. Use that momentum to get ready for the next event.
This is also a the time look at what did go well and what areas we should focus on going forward. I still analyze every time trial I ride to see if I went off too fast, if my cadence was too high or low, did I have too much left at the end, how did my position feel, did I hydrate enough before and during, was my bike working properly, could I get more aerodynamic without sacrificing power, and on and on. And, thats after 20 years of riding 400+ time trials. Try to take note after your event of anything that you think we should improve on and we'll take that into account going forward. In spite of all of the analysis I do of my own performance I do for the most part race totally focused on speed and power. Those two things bring the results I'm after. I try my best to disregard the pain. Thats always going to be there....hopefully we just get faster.