As for myself, I'm doing everything I can to not need an excuse for tomorrow (crashes and mechanicals be damned). I've spent the whole week trying to hone my "Eye of the Tiger". - Me, Three Days Ago
I had this great plan to show up two hours before the race start, get checked in, dress in a calm and relaxed manner, do a thorough warm-up on the trainer, inspect the course, and start the race ready to fight harder than I'm normally used to doing. So here's a rundown of Saturday's race for which I thought I was so well prepared:
1) Late start from Columbus
2) Had to stop for gas, because I hadn't expected to drive the rest of the way to Louisville (my fault)
3) Got semi-lost or at least took a very inefficient route (semi-my fault for trusting the directions on the race flyer rather than taking it to MapQuest.)
4) Pouring rain made for slow moving a high stress level once I knew we were semi-lost (rain, not my fault; stress level, kind of my fault).
5) Arrived at race venue 45 minutes before race, 1:15 later than planned.
6) Freaked the hell out because I had to tried so hard to actually properly prepare for a race for the first time in probably two years
7) Got dressed
8) No warm-up except for one easy lap of the course, which was really just inspection rather than warm-up.
9) Started race, but due to the wet conditions I was afraid to bury myself in the middle of the pack as I had been instructed to do.
10) Got dropped on first hill.
11) Spent about a lap and a half beating myself up for everything that had happened so far that morning and my inability to handle it.
12) Told myself to HTFU and chase down the girl 100 meters down the road.
13) Looked up and saw there was no longer a girl in sight (not sure if she sped up or dropped out), but it left me with no choice but to time trial it out to the end
14) My chain broke off right before the end of the fifth lap. I had been on pace for six laps, but while I was walking up the last hill, the leaders finished and I was recorded as finishing with five laps, rather than a DNF.
So my "no excuses" race place dissolved into nothing but. I think that's why I had my pre-race freakout, because last year was nothing but lame-ass excuses. I wanted to actually put my heart into a race for once, even if it wasn't an "A" race. I guess that Saturday's race had become way too symbolic for me. I'm just so freaking tired of things getting messed up all the time, and as much as it happens, I feel like it must be my fault on an unconscious level.
On a side note, racing with a power meter adds a nice measure of objectivity at least. I was able to go home and see that, yes, my numbers were pretty weak compared to my training last week. It is comforting in the sense that I know the crappy race was in fact me actually riding badly rather than riding well and still falling behind. However, a bad day is a bad day and it's important that I figure out a way to do better next time.