I saw this video and I found myself being incredibly empathetic – have you ever wanted to “crash out” of a race on purpose?
My last race – which was a gravel event in late October – my entire goal was to stay with the “A” selection for the entire race. It was a relatively flat gravel race with the lone exception of a 12% hill about 1/2 mile long right in the first 3 miles…
Well, I achieved my goal of making it with the “A” selection – but I had to smash myself sooooo hard to stay with the group up the hill, and there were so many 90-degree turns in the first 5 miles that the elastic almost kept snapping off the back for the group, and I had to bury myself to stay on. I found myself 7 miles into a 40 mile race staring at the rolled hay in the farm fields, and the long grass by the side of the road thinking that I wanted to crash my bike so I didn’t have to race anymore. Then I started cursing myself for all of the expensive bikes and kit I’d bought over the years, because I hated riding bikes and never wanted to race again
I also read about a track rider recently (can’t remember the publication) who thought he’d do a gravel event for “fun” and found himself 20 miles into the race trying to figure out how to break his bike so he didn’t have to keep going.
Sometimes I think similar things on the trainer (generally, obviously during Vo2 work) where I think I should try and make myself vomit so I can stop the pain.
There is no logic whatsoever to any of this, I realize. I’m only on the trainer for myself. I’m only racing for myself. I have no obligation to anyone but myself to keep going - and yet I feel the only way to get out of it is to somehow have physical harm inflicted on me so I can justify bailing out
I call it the cycling “crazies” – where the most illogical thoughts in the world come into your head under the duress of physical pain.
Similarly, have you ever gotten back from a long ride and were barely able to form a coherent sentence? Or finish a complete thought? I call that having a “case of the stupids” – total depletion that makes it impossible to think.
Anyway – this video made me chuckle. Because if there was a crash in front of me in that first 7 miles on my last race, I may have just tipped myself over and done the same thing. Instead, I finished the race on mushy, rubbery legs – knowing that there is a little bit of a coward hiding inside of me that this guy totally gave into.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that has these thoughts…