Racing on feel

It's only fitting. I just finished a post about the gadgets and toys that have invaded riding. Part of it was inspired by my own gadget needing service and how happy I was that I could still race on feel I didn't let the failure affect my race. I use my toys to get the data, but try to keep the riding free from distractions. But I really like uploading the files and seeing the squiggly lines indicated how hard I was working. Even without the power, I can still get plenty of information about how I'm racing and recovering from heart race. I was interested in seeing the data from the race last Wednesday - knowing I was going into the hour less then 100%. I wouldn't have power, but I still had heart rate and such. I could learn a lot from this race, the four laps of pain. So of course, what happened?

I forgot to charge my Garmin. I've been bad about that the last few months - letting it get low and then hoping to finish the workout. I usually catch it before events though - making sure I've got enough battery power to get through. Not this time. I'm getting ready to start my warmup and turn on the Garmin. Buzz.... Low Battery warning fills the screen. I can never remember how much time I've got left when I get that screen - and sometimes I go right to critical battery because I was't paying attention. This was one of those times. The garmin buzzed again and turned off. Well then. Not only was I racing without my power meter - I was racing completely gadget-less! I did have a watch in my car so I was able to at least see how long I'd been riding. But that was it and I had the watch on my wrist so I hardly looked at it. I was racing completely on feel and intuition.

Maybe that's why I raced silly - going out hard with Caroline and Rebecca. I listened to my heart and my mind, not my legs for that first lap and paid for it later. But it was still fun. All I was doing was riding my bike as hard as I could. And that's really the point of a race, right? Ride as hard as I can for as long as I can. I don't need the gadgets to tell me I'm riding hard. But they do help with riding smart. And riding smart often yields more rewards in the long term. I still need to be able to race on feel and make decisions based on physical feeling and not just the gadgets. That's part of racing smart and I've lost a little of that skill. Maybe I'll start throwing the Garmin in my backpackers so I can have both - numbers and riding on feel, in my mind.


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