Going by feel

The past couple of weeks when i rode I noticed that my power numbers were low. Sometimes they were ridiculously low (50-65 watts when climbing up a hill). The cadence was always low at those times too. It was frustrating for me as I knew I was riding to hit my power numbers for my intervals, but things were…off. About 75-85% of the time, my readings were OK. But they were off enough to make my power readings overall low. And so with each ride I would tell my coach – something’s off. I had the intervals. I never look for excuses. If you put something in front of me I will work to achieve those intervals, or know that I was having a bad day. To be consistently low was not my riding. One ride – OK – that may be my ego and not wanting to admit a bad ride, so she was cautious in listening to my gripes and offered possibilities for why things looked low. But a second and third ride….I gave specific examples of things being off, and even if I hadn’t, she knew based on my information and usual riding, something was amuck. And we agreed I needed to take my bike in ASAP.

So today, after my ride where I had a few more specific examples of things being off, I took her (that would be my bike!) in to Podium to have her checked out. I was thinking maybe magnet placement. Well – I was sorta right.

Anyway, Matt looked at my bike and quickly found the problem. The big magnet for my power meter was gone!  A little bit of on the spot work and I was good to go. Yup – they take care of me there, and have helped me with several problems that can pop up and are beyond my ken. I think I have come to them with  short time line before most of my big races with a problem of some sort, and they have gotten me up and going in full race mode each time. So let me say it here – Thank you!

And now back to my point.

So why all this back history? To say that as much as I love the numbers, I think I love even more that this event proves to me that I know my riding, and I know my effort. And I don’t need my power meter to ride well.  I know it will keep me from slacking a little bit when there are times I am alone on a race course and no one really close to me. I know that it is an aid. I use it to help me gauge my riding, and to gain a feel for riding when training. The power meter, however, will not make or break my race. And this is perfect timing for my next race: Raleigh 70.3.

Don’t get me wrong – of all my gadgets, I think I like my power meter the most. But….

I know how to race smart. And this little lesson, that I know my pacing, is priceless for me as I am getting set to go in to a race.  I know what to expect from my body in a race. I know what the effort feels like. I have trained hard to learn to listen to it and respond. I know. I’m ready. Now it’s time to race.

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