Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preparation for TD Bank Mayor's Cup

I've never been a Pro bike racer but once in a while I like to prepare as if I were.  I like the process of channeling and rising to the occasion.  It's cool, if you can nail it.  But over the years I've learned that you don't always nail it.  For me one of the key's to having everything come together is a calm state of assertive focus and clarity defining framework around what I am about to face.

This week I've been preparing for the TD Bank Mayors Cup and it's been fun.  I've been thinking about my equipment and the tune-up workouts I'll do and preparing myself mentally for the effort without getting too jacked up over it.  However,  I'll be racing the Pro1 field and given my 50 years and the fact that I rarely race at this level anymore, it'll be a significant challenge for me.  Also, the fact is I've only done one other Pro1 race this year, which is nothing, so it's going to be tough.  But good.

I'm also a free agent, meaning I race without a team or alliances.  This can be an advantage in local Pro1-3 races because the teams aren't as strong and I also know almost everyone.  This Saturday's race will be different, it'll be stacked with the country's best Pro teams racing for their 'series title'; that I actually don't even know the name of, but I know it's their last one.... so it should be a ripper.

These guys also know each other really well.  They've been locking horns since March and are totally 'prepared to recognize' the dynamics of the race that will determine results.  Its a huge advantage for them. In fact it's their biggest advantage over guys like me that have to read the race on the fly and make uncertain decisions.  If I'm good on Saturday, half of my decisions will be right and half will be wrong on this basis alone and this is a big tactical disadvantage and these guys are pretty fast so there's not much room for error.  Realizing and knowing this unequivocally is a strength for me but realistically speaking it's going to be quite difficult any way you slice it.  A top 25 finish in this race will be tougher to do than winning a Pro1,2,3 race.  It'll be that hard, so I'm excited about the opportunity.  I'm shooting for top 15.  The other Pro1 race I did this year was the Tour of Somerville in NJ and I finished 22 after I came out of my pedal in the last turn.  I lost some places in that mishap so I think top 15 on Saturday is possible.  As reference to that statement I would say that a top 20 finish for me on Saturday is a 50% possibility.

I think the essence of sport Zen is 'preparation'; mental, physical and positional.

My personal formulation for Saturday is this.  I emphatically believe that I still have it physically within me to finish top 15.  But, like any bike race, chance will play a significant role.  However, I've done the training and I have the conditioning.  The hay is in the barn...So bring it.  I also understand very clearly, the acute advantages of a having a strong team and that I do not have this.  As such, I will not compare myself to those that do.  Chance will play a significant role, there will be much outside of my control.  As the race unfolds I will stay within myself and my race mentally and I will stay within the dynamics of my race that I can control.  My odds of getting top 15 are proportional to chance, my ultimate resolve and riding with the least amount of 'positional' errors as possible.

I have a calm assertive understanding and confidence in these things and I will perform them to the best of my abilities.  If I finish past 15th, or even worse not finish at all, I have not failed.

Peace and roll strong.

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