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Old 03-23-09, 05:52 PM   #1
ericm979
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How often do you want to quit a race?

There's often a point near the beginning of a race where I am not having fun. On saturday's race it was some time on the first of two loops. I am not sure where or when it was, probably not long after I saw the lead group go up the road without me. I distinctly remember thinking "I hate this #&$^&. Why the &*^@ am I doing this?"

Then half an hour later, and for the next two hours, I was enjoying myself. It wasn't because I caught the leaders or had a chance to win (I didn't), or because it hurt any less.

It's happened to me in other races too. I've never quit a race since I started racing again- it'd be a waste to drive out there and then quit early. But I sure have thought about it. I have always found something to enjoy and been glad that I didn't, even when I finished close to last.

Do you ever want to quit and then wind up enjoying the race, or is it just me?
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Old 03-23-09, 05:57 PM   #2
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I've never wanted to quit and ended up "enjoying it", but I have wanted to quit and didn't a few times. At Bakersfield I almost pulled out but pressed on and got caught by a few guys who had been dropped before me and we got to work together at least to the end. At San Dimas on Sunday I wanted to quit but pressed on to try to make the time cut so I could race on Sunday. At Sea Otter last year I wanted to quit and did because it was too damn windy. Kim had begged me not to even race and was standing out in the cold and wind waiting for me so as soon as I was OTB I said f-this and pulled out and we went home.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:04 PM   #3
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I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a race without a few negative thoughts.

“Why do I do this to myself?” is pretty minor. Wait until you're praying for a flat…

Last edited by Enthalpic; 03-24-09 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:26 PM   #4
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I hate bike racing about 10 minutes into any hard crit/cyclocross/short track/xc mtb race. I like it again around 20 minutes.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:39 PM   #5
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There are sometimes points where the pain starts to get to me, but I never really want to quit. I want desperately NOT to quit. And that's why races are often such amazing workouts. I get pushed harder than I can possibly push myself.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:45 PM   #6
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I want to quit every time trial about 2 minutes in. Every one.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:49 PM   #7
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I want to quit every time trial about 2 minutes in. Every one.
Yeah, I get the same thing, but it only lasts until I cross the finish line 30 mins. later, so it's not so bad.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:57 PM   #8
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not just you! First, at the start line of every race I ever do/have done. I then forget that part and want to pull over at at least one or two points within the first few laps. After a while, I'm happy--or at least suffering passably well.
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Old 03-23-09, 07:04 PM   #9
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I hated every second of the first three laps of the Grant's Tomb criterium in NYC last year. I was extremely grumpy and pessimistic for some reason, no idea why. At the end of the first or second full lap (must have been the second), they rang the bell for a prime. No WAY was I sprinting for that prime, I grumbled to myself. I was already miserable enough, and hurting. I'd had a decent warm-up, but hadn't done any real openers, and I was feeling it. Lo and behold, at the end of the prime lap, I found myself up at the front, and before I knew it, I was going for it. I won the prime by a good bike length and more, and realized abrubtly that I was stronger than anyone else in the race. That restored my confidence, and I ended up finishing second. I wanted the win, sure (and could have had it with smarter racing, I really was strongest), but second place after starting in such a pessimistic mood was pretty cool.

The other race that I wanted to quit that year didn't get any better, it actually got worse and worse, but it was a single 50-mile lap, so there really wasn't any point. Spasming lower back muscles, a numb groin and a bonk made the last half of that race the worst 25 miles of my life. I still finished something like 34th out of 60, which is scary to think about - a lot of those guys had a worse race than I did, and I've never been so miserable on the bike.
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Old 03-23-09, 07:05 PM   #10
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I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a race without a few negative thoughts.

“Why do I do this to myself?” is pretty minor. Wait until your praying for a flat…
^^^^^this

My rule is that I don't make any decisions about continuing (race, group ride, etc.) during the hard part. I wait until the top of the hill, or when the break gets caught (or stays away), or when the finish line goes under my wheel before I decide to quit anything. It's like shopping for groceries during a bonk -- not a good time to make decisions, so I wait until I can think clearly, and pretty much end up only quitting due to injury... sometimes.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:04 PM   #11
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I have never done a race where I DIDN'T want to quit. It has taken me a while to realize that is my signal telling me that I am doing it right and that it will pass.

I read somewhere something that said that most likely the overwhelming majority of "mechanicals" during TT's are made up. A direct result of the rider giving in to the overwhelming urge to quit.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:29 PM   #12
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The first time was this weekend. Weird feeling.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:30 PM   #13
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I've had a lot of my best races when I wanted to quit about 1/3 of the way in but stayed in anyway and ended up in the top few.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:30 PM   #14
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Greg Lemond almost pulled out of the 1989 World Championship Road Race. He said he felt horrible.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:34 PM   #15
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A 3/4 crit down in (Troy?) Ohio when I was a 4. 95*F with a little bit of wind. Most of the race, I was dieing to not get spit off the back. It was probably one of the fastest races I've been to. My HR was 180+ for the majority of the race. Towards the middle of the race, I started to get chills. I said next lap, I'm out. Then I said that the next lap, then the next. Finally there was only 3 to go, so I said F-it, just finish. The last lap and a half, I started to make way towards the front, attacking in each corner. Gave it all I had plus 200% in the sprint. Not only did I finish in the top 10, I also was the first 4, which earned me this "blingin" watch which I soon sold on ebay...

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Old 03-23-09, 08:35 PM   #16
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I can't think of one where I wasn't ready for it to be over about a third of the way in.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:53 PM   #17
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I really had to pee at the start line this weekend but couldn't make it to the port-a-potties in time. I soon discovered there was nowhere on the 7 mile course that I could safely let it rip, so after about a half hour in and hypoxic, I started deluding myself into thinking I was getting a flat and could relieve myself waiting for the wheel car. No such luck, I soldiered on...

... I ended up holding it painfully for 2 hours and won with an angry sprint
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Old 03-23-09, 09:03 PM   #18
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most races, at least once.
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Old 03-23-09, 09:06 PM   #19
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Weekly.

I considered stabbing my tires with whatever sharp rock I could find on the side of the road last weekend. But I had wheels in the truck, so I would've had to stab them twice, and that's just too much work.
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Old 03-23-09, 09:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
I hated every second of the first three laps of the Grant's Tomb criterium in NYC last year. I was extremely grumpy and pessimistic for some reason, no idea why. At the end of the first or second full lap (must have been the second), they rang the bell for a prime. No WAY was I sprinting for that prime, I grumbled to myself. I was already miserable enough, and hurting. I'd had a decent warm-up, but hadn't done any real openers, and I was feeling it. Lo and behold, at the end of the prime lap, I found myself up at the front, and before I knew it, I was going for it. I won the prime by a good bike length and more, and realized abrubtly that I was stronger than anyone else in the race. That restored my confidence, and I ended up finishing second. I wanted the win, sure (and could have had it with smarter racing, I really was strongest), but second place after starting in such a pessimistic mood was pretty cool.

The other race that I wanted to quit that year didn't get any better, it actually got worse and worse, but it was a single 50-mile lap, so there really wasn't any point. Spasming lower back muscles, a numb groin and a bonk made the last half of that race the worst 25 miles of my life. I still finished something like 34th out of 60, which is scary to think about - a lot of those guys had a worse race than I did, and I've never been so miserable on the bike.
Wait, was the question "Am I an amazing talent?" or "How often do you want to quite a race?"

I usually want to quit for the first 2/3 of every race.
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Old 03-23-09, 09:33 PM   #21
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... I ended up holding it painfully for 2 hours and won with an angry sprint
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Old 03-23-09, 10:57 PM   #22
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Wait, was the question "Am I an amazing talent?" or "How often do you want to quite a race?"

I usually want to quit for the first 2/3 of every race.
Heh. It's not much to brag about - Collegiate D race. I was strongest, yes, but that's like being the smartest Teletubby. Did you see that part about that other race where I got wrecked? No special talent am I!

That was just a particularly lopsided example, to illustrate the point. I've felt like crap in the beginning of most of the races I've done, at least circuits and crits. Usually I do all right, or finish with the pack anyway. That was just one where I felt absolutely horrible, then almost won. It seems that it's about finding the moment where you can hit the switch, psychologically, and go into racing mode. Even in the club TT I did once, I didn't want to quit by the end, I wanted to finish - as soon as possible, natch, but it's a different thing.
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Old 03-23-09, 11:09 PM   #23
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I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a race without a few negative thoughts.

“Why do I do this to myself?” is pretty minor. Wait until your praying for a flat
Snelling RR I had that thought; a flat meant I was out and not due to my suckage, I could save face. Then I realized how lame that was and kicked into gear. Not a high-enough gear to do any good, but enough to get me in the frame of mind to quit thinking of quitting.

Except for time trials I have an inner monologue beginning the night before the race that begins "WTF are you thinking?"

At the end I forget that I had those thoughts, and wonder why I don't race more often.
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Old 03-23-09, 11:18 PM   #24
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In most races I'm fine, and am just thinking about position and strategy, but there are those days (usually happen a few times a year), this weekend for example where I was just looking for an excuse to pull out. Would have too if I didn't have teammates that could've benefited from me staying in. There are always those times though that I wish I carried a little razor to cut my tires with so I could just drop out already.
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Old 03-23-09, 11:18 PM   #25
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Every lap of every race.

On the couple of times I have quit, always, always, 5 mins later I'm thinking, "Why the F*** did I do that?"
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