The Numbers Don't Add Up.

A couple years ago I asked Janice if I had any potential as a sprinter.
This was after I scored a second place in an intermediate sprint during a stage race. That was the first time I was in contention for an actual sprint finish, having gotten the vast majority of my results in time trials and "reduced-pack" finishes. I say "reduced pack" instead of "breakaway" because they were the result of persistent grinding that caused people to drop off the back, rather than an attack that opened a decisive gap. The biggest diesels wore everyone else out.
Janice looked at the power data we had amassed and tried to be as gentle as possible when she explained that I had no physical promise, in any way, whatsoever. Period. Wasting my time. What I did have was a middling-level diesel that would allow me to get marginal results in time trials and maybe sneak into a break if I was lucky. Pack fodder.
Janice is a nurturer, which is why I pay her to run my life.
She was right, based on the numbers and results we had at the time. I continued to race based on those numbers, and did fairly well with it. I realized my place in the food chain, and was content with mid-pack finishes and the odd podium.
This year, by complete accident, I found myself competitive in sprints. If my lack of tactical savvy didn't put me in a bad position, I was mixing it up in bunch sprints and coming away with decent results. I started looking for opportunities and metering my efforts differently. Instead of being mid-pack across the board, I had a little spike that might define me.
I just re-ran the numbers, and they have changed a bit. I still have no potential, but the profile changed. Mainly this reflects the change in how I approached racing and how the races I competed in played out, rather than a quantum physiological shift. The possibility was there, but I never took advantage of it.
I guess that teaches me to rely solely on numbers. Some people would say I should race on instinct, but I've demonstrated time and again that I have none. What I have is a data set that may or may not reflect reality, and I have to figure out how to apply it.
The numbers don't match up right now. There are holes I can't completely explain. The way my power profile adds up might change in the future to a more uniform "meh". It may explode into something so defined and crystal-clear that people will refuse to line up against me in certain races to avoid revealing their own glaring inadequacies as functioning humans.
Hey, anything's possible.
I'll run the numbers again.


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