This weekend I felt more like a lone wolf. Someone would jump and I would accelerate and pull them back with determination and will. The spark wasn't there but the ability to turn myself inside out was. In the road race on Sunday I found myself in a group of about 20 guys that had left the rest of the field behind. A split formed in that group and I was behind the leading 7 or 8. Along with the help of a couple other guys I pulled it all back together. I tried to jump to the break but didn't have the power to make an instant gap so I had to do it the old fashioned way.
The break was pulled back but 10 seconds later 5 guys were up the road. The break was comprised of a lot of the horsepower left in the field and the big teams were represented. I knew I had to put myself there or else the race was over for me. I jumped across, got clear, joined a guy in nomansland and dropped him. The break had 5 seconds on me for about half a mile. I was riding consistently at more than 100-150 watts above my lactate threshold. I felt the fibers of my muslces shredding. I put my head down and prayed for any draft, just an ounce, just something to close those five seconds. Then it happened and I was on.
We spent the next 15 minutes rotating and after all that effort we were caught by the remaining 9 guys in the field. We rode the rest of the race almost in neutral but I was done. A Kansan told me that you can push your body beyond the point where almost anyone else would stop. He said that you can literally turn yourself inside out and then right back again. I'm not saying I rode harder than anyone else or that I achieved something superhuman. All I'm saying is that on Sunday I redefined what pain means to me. And now I'm stronger for it.