Memory loss during racing

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tuschinski, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    When I recollect my last two races I have some amusing gaps in my memory.

    Two weeks ago I jumped away from the peloton in the last KM. I still do not know why I did it (I was waiting for the sprint!), nor do I remember 10 seconds between the last curve and my jump. I remember talking in the last curve (wich is on picture), but from there I have magically rushed to the front and jumped away.

    Last week we had a mass-sprint. In the stretch before the last curve I got hemmed in due to cowboys *sigh*. I entered the last curve in tenth (wich is bad) or so position and sprint to 6th place. But I have no good recollection how I got from hemmed in to the last curve.

    I asked friends and they had similar gaps in memory during races, especially around split-second decisions. "Somehow" you decide and act, but because of the strain it seems you do not remember it. What is surprising that as far as I can see with my friends it is never dangerous (as in reckless cutting through the peloton) and almost always a good decision. This indicates that during the moment you remain in control so apparantly you use all your faculties. But it remains odd that even minutes later it is impossible to rewind the tape in your head.

    Things I always remember:

    1. Talking during the race
    2. Curves
    3. Eating/drinking moments.
    4. The last 200 meters

    Things wich tend to be blurry:

    1. Spontanuous, (split-second) decisions, especially deciding to jump. Somehow I manage to surprise myself (Dutch writer Tim Krabbe described a similar thing in his book "de Renner")

    Anyone else with similar experiences?
     
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  2. Peter Allen

    Peter Allen Guest

    Tuschinski <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > When I recollect my last two races I have some amusing gaps in my
    > memory.
    >
    > Two weeks ago I jumped away from the peloton in the last KM. I still do
    > not know why I did it (I was waiting for the sprint!), nor do I remember
    > 10 seconds between the last curve and my jump. I remember talking in the
    > last curve (wich is on picture), but from there I have magically rushed
    > to the front and jumped away.
    >
    > Last week we had a mass-sprint. In the stretch before the last curve I
    > got hemmed in due to cowboys *sigh*. I entered the last curve in tenth
    > (wich is bad) or so position and sprint to 6th place. But I have no
    > good recollection how I got from hemmed in to the last curve.
    >
    > I asked friends and they had similar gaps in memory during races,
    > especially around split-second decisions. "Somehow" you decide and act,
    > but because of the strain it seems you do not remember it. What is
    > surprising that as far as I can see with my friends it is never
    > dangerous (as in reckless cutting through the peloton) and almost
    > always a good decision. This indicates that during the moment you
    > remain in control so apparantly you use all your faculties. But it
    > remains odd that even minutes later it is impossible to rewind the tape
    > in your head.
    >
    > Things I always remember:
    >
    > 1. Talking during the race
    > 2. Curves
    > 3. Eating/drinking moments.
    > 4. The last 200 meters
    >
    > Things wich tend to be blurry:
    >
    > 1. Spontanuous, (split-second) decisions, especially deciding to jump.
    > Somehow I manage to surprise myself (Dutch writer Tim Krabbe described
    > a similar thing in his book "de Renner")
    >
    > Anyone else with similar experiences?


    I remember about 3 1/2 minutes of a six minute rowing race - up to the
    scheduled big push at three minutes, then the last few strokes to the
    line.

    Peter
     
  3. Peter Allen wrote:
    >>
    >> Things I always remember:
    >>
    >> 1. Talking during the race
    >> 2. Curves
    >> 3. Eating/drinking moments.
    >> 4. The last 200 meters
    >>
    >> Things wich tend to be blurry:
    >>
    >> 1. Spontanuous, (split-second) decisions, especially deciding to
    >> jump. Somehow I manage to surprise myself (Dutch writer Tim Krabbe
    >> described a similar thing in his book "de Renner")
    >>
    >> Anyone else with similar experiences?

    >
    > I remember about 3 1/2 minutes of a six minute rowing race - up to the
    > scheduled big push at three minutes, then the last few strokes to the
    > line.
    >
    > Peter


    I've heard that memory loss for older people is at least partially due to
    less bloodflow through certain parts of the brain. This could very well be
    the same reason an athlete suffers the same symptoms due to the fact that so
    much blood is directed towards the muscles instead.
    Me, I'm 54 so I can't tell the difference anymore;)


    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
  4. Jeff Potter

    Jeff Potter Guest

    I recall this effect in last laps of crits and I greatly dislike it. It's
    spooky. For me it went with bad results. If I could stay sharp thru the whole
    last lap, I would do fine, but there was frequently a last lap bleeriness, a
    sudden not paying the right kind of attention, an avoidance---cobwebby. I'd
    shake my head and make as big an effort to focus as to ride. If I remembered to
    do this: good results. If not I would blow it and end up in the pack.

    Maybe this isn't exactly what you're describing, but it seems close. It sounds
    like for you, the split-second gap would often be where you made a good move
    (except you mention starting a sprint at 1 km to go instead of waiting to
    plan...was that a mistake in the end or a good thing?). To me, I felt like the
    gaps would mess up my finish---I'd miss the vital action.

    But like you this fog never involved wobbling or bad riding. Also, this was
    when I was in my 20's. Now that I'm in my 40's I think that this 'fog' MIGHT
    include bad handling skills. Haven't been a contender in a last lap intense
    crit action lately!

    Something similar maybe happens in my car driving. When driving a car I don't
    feel as skilled with easy awareness of all around me anymore. In my 20's it
    seemed like I easily knew everything going on around me when car driving. Now
    my attention seems smaller and more easily broken in a bad way. So I'm slowing
    down and leaving myself bigger safe zones.

    I've also for my whole car driving life had blips in attention that seemed to
    come when tired---but it was more a result of a kind of hypnosis, I think. I
    could happen soon after starting to drive and I'd have to shake it off with
    great effort. I get these 'blinks.' It's not like dozing off but it's alarming.
    I've pulled over or changed drivers because of it. I would never feel like I
    was going to start snoring at the wheel but get these gappy blinks instead.

    On long drives I also sometimes suddenly realize 20 miles went by and I don't
    really recall them.

    --

    Jeff Potter
    ****
    *Out Your Backdoor *   http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
    publishing do-it-yourself culture ... bikes, skis, boats & more ...
    plus radically relevant novels at the ULA's LiteraryRevolution.com
    ... free music ... tons o' articles ... travel forums ... WOW!
     
  5. gym gravity

    gym gravity Guest

    Jeff Potter wrote:

    > I recall this effect in last laps of crits and I greatly dislike it. It's
    > spooky. For me it went with bad results. If I could stay sharp thru the whole
    > last lap, I would do fine, but there was frequently a last lap bleeriness, a
    > sudden not paying the right kind of attention, an avoidance---cobwebby. I'd
    > shake my head and make as big an effort to focus as to ride. If I remembered to
    > do this: good results. If not I would blow it and end up in the pack.
    >
    > Maybe this isn't exactly what you're describing, but it seems close. It sounds
    > like for you, the split-second gap would often be where you made a good move
    > (except you mention starting a sprint at 1 km to go instead of waiting to
    > plan...was that a mistake in the end or a good thing?). To me, I felt like the
    > gaps would mess up my finish---I'd miss the vital action.
    >
    > But like you this fog never involved wobbling or bad riding. Also, this was
    > when I was in my 20's. Now that I'm in my 40's I think that this 'fog' MIGHT
    > include bad handling skills. Haven't been a contender in a last lap intense
    > crit action lately!
    >
    > Something similar maybe happens in my car driving. When driving a car I don't
    > feel as skilled with easy awareness of all around me anymore. In my 20's it
    > seemed like I easily knew everything going on around me when car driving. Now
    > my attention seems smaller and more easily broken in a bad way. So I'm slowing
    > down and leaving myself bigger safe zones.
    >
    > I've also for my whole car driving life had blips in attention that seemed to
    > come when tired---but it was more a result of a kind of hypnosis, I think. I
    > could happen soon after starting to drive and I'd have to shake it off with
    > great effort. I get these 'blinks.' It's not like dozing off but it's alarming.
    > I've pulled over or changed drivers because of it. I would never feel like I
    > was going to start snoring at the wheel but get these gappy blinks instead.
    >
    > On long drives I also sometimes suddenly realize 20 miles went by and I don't
    > really recall them.
    >


    Goddamn I'm glad I don't race anymore.
     
  6. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

    Joined:
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    I think you describe the same thing, but for me it doesn't feel like a lack of concentration. But perhaps you are right and is it holding back my results:)

    I think it was a good decision, as only one guy overtook me. Had a waited for the sprint I would have been pleased with top 5. However, I did do some silly jumps when I was planning on keeping cool:) Somehow you end up riding 5-10 secs before the pack on a doomed mission, burning away reserves. But those moments I remember, altough they are a tad surprising:)

    Actually, this year the jump 1km for the finish is the only succesful break I initiated myself. *sigh* I'm just a mediocre B-cat:)

    As far as I can see there is no direct link between lapse of memory and being at full faculty. That you lost 20 miles of a car ride doesn't say you drove dangerous. But I admit, I really hate it when it happens to me as well.
     
  7. Amit

    Amit Guest

    Jeff Potter <[email protected]!outyourbackdoor.com> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I recall this effect in last laps of crits and I greatly dislike it. It's
    > spooky. For me it went with bad results. If I could stay sharp thru the whole
    > last lap, I would do fine, but there was frequently a last lap bleeriness, a
    > sudden not paying the right kind of attention, an avoidance---cobwebby. I'd
    > shake my head and make as big an effort to focus as to ride. If I remembered to
    > do this: good results. If not I would blow it and end up in the pack.
    >


    being under too much physiological strain (ie. going all out) affects
    your ability to focus and control your bike. this has probably
    happened to all of us. most likely you do better in races where you're
    not under too much stress in the finale and can make tactical
    considerations (what line, what wheel, when to go etc.).

    vaughters said had troubles in the Tdf because he found himself in
    over his head more often in that race than in others.

    in cases like this it's probably better to back off, unless it's the
    tour of flanders and you're in the break with phil anderson.
     
  8. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Tuschinski" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >
    > Anyone else with similar experiences?


    Nope. Every race I was in was crystal clear for at least a couple of days
    until it faded like a bad dream and the memories left were of a much better
    performance that reality could suggest.
     
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