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One of the best lessons I learned from my brief life as a musician: Surround yourself with all the tools you need. Great instruments, music, tuner, metronome, quiet practice space, CDs of the piece you're working on, self-recording setup, and anything else that helps.

But when the time comes to get on stage, you have to forget all of that and just play.

Fat Cyclist this morning has some great thoughts on watches and GPS units and racing, and setting goals for yourself:

"I don't even wear a watch or ride with a bike computer during races," Kenny added. "Just give it everything you've got." [...]

Bry said what I was thinking: "But what if you miss your goal time by just a couple minutes? Won't you wish you had brought a watch?"

Chucky answered with what I see as the crux of the matter: "Look, a watch will never make you race faster. It can only slow you down. If you've got a watch and see you're dropping behind your target, you accelerate for a minute and fry yourself. Then you lose more time than you would have in the first place. Just race as hard as you think you can all the time, and you'll get the best time you can get. If you think you could go faster to pick up a couple minutes at the end of a race, you should do it whether it gets you in under nine hours or not."

Yep. All the tools are for training. On race day, it's time to forget about all the numbers and just ride for all you're worth.

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