Sunday, November 11, 2007
The last few posts have been fairly tech intensive. Rather hypocritical considering I started this as a means of at least partially divesting myself of excessive tech geekiness. Pics throughout this post are a random sampler from the last ~week worth of local riding.
The last few days have been, no surprise, just like the ~6 weeks that preceded them: light winds (or none), blue skies, few clouds, and ~60+ degrees. Joyous.
Spent yesterday with some good friends that are also great riders. Rode a loop that has fallen out of favor around here the last few years (or so it seems from my perspective) and seems quite disused by all but the motorheads. And the motorheads didn't seem very happy to see us. Or maybe it was just shock?
Many hours of grinding up a seemingly endless climb before my legs came around and got motivated and it went from painful, laborious work to somewhat less painful and somewhat less laborious. For a brief few minutes it actually felt good to climb. Couldn't tell ya the last time that happened. While writhing in misery on that climb I had lots of time to think. Many of the thoughts were self-abusive, as they have been more-or-less since I stopped racing full-time and started a business. While the business is thriving the fitness is not, and I haven't quite come to terms with that compromise. Or maybe I don't want to just yet?
Regardless, I realized that I've been a bit blind (denial? who you lookin' at?) to certain facts.
* I've never, ever been 'xc racer' fast. Even when I aspired to be 'that guy', I was never better than mid-pack in the sport class, and then only just. Expecting to keep up with even moderately fast guys is more ridiculous now than ever.
* The people that I ride with day in and day out are very, very strong riders, and some of them are very fast and fit.
* While I used to be able to keep up with them somewhat effortlessly for the first ~6 hours, and then even easier after that, they have gotten stronger and fitter while I've gone in the other direction.
* 99% of my rides these days last about 2 hours. For over a decade I barely considered that a warmup, and now it is the norm. No wonder that I feel like I'm suffering and slaving on every ride--I'm never quite getting warmed up before heading back to the barn! Thinking back to all of the ~4 hour or longer rides I've done this year, and many if not most were very different, with at least a short window of good legs somewhere in there.
After the ride I had a bit clearer focus on where I am and now I just need to determine if those are, indeed, the facts, or if I'm just rationalizing to save ego.
Guess I'll go wind out a long climb somewhere and give that some more thought...