|Quiring back together!|
Early season races can be good and bad… They are a time to test your winter training and to try new things. The problem is that sometimes the new things don’t work and depending on where the race falls relative to your training plan you may or may not be at your best. Due to the time commitment involve with any endurance sport, the challenge during training is just as much mental as physical. A good result is motivating and a mediocre or poor result can send you into a spin. Also the longer you are in the game, the harder it is to see gains. You need to always keep the big picture in mind and work hard knowing that in the long run the work will pay off when you want it too. Everyone wants to be “fast”… but “fast” is always a relative term. Faster than last year, faster than your buddy, faster than the guys in your current class, fastest guy in the state, the country or the world?! We always joke that “every ride is a race”… because any time a couple guys get together, it is always a test to see who can push who to the point that they crack. Whether you are the one turning the screw or the one that cracked… it motivates you to work harder. Today… you don’t even need to be riding with someone as you can race virtually with www.strava.com . Not sure why we torture ourselves for any of this? It’s tiring and sometimes painful… but the chemical rush that our body provides gives us a high that’s hard to get any other way. It must be this high… as it would be a lot easier to sit on the couch and watch TV or take up bowling or golf.
This winter/spring has been a bit rough as the weather has not been very cooperative at times with high winds, cold and snow/rain. Motivation to stick to the plan and get outside for me has come in the form of Brad Lako. Somehow we both seem to drag each other out in the elements to get our riding in, although there have been a few rides where I was questioning our sanity! This has helped to minimize trainer time which in turn minimizes the mental side of things. Being an engineer and a numbers guy, having a power meter and trainingpeaks PMC (Training log with fitness and form calculations) turns training into a video game for me which gives me short and long term goals to keep the motivation high. The harder you work the better your score, but this also has to be balanced with rest to maintain form. (see chart above) The chart has 3 parts… ATL (Acute Training Load/Short term stress), CTL (Chronic Training Load/Long Term Stress) and TSB (Training Stress Balance/Form). Call me weird, but working with the numbers and watching how your body responds is almost as much fun as racing! The Human body is an amazing machine.
Sorry for the rambling… My original intent was to post about Yankee, but listening to my friends talk about their results got me thinking about mine and all of the above. Which brings me back to Yankee! Mary Ann and I woke up early, picked up Brad and Joe Seidl and headed to Yankee. I had thrown my SS back together late in the week and decided to try out a bigger gear than I would normally have run to see how it would work. I am still a bit new to the SS thing and haven’t had a lot of time to experiment, so now seemed to be as good of a time as any. I did a quick warm-up and then rolled the non-race portion of the trail and everything seemed OK and rolled to the start. Terry Sensiba started 20s ahead of me and he always does well on this trail, so I figured if I could catch him, it would be a good day. I passed a few people in the first few miles, but Terry was long gone. I kept pushing, but could tell that the legs weren’t sharp and the gear felt heavy. I had to run the conveyor belt climb both laps which was a good indicator that the gear was too big and I never really was spun out on the flats. Live and learn. I have also been pushing the limits with training and this race fell at the end of my second training block. Since Yankee is just a single fun race for me, my training plan just absorbed it as a hard day of training. My pace on the second lap was really starting to reflect the 3 big weeks of training proceeding this race . About half way through the second lap, Joe (who started a minute or so behind me) caught and pass me. I was excited for him as I knew he was having a stellar race! I pushed hard to the end and rolled in for 7th. Not a bad finish all things considered. The best part of the day was seeing Joe get the win and Brad in 3rd. They have both been working hard and the results show it!!
|Joe and Brad Representing!|
With a good week of rest and changing my gearing back to my norm, I am looking forward to warmer weather and Pontiac this weekend!!