07
Sep
10

Wow, has it been that long? A short essay on aging and training and competition.

No reports since the end of June? Wow, yeah, just… wow. Sorry about that.

Fun times at Mattito's Tex Mex!

Amy and Richard with the Gescheidles and Colleen Klaudinyi

The only reason I can come up with is that after that scare with heat stroke, I pretty much took most of July off, and half of August. I just didn’t ride. The heat and humidity really affected me, and I ended up staying indoors, not riding much, and pretty much just waiting for our trip to Washington State to get out of the heat. As a result, my threshold dropped at least 10%, and I had some enthusiasm lowered for continued riding competitively.

Right around my birthday, which was an awesome celebration (THANK YOU AGAIN SWEETIE!), I began to take stock of life, direction, and, well, the grey entering everything hairy on my body. Turning 40 really does represent a milestone. And almost like a switch had been turned, everything started to change. My power dropped, my willpower dropped, my whiskers got thicker, and hair started growing in strange places, like my ears, my nose, and my back. Not trying to gross anyone out, but dammit, I actually started to feel OLD! The straw that broke the camel’s back was watching Lance Armstrong as he suffered through a crazy first week, and then ended up just shaking his head on that one stage… and that was it. He DID show up to the Tour ready to fight and race hard, it was just that, well, his recoveries took longer, and his ability to accelerate or jump and hold it just wasn’t what it used to be. He also probably just willed it out of his mind. Turned it off. Just like that. NUTS.

I can’t say that I’m not still IN to racing. I love it. I love riding, I love training, I love racing. Last year was a blast! This year began as a blast. But my lack of preparation, my lack of intuitiveness about racing, and the fact that I really WAS starting to go up against kids half my age, just sort of left me feeling a little bit blah. I rode the Simple City a ton, and I worked on ways to try and improve my classes, the room, the studio, marketing, all that stuff. The 10 days in Washington State were a chance to recover from the repressive environment in N. Texas, get out, ride in clean air, hit some hills, and SLEEP consistently. Ironically enough, even though I logged about 400 miles, I actually GAINED about 7 lbs. And it’s taken some time to get those lbs. off! Go figure.

Since then, however, I’ve been pretty consistent on my riding, both indoors and out. I skipped the HH100, and we did get a break from the heat for a couple of days in late August. My threshold wattage is slowly creeping back up. I’ll race the 3’s and the 40+ state RR, but I’m going in with zero agenda other than to ride hard and fight well and support my teammates. There is another offer on the table, which is flattering, but I have to see if it fits my schedule or even my abilities.

I’ll write up some more soon, but suffice it to say that in Texas, I think it’s okay to take some of July and August off, especially if you start your preseason in November, like most of us.

Thanks for reading – I’ll have a review of the Joule 2.0 up shortly.

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