Monday, November 10, 2008

Time to start 2009

Within days of making the commitment to be a bike racer your life changes, former priorities and interests slip and your time is quickly consumed by the bike. However, to be successful as a cyclist you do need to find some balance in life. This past week shifted the balance from family and riding to work and towards the end, survival. What started out as a normal business trip by the end turned into hopes of getting home on Thursday as planned no matter how late. By the time I got home, after being awake for 22 hours straight any desire to ride and begin training again for 2009 had been replaced by the desire to sleep. But now it is time to refocus and begin my assault on the 2009 season.

When you get to sleep at 2:00am, after being awake for 22 hours, the last thing that sounds like fun is being awaken at 6:00am; however, nothing could have made my day better than to have Seamus climb in bed next to me (as I had slept in the guest room since Seamus decided to join Adrienne in our bed since I was gone) and wake me up. Balance. Before I had left I promised him a Starbucks run on Friday before school and he wanted to make sure I’d get up and go. While sleep should have been my priority getting up and having coffee and a donut was even more important. Balance. Sleep, or the lack of it can be made up. Training for racing, it can wait. Time with Seamus, guess I’d better get up and take a shower and head out to the coffee shop.

I was gone for a week on the trip and when I got home had gained three pounds. As a cyclist this is a slap in the face, a realization that you’ve not only lost fitness, but that even a few days of training won’t bring you back to the level you were at just a week earlier. Every pound of body weight you carry that is extra is that much more work that is needed to carry you up a hill. Every acceleration takes a little longer because of the extra weight, every deceleration a little longer, nothing on the bike is as fast an easy as it was before the extra weight was there. I get home at 2:00am and the first thing I do is step on the scale in the dark (don’t want to wake anybody up) and see what I’ve done to myself during the week. Damn those three pounds. Training for the season is scheduled to start on Monday, now I’m carrying extra weight (and I already wanted to lose weight for the season), I’m lacking in sleep, can feel sickness coming on and I’m not quite ready to resume the monk like lifestyle needed to be a cyclist. But I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than start to build for races that are six months away at the earliest. I can’t imagine taking more time off and watching a football game on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Going to Church? Not likely unless it is the Church of the Big Ring. This Sunday I’ll skip the Big Ring service, but I’ve already looked at the training plan for week 1 of Base. Sunday morning is almost 3:00 hours of pain and worship in the big ring.

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