Monday, May 05, 2008

Life - Training Cycle Downturn

Yesterday I got carded.

Not just a joking, "No, I really have to check your ID", but a genuine, "I'll need to see your ID."

I looked up a bit surprised, as did the missus. Was our waitress simply trying to work a nice tip?

Her stern face belayed that thought.

The missus smiled. "He's forty."

The stern face melted into surprise. "No!"

I pulled out my ID.

I got my beer.

See, I've been trying to drink a bit more. I feel like I'm taking a break in my training, sort of a "recovery period". It seems that whenever I take such a break from the bike, I try and start drinking. This way, when I quit, I'll get better. At least that's what all the guys around me seem to do.

"Yo, just quit drinking for a bit. I did, lost 15 pounds, now I'm flying."

(This after the guy destroys me in a sprint.)

So during our break (in Vegas), I tried to drink more than normal. A couple margaritas, a mohito, a couple (full) glasses of wine. I think I managed to get 8 or so drinks down, making my year's total about 10 or 12. I figure I'll need to drink a couple more drinks, then I can quit. Hopefully then I'll lose 15 pounds just like that. Then I can drink again, maybe another 10 or 12 drinks, and lose another 15 pounds when I quit. I'll be like 140 by August.

That's how it works, right?

Drinking, for me, is kind of difficult. Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want. I crammed all my drinking into my college years, then a couple days after that, then... not too much. One big night of booze preceded my best ever Gimbles ride, but that's a long story for another post. At least I'm a cheap drunk, a drink or two and I'm seriously buzzed.

So anyway, I'm in bike racing limbo. No races scheduled, no big bike type trips, nothing. I have this "break" for a couple reasons. One was the aforementioned Vegas trip. I decided to skip riding for the trip, and in fact, against orders, didn't do an iota of work while I was out there. Just a lot of walking around.

The other is a bit more serious - I'm actually trying to get a job. It's a tough life being a "full time cyclist" but I really need to get on with my life. I've been doing a lot of soul searching for the last couple years and I've decided on two possible career paths. I've been thinking about non-bike stuff about as seriously as I think about bike stuff, maybe even more seriously. The missus pointed out that I looked "stressed". Nervous might be more accurate, but part of being nervous is being stressed.

Nonetheless the racing season isn't sitting still. I have one major commitment - to help Connecticut Coast Cycle hold their second CCC Criterium. Luckily it's in Bethel so it's a familiar venue for me. There are a couple minor commitments - riding a sponsor's ride (or helping out at it), finishing up Bethel (we never got the Women's trophies - I have to go pick them up and mail them to the winners), and hopefully, somewhere in there, do a couple races I just love, Hartford and New Britain. There are some other potential projects but I need to be discrete about them for now.

I also want to go down to the urban jungle where I used to do my sprint workouts. Up here I simply can't find a similar area to do sprints and it's really been irking me. Since I want to do it at night, using all my lights and the helmet cam, it'll be a semi production. And since I'll want to do it at night, I'll have to get down there so I can get on the bike at around 9 PM or so.

I also want to do Gimbles, a ride I haven't done since I don't know when, and one that I didn't do for a long time because I worked weekends. Ironically, even without working weekends, I haven't done one in, well, for probably a year or more.

For now though, I'm at the bottom of my first major training cycle of 2008. Almost a week off the bike, minor mileage before and after (seems like my old ways of training), legs complaining even after a short, easy ride.

I've made a few adjustments and adaptations though. First, I never got my shifting down right on the new bike. It never dropped down well in a sprint, making my jumps less than optimal. Actually I was scared every time I jumped that it wouldn't shift, so I eased into my sprints. I've fiddled with it for a bit and now it's good. My jump should be its chain slamming self again.

Second, my right knee was bugging me. I normally adjust my cleats one way for a narrow Q-factor crank, another for wider ones. I thought the narrow Cannondale cranks would be fine with my standard narrow Q-factor angle but I seem to be wrong. I went with my wide Q-factor angle and my knee twinges disappeared. I always think your body will let you know what it wants to do, and I've been riding the trainer a lot while twisting my foot a bit. Now the cleat is in such a position that I don't exert any twisting force on my foot. Hopfully this translates to no knee pain/twinges.

I'll do a harder ride tomorrow to verify both these things were really fixed. And then start on Part 2 of my 2008 season.

See you out there.


Anonymous said...

Good luck on the job search. If I ever get back to racing we should start and all asian racing team.


K-Man said...

SDC-you need a job like mine. Oh, and I'll let you know when I'm back in CT.