Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life - Event Services for Silk City Cross and stuff

With my current life's "non-schedule" I tend to think in terms of macro cycles, to use a training term, instead of micro cycles. In training a micro cycle would be your weekly schedule, your daily routine. You'd think about intervals on Tuesday, the long ride Wednesday, the hill repeats Thursday. The fact that I'm listing Eddy B's standard schedule automatically, almost 30 years later, tells you how long it's been since I've trained in any kind of structured way. If you want to compare it, moving two analogies away from my life schedule, it's like doing reps of a weight lifting workout. "10 curls".

Anyway that's a micro cycle. A macro cycle revolves around a set of micro cycles, like 4 or 6 weeks of training. In cycling it may consist of pushing really hard at the end of a 4 week training block, doing 25 or 30 hours in a furious week of training, then taking a few days off before starting the next macro cycle. It's sort of the whole "off season" thing also - the off season splits your annual macro cycles. In weight lifting it's like a set. "5 sets of 10 curls".

So in my life I'm more macro oriented now. Whereas I used to focus on a few days ahead - "Tuesday night is the race"; "Wednesday is my day off"; "Saturday I can do stuff in the yard"; etc - I now focus on more widely spaced events. My summer consisted of thinking of upcoming races, a trip, and the event services gigs I had.

Earlier this summer my schedule tailed off so I fell into this scheduling limbo. It got to the point where the Missus would ask me what I was going to do while Junior was at day care and I'd realize only at that moment that it was Tuesday.

As far as how macro I went... To put things in perspective I abandoned my goals of doing a good Bethel early this year when I got sick. I thought about what I might be able to accomplish in 2013. That process is sort of like imagining macro cycles into the future, understanding what I can and can't accomplish in each cycle. It's like trying to think about future moves in chess - if I move my bishop here then they can move their knight there.

I concluded that based on a year and change of not-super-productive macro cycles that it would take a tremendous amount of work to return to any kind of racing shape. It was bad enough that I went into March 2013 with my focus on March of 2014.


This summer progressed with my focus on everything except racing. I mean, okay, I'd think about a race in the days leading up to it, but all the races I did were a "take it or leave it" sort, meaning if I missed one it wasn't a big deal. I never thought about a race more than a couple weeks ahead of time, instead just doing whatever I needed to do day to day, hour to hour. In my head I was thinking of 2014 so a race on some random summer day in 2013 wasn't really critical.

I mention all this because my next macro cycle is coming to an end, and I have a lot of stuff focused into less than a week of days.

It started earlier this week with an all-day (after dropping Junior off at day care at 1 PM) road trip to meet up with some people. I knew I'd be back long after Junior fell asleep (his standard time is 8 PM) but I didn't think I'd be arriving home well past 1 AM.

This weekend is a double header - Silk City Cross on Saturday and the Hartford Cycling Festival on Sunday. I'll be working registration at Silk City and hopefully be racing in Hartford.

Working registration for the third time at Silk City (in the three years Expo has held it) has taught me a few things about cross. One, your start position actually matters. Two, to keep bullies from bullying their way up to the front of the line, cross racers get lined up based on rank. Racers want their ranks updated if they do well, so the top finishers at a cross race want their results as fast as possible.

This means leveraging the system we developed for the Bethel Spring Series to get results up as soon as possible. My minimum expectation is to upload everything before I leave the venue. The best case scenario is that the results go up while the next race is going on.

That doesn't come for free. There is some back end stuff I need to set up. Even though we've built the basic system I still need to customize it for each race. This has occupied me for a bit and will be my main non-Junior focus for the next two days, basically until I drive to the cross race.

I also need to prepare the Event Services vehicle, aka "The Expedition". Each race requires a slightly different load out. For example I won't need to bring extra black and white duct tape for a cross race finishline. When working a pavement race I'll bring the tape.

 Expedition, back when we got it in May

I'm debating using one of the VWs instead but I'm not sure. I don't want the Expedition to sit too much - I last drove it to the Tokeneke RR (and I realize now I never posted about that race) - and the next time I'll drive it is either to Bethel in March or to do some maintenance (plugs, tires, some touch up paint, and possibly brakes).

Since I need to be able to drive to/from the storage unit without a babyseat I have to accomplish this today while Junior is at day care (he only goes two half days a week, and I sacrificed the other day to do my road trip).

Hartford is a bit simpler - it's just a race for me. I want to go and hang out a bit too, but a number of things may prevent some of that. The main thing is the forecast - it's supposed to rain. The forecast has been improving daily so I'm hoping that the storm ends up hitting the area late Sunday.

In the old days I'd do a rainy race because I figured that a lot of guys wouldn't show up, a bunch of the ones that did show up would fall, and I'd have a better chance. Back then I was reasonably fit so I could stay near the front of a race, even a figure 8 race on a 1/2 mile loop (like at Tour of Michigan).

Nowadays I'm not that fit, I'm more risk averse, and I tend not to do well in rainy races. Plus if I hit the deck then it compromises my ability to parent. Typing at a desk is one thing. Catching Junior as he tears around a corner and starts clambering up a chair... that takes some physical agility.

Where does that leave me?

Playing with Junior.

I let Junior play with his chair for the first time today

Cutting oranges in the kitchen, preparing Junior's food for day care.

Learned a trick about cutting oranges to keep the white stuff off.

Then after I drop him off it's on to getting some prep work done for the cross race Saturday.

No comments: