Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On the mend

After some time off from any focused training thanks to my unfortunate affinity for making friends with the front of automobiles, I was finally able to get back to business this past weekend. I made it through a tough week of finals, rode as much as I could, and finally made it to Friday, when I was able to load up the car and head home. What a relief.

So Sunday was the Bear Mountain Spring Classic. Earlier in the year, I had marked the race as an early season goal, but after the recent turn of events I erased all expectations for the race and went into it more with an eye to just enjoy myself and find out where my fitness is right now. The result was no surprise. I cracked sooner than I would have liked and then found myself in a chase group a good way off the back. Fortunately, I had some good company to ride out the race with. Unfortunately, my front wheel, brand new tire and all, decided it did not like having air in it that day. After riding about 2/3 of lap 3 on my now flat tire, I decided to pull out rather than attempt the 50+mph decent. I like my life and very much like to continue living it. The alternative seemed counterproductive to that. And with no neutral wheels to be had at the start/finish, that was the end of my day.

But it's not all bad. I had a great weekend with the team staying at my house, cleaning out all of my pancake mix and putting a serious dent in the ice cream. And the race itself was not all negative either. My legs were not nearly as bad as they could have been, and I think I'm not too far off from returning to from and hopefully putting up some descent results in the near future.

Next up is Sunapee and a little team mini-camp. Maybe I can forge a little form for the up-coming stage races. Who knows.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

Sitting here, beer in hand with nothing on my mind at all, I couldn't be happier. In the words of Alice Cooper, "School's out for summer! School's out for ever! School's been blown to piecessss!"
And damn does it feel good!

I'm not going to go into the details, but it has been a rough week or so for me. Easily the most difficult I have ever gone through. After two major incidents in the course of four days, I was pretty shaken up. I had to cancel my trip to Nationals after the first, and the second sent me into a bit of an existential crisis for a day or so. But a visit from dad, the help from my friends, and a fridge full of beer put me back in a good place. I made it through finals now, am feeling normal again, and am just enjoying life and enjoying my bike. I feel I've learned that I really just need to let go and enjoy the ride, and that if I'm having fun and doing what I love, things will usually just fall into place.

So with all that behind me, I now have summer to look forward to, starting...NOW. I'm headed home tomorrow and the team is then coming down to crash at my place for a fun day of racing at Beat Mt. Hopefully we can pull out a big result to kick of the summer season. My plan is just to have fun and see where I go. No expectations at the moment. Well, except maybe a few more of these...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Not what I had in mind

It's been a rough few weeks.

Starting with the second to last ECCC weekend of the year at Army, I realized that I wasn't riding quite the way I wanted to. Something just wasn't right, and despite being confident in my training and having plenty of energy, something was simply lacking. The sort of power I had come to expect (and need) just was not there. So I took a step back, listened to the people around me and to my own body, and figured out what was going on. The following weekend at Dartmouth, things started to improve.

I wasn't where I would like to be, but you can't expect a complete turnaround in just one week's time. But I could tell that I was on an upward trend, heading the direction I wanted.

Then I got the news that I could head to collegiate nationals in Madison, Wisconsin, which was just a huge morale booster. Despite the major load of finals I have facing me as the semester draws to a close, I could not pass up an opportunity like that. So I booked my flight and hotel and was all set to go. Then today happened.

Less than an hour into my ride today, I found out that car's are hard objects that do not want to be friends with you. Fortunately, the driver was not one of those from all the horror stories we all know, and he helped me get off the road once I was done groaning on the pavement and called the police right away. I was shuttled off to the hospital in an ambulance, where they took care of me quickly and had me on my way in a little over an hour. I feel so lucky to have no serious injuries, just a few cuts and some deep bruising and contusions on my right shin and knee, which took nearly all of the impact. I don't think my bike was so lucky, though. It looks like she is going to be out of commission until this is all cleared up.

As for Nationals, I'm leaving that up in the air. Today is Sunday, and Nationals doesn't kick off until Friday. My flight is scheduled for Wednesday morning, so that leaves me two days to rest and assess my condition. At the moment, I am still determined to go, but I won't make any final decisions just yet. Things could be worse in the morning, so we'll have to see. Not quite the preparation I was hoping for, but I guess all you say is this: Shit happens.