Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Cusp of a Vortex

So as I reflect on the past two days of training I have had some interesting experiences, its been like standing on the cusp of a vortex in many ways. I have noticed a training response, I have gotten to a time trial, almost at the expense of my car's engine, and I have gotten sucked into a part of the cycling world that I have never really played with, riding in a paceline that is not strung out, but rather bunched up with me in the middle. Not to mention, I have already talked, and been lectured about my adventures in the Hudson River, which has prompted me to consider a whole new set of goals, swimming from the Rockwell Paper factory to the Corinth Beach (7 miles), but that is another story for another day.

Kenny has reminded me that I seem to like to push the envelope of experience this week, so did Pete, and Kelly, and a wealth of others. I have realized that I don't really thrive on competition but on personal challenges. To me, its more about reaching the back of that top shelf to retrieve the most random item, sometimes not even knowing what that item is. This is what I do "like a woman possessed" as Amy coined. When I set my mind to it, it usually means <120%. This is where the envelope comes in I guess. Its often ready despite the rest of the world not being able to deliver it properly (if that makes any sense?). I guess what I am saying is that somewhere between being sane and a pipe-dreamer I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, making sure I try to keep it feet first.

So this week, as I pounded away at my tempo on Monday, I was secretly thinking about the goals I had for the next night's TT. It was a 10 mile rolling course that went past my old house in New Paltz. I wanted to be sure to at least match last week's times, I wanted a good negative split, I wanted to better the time at which I was caught, and most of all, I wanted to peg my HR at 95-100%, no excuses, no backing down. So when my car started to give me the inkling of trouble when I was half way there, I decided to go anyway. So, today I spent the day trying to rehash the night's results, goals, conversations, and extended training. How did I do?

My time trial on a rolling course that seemed to have hills at awkward intervals, which made it feel more hilly that rolling, was grueling. I nailed my HR at 170-174 and kept it there. Mind you, I was stuck in the middle chain ring so I got a lesson in spinning and hitting the wall for free. I managed a negative split, but think this may have had more to do with the route and wind than my effort, but it still was encouraging. After the TT I took another 10 mile ride on Springtown to spin out my legs, what I got was a lesson in pacelines. I was so spent, couldn't focus on the math of my TT time, much less my front wheel sandwiched precariously close between two wheels and pedaling at an incredible rate of speed, for me. Then just as I got really hungry, both figuratively and literally, it ended. Then my car broke down. But now, after the conversations in the downtime dealing with the car I found that I am CRAVING THAT SPEED and THAT TECHNICAL RIDING!

Today's ride was supposed to be a very long spin, 5 hours or so, but after getting home well after midnight and only sleeping for a few hours, I abbreviated my plans to be a 2 hour spin, when I got on my bike however, it became an hour ride that ended at the bike shop where Tim slaved over my latest borage of shifting and noise issues while serving what seemed to be a world of a customer base. I felt ready and willing to pour out the training miles today, but my body had other ideas. As Dara Torres questions "I know I am in my 40's but does it really need to take a week to recover from 100% effort?"

Tomorrow? Well a tempo ride along the shores of Sacandaga and a swim in Desolation with the girls. With this said, as I prepare to call it a wrap I really need to thank Jon, for all his help with training and for giving me the courage to fend off the most incorrigible and scary tow truck driver on the planet! (and driving me the 15.5 miles to the dealer in Poughkeepsie)


SlowFatSpeedskater said...

Awesome effort! It'll pay off in spades. Paceline riding is very zen like. I find I soft focus on everything else and my world becomes my cadence and the wheel in front of me.
Hope we can all make it up to the lake for at least 1 more swim before school starts!

4W said...

my world was my cadence and the two wheels that my handlebars and front wheel were sandwiched between- both scary and exilerating!