Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's been a while

It's been quite a while since I last updated this thing. 

It's been quite a while since I have wanted to. 

It's been quite a while since I have had much of anything to report (other than the usual bottom-of-the-standings reports) 

Nevertheless I have been racing a lot. Almost all of them in the 35+ or 40+. Certainly I had some nice successes early on in the season, but, as was expected, the more experienced racers have gotten their season form and now I am up against some tougher odds. That's not really what this is about though. If all that mattered to me was placing and winning races in the here and now, then the logical step would be to quit racing immediately. However, personal goals are important, especially when confronted with a situation where you are competing against people with 20 years of experience. It's not reasonable to expect that one can go from a 25 MPH time trial to a 27MPH time trial over the same course in one big jump. The only way to do it (sans doping or some other method of cheating) would be in steps. Perhaps those steps may not show up clearly on the results page, but if you track your progress over the long term (and especially look at personal milestones of power and such) then it does certainly show up. With that being said, I have made a few positive steps in the past several months of racing.

- I have achieved a sub-hour 40k (actually a sub-hour 40.4k) time trial. I have also done a 40k in one hour flat under pretty lousy conditions. 

- I have confronted the demons that have been tormenting me in criteriums. Prior to the Chris Thater, my previous two experiences in crits were 1. a horrible crash and 2. pulled/DNF. Hence I was uneasy about Thater, but I did it anyway. I tailgunned two hard races (35+ and the 2/3) and finished both. No crashes, no getting pulled, no getting lapped. Baby steps. I will establish some level of confidence with this and eventually work my way up to being a "player" in this discipline. 

- I have had a few power records of late. Most of them came on hills, but some came on flat sections. I am starting to feel much more comfortable with the 5 w/kg "Area" that most of the climbs in the masters require, although I'm still not quite ready to do it for threshold-length intervals. Close though. I did it for 12 minutes. 20 minutes is just 8 more. 

- I am starting to get that feeling of "these guys may be strong/fast/whatever, but they are just men. they are not superhuman and maybe, just maybe, I do belong here with them" 

- I have made some pretty nice discoveries about body position, pedal stroke economy and ways to minimize the use of energy and still go fast. 

Now as I sit here on the beautiful veranda of our lodging at Green Mountain in the morning, awaiting the second stage of the race, I realize that, yes, I will get there. It's no longer a question of if, but simply of when. And I will not stop until I get there.

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