Jul 29 2008
Seems like we’re heading into the thick of summer here. The lawns are all drying out. The garlic is harvested. Tomatoes are just shifting from dark to pale green. And the Oregon Brewers Festival was last weekend.
Also, August is just around the corner. Shit…August? Really? Like every other year, I wonder where the hell my summer went. What *have* I been doing? Riding? Check. Camping? Check. BBQs? Check.
While I’m trying to enjoy the moment, I’ve tried to make time to look ahead. The garden is planned out for the fall and winter. Plantings have already started for the fall stuff like cauliflower, spinach, lettuce & carrots. The winter stuff is going in over the next couple weeks. The new hot tub has been deep-cleaned and is full and ready for the cooler late summer and fall evenings that, realistically, aren’t all that far away.
Cycling, well, more specifically ‘cross, got me thinking about the fall way further in advance than I have in year’s past. I’m very thankful for it. I remember very clearly the past couple fall’s where I’d be starting at some empty raised beds, wishing for something – anything – to pick and eat. Or shaking my head at the teeny little seedlings that weren’t planted soon enough going dormant in the alternating crisp/wet October weather. I’m ready for it this year which feels good.
The catalyst for all of that was that I’ve been thinking about and approaching the fall race season with far more respect, planning, and discipline than I ever have. The races will be longer. The field will be much faster. I figure if I repeat last year’s training effort, it’ll be good for somewhere in the middle of the A35+ group. Unfortunately I want more than that. I simply don’t have enough miles on my legs over my short 2 year career to just show up and do well. So while I’ve put in fairly solid tempo at first and gradually added lactate work over the past few months, I feel it’s been rewarding work.
A big part of it was splurging on the used power tap wheel this spring. You can pooh-pooh them all you want but when you start seeing numbers go up and see yourself respond to training with more strength and endurance…well, I’m just saying it’s a huge carrot to stick in front of yourself as you ride. I like to consider myself somewhat of a nerd (engineer) and a motivated athlete so interpreting the data has been pretty easy. Needless to say, I’ve been drinking the Power Tap Kool-Aid.
With that, I’m ready to make a strong run at OUCH this weekend. I’m also feeling more charged up for the next phase which starts after this week’s rest week. No matter how you sugar-coat it, setting out on a ride to do anaerobic or VO2 max work – whether it’s 85°F & sunny out –50°F and raining – or pitch black and you’re indoors on a trainer – is suckalicious. It’s ugly but oh so very necessary. I’ve been talking about it for a couple weeks now but. Just. Haven’t. Done it.