Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Back From the Long Grey Void

We'll I'm back blogging again. Like a cold sore that won't go away, this blog is just about as reliable and annoying. This winter after cross, Blavco Suave was pretty fed up with the bike industry. After getting the shaft put to me by the "officials" at the Portland USGP, and then getting fired from my job in January, it was a little tough coming up with anything decent to say for a little while.

But then the snow was good and the time on government "unenjoyment" tit was nice and spending a bit more time with the little ones was fun and I was in a pretty good place. I still wasn't riding, so the no post habit continued to form and infest itself even deeper. It was creating a perfect cycle.

After the weather turned nice (Some of you are thinking this never happened. It has. Harden the Fuck Up!) I started riding and even training again. Only this time, solo was the theme of about 95% of Blanco's rides. Somewhat because I was still a little crusty with the bike industry, and just didn't want to field questions regarding my job status and "So what are yo going to do now?" type stuff.

But Blanco found out that he liked riding sans group better. Mostly because all the people who he usually rides with were all about the early season races and were already flying. It sucked going out for every ride and have it turn into the "Wednesday Worlds". I was still skiing part time and riding an even smaller part time and getting the wood put to Blanco in March wasn't my cup of tea.
Pros will tell you that they spend most of their training time alone because it allows them the best opportunity to maximize the type of ride they need to do that day. No responding to the groups seemingly random efforts and no drifting along safely ensconced in the pack when they should be busting their asses doing motor pacing. That's what the pros will tell you.

Blanco Suave can't tell you that. A training plan for me is that I'm planning to train, but plans change. What really makes training alone work best for me is that I don't allow myself to be slotted into my assigned pecking order of the pack during those "group rides". If I get thumped weekly by the same people, when it comes time to race, I already know where I'm gonna wind up, whether or not I actually deserve that placing. Trying to get your season to peak later than most people's is hard enough without spending the better part of your build up time getting discouraged.
The potential downside is that you can be deluding yourself in regards to your actual fitness. You can show up to the first race thinking your flying and get the old doors blown right off. But even if this happens, it's easier to justify your fitness and get back to getting better.

Every now and again this "ostrich head in the sand" style of training actually works for Blanco Suave. This last week Blanco turned the pedals in anger for the first time this year at the Thursday Night TT kickoff to the weekly crit series. I didn't exactly set any one's house 'a fire, but I turned out a pretty respectable result. Most importantly, all the other racers when I've ran into them this week, have commented on how strong the Blanco Suavester is riding. It seems like I caught them by surprise. Not that I'm actually all that strong right now, but they have nothing to gauge me against and automatically assume that if I haven't been getting thrashed on them since February, then I must not be riding too much. Bam! Instant insertion a few rungs further up the pecking order. Beware Blanco Suave, for he rides with the force of Solo!

No comments: