Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Itching to Race

Track racing was canceled last night, due to rain. I had been hoping that the rain would hold off, or be over early enough, but Alan sent the email in the afternoon and I had to make other plans.

Al and I decided to hit Prospect Park on our track bikes for a handful of laps and some hard efforts thrown in. A few hours before we were scheduled to ride I called him and said, "I'm bored! Let's ride right now." He laughed and said, "I'll meet you at the park in forty five minutes." But wouldn't you know it, when I was ready to leave the house it was pouring rain, and after the two of us and three others rode a few laps with some hill sprints, it eased up.

Among the reason that riding in the rain is good: it reminded me that, since it's not freezing February rain, riding in the wet won't ruin my day.

Now, I'm at work, waiting for the day to finish so we can go race in Rockleigh. Gui and I did this once last year, and I enjoyed the course.

I am just itching to race as often as I can. My moderate success and feeling of strength on the track is giving me confidence that I can turn around some of my marginally disappointing results in road races this year. My season has been consistently developing and I'm eager for that to continue. In that vein, along with weekly track racing on Wednesdays, I have the option of circuit races on Tuesday, crits on Thursday, and weekend races. There is a crit this weekend, a circuit race next weekend, a very hilly road race the following weekend... it goes on and on, and somewhere in there, I'm going to squeeze a Saturday trip to the velodrome in Trexlertown.

Amid this all, I have to stay aware of my level of exhaustion. With a busy month of racing, I don't want to hit a wall and have either my performance or my attitude go downhill. If I'm starting to feel like I need a break, I'll take a break. Last year, a combination fo racing and a very demanding work schedule conspired to make me very sick - sick enough to burn out my fitness and effectively end my season. Was it partly because it was my first season subjecting my body to the demands of racing? Perhaps. Fortunately, this year, my work schedule is much less demanding. I should be able to manage a busier racing schedule and, knowing the effects of overstressing my body, be able to more carefully back off of the intensity level when it's necessary. If I have to take a week or two off in early July so that I'm still racing in August, I will do so.

I've got a lot to look forward to - I want to keep learning and improving all the way through the season. I'm halfway to my upgrade to Cat 3 on the track, and I'm starting to feel strong enough to earn more points toward my upgrade to 3 on the road. I'd like to make the most of the season by avoiding burnout, overtraining, overexhaustion, over-stress, or any of a myriad names for it... that I can kick off cyclocross season with a bang.


  1. Hm. I might want to try my hand at cross. I think I might give 'er a go this year. The debate will be weather to own a mtb or a cross bike, or to get a light enough mtb to race cross with. Hmm...

    The races seem to be turning around on my end. The tuesday night after the dismal hartfort crit saw me coming back into form.

    This past tuesday night was good as well, and now I'm just hoping that racing the next two weekends goes well.

  2. Oh, definitely try your hand at 'cross. I bet that Trek I've seen photos of might be able to accomodate 30mm cross tires. You don't need an ideal rig to try it out. this was my cross bike.

    Glad to hear things are turning around. What are your upcoming races? We should meet at some point.

  3. You know that I'm ardently learning awareness of where my body is on the adaptation<--->illness continuum. Always a tricky balance. When I have reached some new height is when I most want to press on to yet greater things... and usually exactly when I should ease off. Trouble is, my body usually feels like it's rarin' to go right before it topples over the overtraining abyss. I'm learning the rhythms.