Sunday, November 1, 2009

One pedal stroke ahead of crazy

The car is mostly packed after racing yesterday and it would be easy to hop in the car and race today, but as Willie S. once wrote, "the better part of valor, is discretion."

I'm 9 races into the season, and early season freshness and success have given way to fatigue and more modest results. The power just isn't there right now and enthusiasm is turning to anger as my motivation. With the cancellation of Greene I'm going to take next week off from the races and try and finish the season as strong as I started. That's the goal anyway. Anger will keep you motivated through the week, will get you to the start line, and will probably carry you through the first couple of laps, but ultimately the body needs to participate. I've gotten so wrapped up in chasing NYCross and upgrade points that I've definitely over done it. The motivation, albeit slightly twisted, is still there but the body appears to be an unwilling participant at the moment. Just hurdling the barriers yesterday was an effort of epic proportions. Time to listen to the body.

Hopefully this doesn't come off as too whiny. Ultimately who knows what motivates us to get out there and compete each week. Most of us have jobs and families, and between training, traveling, bike maintenance and surfing the internet for CX results and pictures we're probably tying up 15 hours a week on a hobby. Combine that with the considerable expense of participation in our sport, and most people would think we're nuts.

In my case, cycling is pretty much the only sport I've ever excelled in. I was 5'3" and weighed 89lbs as a freshman in high school. We had one Filipino girl that was smaller than me. Conventional sports weren't really an option. Amateur bike racers can be divided into a number of categories, but two that come to mind are former athletes that have outgrown football, hockey or soccer and are looking for a competitive outlet that won't require routine knee surgeries, and us skinny geeks that have only known cycling or running. You can usually tell by a racers build which category a racer falls into. Clearly I fall into the latter. We all have different motivations, but the 5'3" kid that never got to play football still has a huge chip on his shoulder. Being skinny has more or less paid off in the long run, but I think I'm hyper-motivated to succeed in the sport. Probably to the point of overdoing it at times.

Time to e-mail Bob and see if he wants to go MTBing. There's no reason to ride angry, at the end of the day I simply love cycling and getting caught up in the points isn't really helping. I'm pretty sure placing third place in the 3/4 series will net me a spare tube and no place in history. It's time to get a little rest, get through this block of the season and finish strong.

Man I love CX, even with two race bikes, tubulars, a coach, and all of the other expenses it must be cheaper than the quantity of therapy I would take to keep me on the straight and narrow. One pedal stroke ahead of crazy . . . usually.


Opieos said...

Amen Brother!

Drummroll said...

(1) Just so you know Wayne B is cursing your manhood right now (but we know he's been there too)
(2) Former football player here -- 2 scopes & 1 major reconstruct on the right knee
(3) Anger is for the a-hole that cut you off on your am commute
(4) Therapy?? ... That Prozac shit is expensive, worst case ... buy another bike, some Spanish wine (i.e., Moncayo or Clio?), slap your lady on the arse and let me know where you & Bob are MTBing

Skinny Phil said...

The bike therapy is working. The light is on the Soul Cycles SS for tomorrow nights ride, and I'm expecting to be fully recovered shortly.