Sunday, May 28, 2006

Racing and Recovering

Racing and recovering is not for me. Some guys can get away with it and even thrive on it...but my body seems to like a steady diet of high volume aerobic training...and specifically lots of time @ AeT (about 20bpm below LTHR). After coming back from Arkansas physically and mentally fried, I took a few days off the road bike. One might suspect overtraining as the culprit for the way I was feeling, but in fact I believe it to be just the opposite. Not enough training due to the need for race freshness....along with some mental burnout from travel.

I took monday off completely, then did some easy MTB riding tuesday. Wednesday was a steady /tempo 2 hr ride on the TT bike (always does me good). On thursday I headed back into the woods again , this time with our pro MTB friend Karen Masson. This was an awesome and inspiring ride. She took me on some wicked technical sections on some trails over in Pisgah where I had not been before. One particular section was a bunch of technical rock drop-offs. I had not done anything like that in many years....but since I was following her I just got it done. I was terrified , in a good way, and felt great after getting through it. I could feel myself coming back to life and feeling inspired on the bike again. It should be noted that Karen is an absolute stud on the bike ....she was riding her singlespeed. She dusted me on all the downhills and, though we weren't going hard on the climbs, I always felt like I was going harder than her....and I had gears!

On friday I came out of my self imposed nightime crit retirement to line up at the big NRC crit in Raleigh. I asked team director Chad if he would rather have me there racing, or supporting the guys on the radio, and making sure they were all taken care of. I got the impression he wanted me racing, so it was to be....at least for a little while. It was a fantastic event and 100 of the best crit riders in the states were on hand. The start was WICKED fast and the course had like 9 turns in the 1 mile. 50 laps starting at 8:15PM meant not much daylight. I have enough trouble with crits during the day, when the visibility gets low I am useless....but I wanted to try.

So we do a few fast laps and my position is not bad ...about mid-pack. Then it starts raining. OK...me+ crit+ dark+ rain= freakout . I started sliding back through the field in every turn. It actually took quite a while before I was at the back....when I was... I got about a lap, then was gapped out of a corner and goodbye. I stopped on the back stretch to watch for a few laps. Right before I got dropped I did see the classy pro trick of a guy getting off his bike and letting air out of his tire to get a free lap. LAME. I won't name names even though I should. ...the only redeeming fact is that this PRO guy still didn't finish. After watching just 2 laps the race is completely blown apart...guys coming off everywhere and soon there is less than 1/2 the field left. Hekman is in GREAT position the entire time and Rich is tailgunning, but making it....cool. After some light rain the skies finally open up with a deluge and things get really interesting...the field gets smaller and smaller as the winning break is established. Heckman looks great and with 2 to go I am convinced that he will get top 10. Rich is OTB, but there is less than 30 guys left in the race so he will get paid. At the bell the group comes through but Heck is off the back chasing....number flapping in the breeze and some road rash. He crashed, but got going pretty quick and finished up 21...Rich was 25th...so a great showing for A&F at a big race...good work guys!

Instead of staying over we decide to drive back to A-ville and get home at 3 am. Saturday starts me back to my road endurance training and I get 5 HARD mountain hours in on the Doggett -Hot Springs loop. It was hot and I ran out of fluid with 20 miles to go.....I was shattered when I got home....but it felt great.

Today, Sunday, Cara and I did 4.5 hard hrs on the tandem with a small group...lots of climbing...again I was feeling it at the end, but in a good training sort of way.

I am on my way back to form.....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your blog looked a little lonely without any comments......shouldn't you be doing like 8 hrs on the bike?

Robert said...

Yo Andy, you moved your blog on me. Hey, can you get an rss or atom feed going so I can keep track of things easier? I thought blogger automatically supplied this but your doesn't seem to work.

Best wishes!

a2 said...

hi robert...ummmm, I think the blog has been in the same place since I started it? I am so tech saavy I have no idea what an rss or atom feed is. I guess I need to do some learning.... :)

Robert said...

Ah, you are right. I think my web cache at work wasn't updating which frequently happens with blogger.

An rss or atom feed allows your entries to be viewed in a news reader. There are lots of news readers out there in many different forms. One that I am using is called Habari Xenu. It is a Firefox extension so if you are using Firefox, just install it through the extension feature (select the Tools->Extensions item from the menu at the top).

The help page describes what Atom and RSS is (also refered to as Syndication).