Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Live, Damn You, LIVE!!!

ok- an attempt to revive a blog...since everyone in Portland who races seems to have a blog, I am going to revive this and be one of the cool people....here goes....

Its been 'a while' since my last post...and a lot has happened..but lets draw the camera in a focus on the recent past..lets say the since the begining of the 2009 OBRA road racing season. OK.

I got on with a new team this year- new to me, new to OBRA. Hammer Velo. So far, its shaping up nicely- a good hearted bunch of folks who seem both obsessed about the bike, and realistic, balanced, and not, well, like a bunch of teenagers who obsess about their weight out loud...did I mention beer? There is some drinking. Debauchery. good old fashioned. And while I wasn't there to actually witness the Vendetta mayhem, I approve. Because at the end of the day we aren't going to get signed to pro contracts, we're all too old and not nearly good enough for that- we lack the natural talent. So while sacrifice, single mindedness, drive and ambition are good things..great things...stopping, reposing with a solid beer in hand is an important and worthy activity. In fact, I think its of dire importance. Booze will keep you in check. It will unwind the knot of self-obsession that you feel behind your neck and shoulder blades. It will loosen that taught expression, and frankly, make you a lot more fun to be around than when you're all up in your ambition...like I said, good to have, but not that fun for your loved ones.

So we've been training, in the winter, in the mud, snow, rain, cold and general miserablness that is Portland OR in the winter/spring. I, for one, have had the best preseason training ever, as a consequence of taking on this team thing. I'm motivated, social, and happy even though it sucks out. I've stayed relatively healthy this winter, and have only gotten the sniffles for about three days, which in retrospect was probably good to get me off the bike for a couple of extra days to chill and repair. But I am stronger now than any other time since high school. And I was FIT in high school...over-trained...but FIT.

But... there is always a BUT. My legs are now not happy with me. My heart is there, my lungs are there, my experience is there...but my legs, oh my legs. They have knotted up...at first I thought it was electrolytes, or the lack of, but now, I'm not so sure. They hurt, and in ways they shouldn't given how little I've ridden in the last week or so. I'm worried. I'm concerned...and I'm not sure there is anything I can actually DO to make it better. The sad reality is that doing nothing maybe the answer. The answer that any motivated athlete doesn't want to hear. In three days I line up for the Cherry Blossom Stage Race out in the Dalles, OR. Four stages in three days. My first stage race...if my legs were on, then I would be super excited..now, I'm filled with dread. Will I have paid my money, worried some hundereds of calories and have lined up only to cramp up and drop out like I did the other weekend at the last Banana Belt? I hope not. I am praying to my legs to get better. But now, I go home and drink a beer....Because if all this worrying and hoping can't actually change my condition, and my performance in this upcoming stage race doesn't determine my pro racing career, than a beer will only make me smile, relax and have a different perspective on the pain. More later.

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