Not up to much

Haven’t been up to a whole lot lately. Rest. That, and getting the house in some kind of livable state after months of neglect. Hey we have an office again! It only took over a year. Sort of an indictment on where my focus has been.

I’ve been sick off and on for about three weeks at this point, and I think I’m finally on the verge of health. Of course I didn’t help matters by racing in Providence last Saturday.

Hopped up on steady stream of Mucinex D (which for the record contains Pseudoephedrine, which is on next year’s UCI banned substance list – le dopage!) and Advil, I trotted out there and started warming up on my trainer at 6:30 in the morning. By 6:35 I was already sweating. Like Jimmy Tango vibrating heat bead sweating. Probably shouldn’t have been out there, but what’s new.

All in all it was actually an okay race for me. I finished 49/71, which exceeded my expectations. I even had a sprint in me at the finish. I sat on a wheel for a good long time coming up to the line, and then bolted; unfortunately, someone had been doing the same exact thing to me. I don’t think there has been a more furious sprint for 48th place in the history of cycling. I crossed the line and immediately started dry heaving.

The one thing I took away from the race was that if I can have a mediocre finish feeling that sick, I certainly have a respectable finish in me if I’m healthy.

Being sick forced me to ride with a greater awareness of how I race, given that I couldn’t give 100%. Among the things I noticed:

1. I really need to work on skills. I run barriers well (as well I should), but dismount timing, remounting, cornering, all need work. They’re inconsistent and the time these things cost me adds up. I wish I had been able to attend the cross clinic a few weeks ago, but of course I was sick.

2. Starts really need work. I can never seem to get clipped in right away. When you have a bad start, you get mired in the pack. In cross, this means you lose. You get stuck behind traffic, people run into you, and you become the victim of others poor skills and bad lines. You’ll almost never overcome this and then bridge. It is so important to gap the field at the start. But of course if you’re sick and perpetually exhausted, that’s not exactly possible.

Hence rest.

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