Thursday, January 28, 2010

I keep rollin'.

For the third night in a row, I hit the streets and cranked the pedals.  The day job (for which I am very thankful) easily consumes my daylight hours - so thanks to a Christmas gift from Coach in the form of a Niterider bike light, I am able to grab miles after dark during the week.

Tuesday night's ride was pure misery, and I've already whined about that.  Last night, I rolled a nice loop using a few less-popular roads.  Much better.  Fewer stoplights, fewer cars, and less wind (which was the main thing).   The roads are less popular because they are consistently up-and-down:  Tons of short, steep climbs with very little chance to get into a rhythm.  Just what I wanted!

Tonight, Chancey and Sirena were heading out to catch our last night of decent weather for a while.  The forecast is for snow and more snow tomorrow and into Saturday.  Sunday will be cold, so the likelihood of clear roads before early next week is slim. 

We met at the old Paceline shop and headed downtown.  Traffic was very heavy, as there is construction on the bridge over 421 at Peacehaven.  Nonetheless, we warmed-up on the way to 5-points.  There seemed to be an excess of EMS vehicles out tonight, and we actually had to pull over for a firetruck at one point.  We did our best to not be the reason for their hurry.

After smoking down Peacehaven, we had a little gas left.  There is a road, Alamo Rd., just off Phillips Bridge Rd.  The smooth, rarely-used neighborhood road is about 2/10 of a mile long with an increasing grade throughout.  At Chancey's suggestion, we did 4 repeats at threshold.  Wow.  Very hard, but worth every moment of blurry vision and heaving chest.

Those last moments are what I'm after.  In previous races, I've usually survived to the end and sprinted in the pack with a heavy reliance on adrenaline and race-day magic.  I have a good feeling Battenkill is a different kind of animal.  I'm casting thoughts of previous Cat 4 expectations aside and simply aiming to be as strong as possible.  The only reference point is me, in the saddle, going wide open until I can't go any farther, and then going a little farther.  Don't misunderstand, Coach's plan is the focus, but I'm talking about a mental shift away from the framework of what a Cat 4 race is 'usually' like and toward how I will need perform in the presence of other highly-prepared riders who may be brand new 4's or sandbagging 3's.

Categories are out the window.


Post a Comment