Thursday, February 14, 2013

Caught Behind

I'm sitting here trying to make sense of it all. Somehow, I seem to be a month behind on spring training. People are wanting to go out and do hill intervals while I am just looking for some nice and easy, some rest, some recovery. Racing just wrapped up not even two weeks ago and I've got to admit, I'm beat.

I also can't believe that it is the middle of February already. It seems like it should be December or early January still. This I'm sure is because cyclocross racing just ended and the month of January was a blur because of it. I'm all messed up. I'd guess that the weather hasn't helped that much either. Last week we had excellent, dry winter MTB riding conditions. Everything was hard and fast with no snow to be found. So much can change within the course of a week.

That said, we are less than a couple of months away from the road and MTB race seasons. My cyclocross specific work was heavily based on short intense workouts. Going hard for two or three hours in a race is going to be a really big shock to the system I suspect. In all honesty, the long road rides will also be a shock. I think that I've only done a small hand-full of rides over three hours in length since August. That means it has been a solid six months of primarily short intensity based work. I hope I remember how to pedal a bike for more than two hours at a time.

Typically, I really look forward to the long spring rides, though I think possibly that the past couple of years have made me somewhat soft, what with the good weather and conditions and all. This year is already having none of that. The roads are narrow, wet and nasty from the snow and residual melt. The roads in the evenings are treacherous as the sun sinks and the temperature drops due to black ice.

With the snow we got last week, there is no chance of heading off-road either, at least not until it gets packed in a bit. We lost a bunch of the snow this week due to the warm temps and rain. With the freezing that is occurring at night, it should not be long before we are able to head off-road on those sections that have received a lot of foot traffic. No, this isn't really great riding but it sure does beat the trainer or hitting the deck from a patch of black ice on the road.

Oh well, I have the disc brake equipped cyclocross pit bike, the Raleigh RX2.0 set up with 25c slicks, fully enclosed cables/housings and full fenders. It is ready to go and this week has gotten a chance to spend some time on the wet nasty roadways. The high pressure slicks certainly feel faster than the cyclocross knobbies. The bike is still a piggy in comparison but will be absolutely fine for this purpose, as a spring training bike. It's amazing how having a really light, stiff and nimble bike that fits really well can ruin you for other bikes. Once again, getting soft I guess.

The reality is that the break is over. Time to get back at it.

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