Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting My Head Back In The Game

I'm not sure if it's the barrage of smack talk I've traded with a certain someone over the past month or so, or simply the fact that I'm finally well rested, healed up and feeling strong again, but the fire is definitely returning and I'm looking forward to getting back into the arena. All that EMO B.S. about not caring about competition has fallen by the way side as the season draws nearer and my knee continues to cooperate. Slowly but surely (I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the down time by the way) I have gradually shifted from a recreational approach to training towards a full on, high quality routine that's designed to do one thing: Get me ready to race.

Thinking back to where I was about 2 months ago, perspective wise, I'd like to go back and kick my own ass for being such pansy. But, as my smack talking counterpart did point out "being injured screws with your brain" so I guess that I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

Bottom line: I train and race because I like to push myself. I like to see what kind of watts I can produce and sustain. What kind of run I can lay down post bike. How deep I can dig when that little, weakling voice inside my head starts screaming "I want this to end!" Oh yes... and to see how much time I can make up on the super swimmers and world class/well rounded pros who kick my ass in the swim. I also train and race because I like to compete against, and beat, other like-minded athletes. Although I never like to lose, I also don't mind losing to the better man and will always be the first to shake his hand and congratulate him when the dust settles. In the end, I view competition as a healthy thing: Racing other people helps you to race to your full potential.

To me, that's fun, and the process of figuring out how to get my body into peak form so that I can race to the best of my abilities, against others, is what brings me back for more year in, year out.

After my long lay off, I must say that I'm pretty surprised by what I'm laying down at the moment in training. I was once again shocked by the avg./norm power I produced (275/290 respectively) during my latest venture outside: an intensive 40 miler. I just can't get over how easy it feels to hold what was my normal race day power output last year. I'm only riding 3 x per week right now and I'll tell you... every ride, hell, every pedal stroke feels GREAT!

Just started swimming again last week and thanks to all the suspension training I've been laying down this winter, I've been pleasantly surprised by me form in the water as well.

Running: Seems like no matter what I do, my run form is always within about 5% of peak, but I guess that 25 years of running will do that for you.

Anyhoo, that's that. I'm really excited about this next month of training and can't wait to up the ante as I go. I don't think that I'll enter my first race until llate June, but... if I start producing norm watts of 300+ for my 2.5 - 3 hour intensive rides this month, I just may have to toe the line at Rev3 and give my smack talking buddy a good fight!

(p.s. If you scroll down and take a look at the "Cohasset 2008" pic listed here on this blog, you can just make out a sliver of Mr. Smack Talk's head in the background. I forget if we exchanged words that day, but I do recall the fact that he was pretty bummed out that he couldn't race due to a nagging injury. Too bad, as I honestly think that he would have won the race that day...)