It’s funny how perceptions change. With experience comes a wisdom that guides and shapes everything forward.
The same is true on the bike. It was just a week ago that Sheldon came down for the 2009 Summer Solstice – The night before we were sharing laughs over a pint and we started talking about potential strategies going into the Transrockies. Where we were going to try and push, where we were going to try and go with the flow. It was all good, I could see the race materialize before my eyes.
But then everything changed. With July brought Canada Day, and I thought what better way to celebrate being Canadian, than to head out and enjoy the Rockies. I had planned for a medium-length type of ride, 4ish hours or so… I had stuff I needed to take care of, so sadly I couldn’t devote the whole day to being on the bike.
Overall, the ride was a blast. Tons of ridiculous climbing, but with it some really fun descents, just the type of ride you want. But as the ride winded down, I was starting to fatigue. Not a worrying fatigue, but a fatigue none-the-less.
As I spun up another hill, huffing and puffing to myself, I started to think that strategy didn’t really matter for us in a race like this. I was tired. Just like I’m going to be tired on the Transrockies. Sure we’re going to do as much as we can to push the pace and stay ahead of the teams around us, but really it’s not so much a bike race as it is a race against attrition. As each day starts we’ll battle to stave off utter fatigue and somehow keep the legs moving.
Granted, some days will be better than others, and all the days will be epic, but I’m fully anticipating this not being a physical test much at all… The body will just do it’s best to keep up. This is going to be a mental battle, from start to finish… So I’d better just buckle down and get ready to hurt.
Maybe I’m just tired (I am), maybe I’ve just had a bad week (I have), maybe I just want to whine to the world (possible), or maybe I’m just feeling melodramatic (probable).
Regardless, this is where my head is at 6 weeks to race day.
- Lots of good, solid, race-specific rides
- Some decent distance (though still not enough)
- Starting ‘feel’ the bike again (took long enough)
- Need to throttle back and focus on the long slow burn, turn the intensity down