Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happiness is a day of climbing on a warm December day

I love it. This time of year. No, no... not Christmas. (although it's fine too) I'm talking about that time, after you've suffered through season ends burnout, (for me it was basically every day post Augusta) that you start to feel it. That passion. The fire. For me, it came yesterday at the local shop ride.

Always look relaxed when you are on the bike but aren't riding. ALWAYS!

It started off innocently enough. I'd been meaning to get back out on the road for our Sunday group ride, things just seemed to keep getting in the way. (And by that I mean... I'd wake up about 30 minutes late every Sunday with a hangover.) NOT yesterday though! I had the Cannondale fit and tuned, ready to roll... my long sleeve gear to combat the mountain air (unneccesarily as it turned out) and even some GU and Lar bars to keep me going. Nonetheless, I wasn't overly excited. Sure, sure, I've not given up on cycling during my run focus these last few months, but I certainly haven't celebrated it. To be honest, I was just a little burned out from the "hit these target watts" for X sets of x minutes type workouts I had been doing leading into the end of the season. I've been going to a weekly indoor cycling "clinic" at the LBS twice a week, but other than that (and dusting off the Kreitlers for a few nervous rides... man you forgot how to ride rollers fast!) I've been letting the bikes collect a bit of mold.
1 leg drills for giggles. Notice the pool of sweat beneath me :)

All that changed when we decided to add a virgin (to us at least) climb to the ride. Three steep (albeit not very long) ascents to the top of the mountain, with a little bit of time between them where it levels off and gives you some time to recover. Nothing over 20% grade I don't believe... still, pretty tough. Enough to really get you nice and cooking. Deep into "The Suck" as it were.

Then it hit me. Holy cow. This is awesome!

The view from the top! Now I've just got to get down

I love climbing... always have. (Descending...ehh) Something about how you always see the "wars" in cycling fought on grueling climbs. Jersey unzipped, cross hanging, sweat dripping and that face of absolute "I wish this was over" splayed across your face. I love it. Not only that, but I noticed something else... I was climbing (and riding) in better form than I was earlier in the year! On much less training. I suppose to break through some roadblocks in my performance I had to totally change things up. Who'd have thought it! Run more, bike less, do both better! (Ok maybe it's not that simple, but still)

Even Jan looks like he's having fun!
 I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm totally out of my lethargic mindset, (I am still enjoying extra cookies and spiked eggnog pretty regularly.) but I've certainly got the spark kindling again. It helps that for the first time in 3 years, I'm not "focusing" on one A race. This year I'm doing races because I love to race, not because of some (of my own and others) expectations.  Who knows, I may even come out of 2013 better than I came out this year! We shall see.

Until next time, keep grinding those gears. Thanks for reading.

-Christopher Morelock

No comments:

Post a Comment