Sunday, November 17, 2013

How to make yourself tired

I like to think I'm a tough guy and that I'm a fairly in shape one, too. I'm not so sure.

At the Hartford 'cross race last week, Doug proposed that we ride to the Cheshire race. I love the Cheshire race and try never to miss it. There are trees and rocks and those things make for 'cross course that I like. It's pretty much the only time that I feel like I'm a competent mountain biker.

So, Doug, Tony and I met up in the south end of West Hartford and rode down. I think we must have had a tailwind, because even our speed-capped singlespeeds made it there in just over an hour.

The race went ok, but I've realized that I can't go fast. I can do the bike handling and catch people that way or ride away from them, but when it came to pedaling through the flats, I just couldn't hold on. I don't know if it's these zip-tied folks shifting or being able to better select a gear day-of after riding the course or I just suck. I'm leaning towards the sucking thing. I still had fun, but I think you have more fun when you're not sucking. I even had a good start this time. I was like 7 or 8 coming out of the woods on lap one, but I ended up finishing 16. I mean, I gave up like three spots at the end of the last lap. That is not good.

I also bent my front wheel when this guy in front of me went down and I crashed into him. My fear of taco'ing and brake drag probably didn't help much on the last lap.

I've been having this general feeling of sluggishness lately. I went mountain biking on Thursday and explored the trails around Bolton Notch, some of which are pretty awesome and some of which strand you in people's backyards. I wasn't feeling like I could really get my bike moving too well. I was trying to blame it on the leaves being really slippery, but I think it's just that I suck.

Part of me feels like I still have some of that nasty cold from a few weeks ago in my lungs. My chest has been tight a bit lately and I'm still sort of phlegmy. Maybe I have diminished lung capacity from it. Or, maybe I just suck.

Anyhow, riding to and from the race was actually a lot of fun. We went through the scenic and industrial sections of New Britain. We also avoided that sense of regret from racing on a really nice day wherein you only rode for 45 minutes, but invested the whole nice day in the race. Instead, we got a nice 50 mile ride in plus a 'cross race for good measure. Of course, this makes your 60 miles feel a lot more like a hundred. Today I've got some tired legs.

I only took pictures of the kid's race for some reason.

 This guy doesn't worry about sucking at cyclocross. Also, secret tip: there's a spigot right behind him if you're running low on water during a ride through Cheshire.


dario said...

You don't suck. You just don't train properly to be better at cross. Also, about feeling sluggish, you are probably still recovering from a tough weekend of cross racing, sundry riding, studying, etc... Next time you're in the woods (like last Thursday), smell the roses instead of worrying about performance or stay at home and rest.

Brendan said...

Johanna thinks I have bronchitis. She may be right.

Tony C said...

You didn't sound like you had bronchitis that morning. I skip the rescuing personally because I know I'm not in competitive racing shape, but wandering is fine.