Saturday, April 30, 2016

Where's The Podium #23-24: Carl Dolan Back-to-Back 3/4-4/5 ? unknown & 27th

Well, my teammate took victory as the top Cat4 finisher (2nd in the race overall) of the 23rd Annual Carl Dolan Spring Classic Circuit Race in the 3/4 field. Another teammate took 4th in the Cat4 results. That makes for a pretty successful outing for this team in one day.

Not to mention that the guy on the top step here also went on to race the 4/5 race with me 20min after the 3/4... we had a lot of fun!

And I mean that. I made sure to give him a hug after the 3/4 finish. When I heard he took 2nd in the sprint (totally forgetting bout how that most likely meant he took 1st in the Cat4s), I was truly proud and happy for him and WWVC.

Aside from that... I was just as happy about my performance that day. Sure, I didn't get scored for finishing the 3/4 race because the official's camera (iPad?) died after the first 10 crossed the line even though I wasn't contending the finish anyway.... Sure, I finished an abysmal 27th in the 4/5 field that in no way seems like anything out of the ordinary for me given so many of my races finishing mid-pack or worse... but believe me when I say: I had a great day of races!

Let's take both races one at a time...


Fast. Hard. Hurt. Finished mid-pack...


Less Fast. Sketchy. Finished mid-pack...


Things were fine. It was a difficult day out with my legs certainly feeling the efforts. No one would know how "active" I felt I was. Of course, it was all for naught. Nothing I did added much to the race. I hoped me bridging to a breakaway, chasing a move, or riding tempo on the front could have helped a teammate, but I think we all know in a Cat4+/- field... those efforts mean nothing. I for sure know that my teammates would have come up with their results regardless of my "efforts" - congrats to my teammates. 

I need to focus on myself.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Riding Through Early Season

It feels as thought I'm stronger and more prepared going into this season than any previous. Suffering has never felt more familiar. My training is focused and I am using what I have in front of me to get them most out of what time I have. From investing in a new training program to upgrading my bike frame, excuses are worth truly less than ever.

This post might be a rolling along a different tone than my last post singeing in the burns of a poor race outing, but I must commit to my process. Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvement. It is not difficult to point where I can make gains...

Mass. -- More on that later.

On the positive, I have made gains in other targeted areas. I am learning more about how to handle my new frame. I have noticed skills and abilities sharpened. It's as if riding with control has become a matter of second nature.

The second nature of riding should not be much of a surprise, but what makes this a point of encouragement is the depth to which I sense it now. It is maybe part of what I keeping me fulfilled when riding. My senses on the bike are solid and allow me to continue to focus on areas of opportunity for improvement.

That's a nice way of saying I still have a lot of areas to which I can improve. Paramount of which brings us to that aforementioned word: mass. Beyond natural ability, success in cycling is predicated on the age-old ratio/concept of "strength-to-weight." That ratio is something to live and die by. I mean, maybe it's not all that dire, but it is. Your max and FTP powers might be "impressive," "high," "better than the next guy," or even "elite," but its means nothing if your mass (weight) is also higher than it could be.

There is no need for me insult you by going further on this topic where others can explain it better. What I will go on to say is that the strength to weigh ratio is an area that I have had room for improvement my whole cycling career. I know that I am not alone and that others have gone to great lengths to limit this as a liability. I know of riders that have found great success through putting in effort to improve this area as much as they do to improve any number of the others.

This, now, is where I must place my focus. You all should know by now how lucky I feel to be able to ride, race, and have this as part of my life. With that, I feel I owe this life experience and myself the effort to make the most out of it that I can.

My training leading up to this season has has me put myself through things I was scared to before. I feel very much in tune with my body and the efforts I am pushing further and further. I can sense the responses my body and mind are making to efforts. What I now aim to do will go hand-in-hand with that. I have nothing to lose, and maybe some things to gain by losing mass that holds me back. My afternoon's ride setting a new max power in a sprint means nothing but a new bar to exceed.

That's enough... I have work to do.

Thanks for reading.