Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Is It Over Yet?
Second Beach, Middletown, RI
Enough of winter already. I was outside all freaking day today, wearing - two pairs of socks under my boots, silk long johns, carhartt double knee pants, a long sleeve capilene t-shirt, polo shirt, very thick fleece snap t-neck, thick pile jacket, hat, helmet liner, spring skiing gloves and an insulated coverall, and I was FREEZING MY NUTS OFF! Anyone who's ever said "oh it must be great to work in the great outdoors" can officially kiss it. My constitution naturally favors the warmer months, and you never hear me crabbing about the hot in the summer. I save all of my whinging cards for the winter. That said, we are hauling ass on the project and slinging more concrete than JD's got Salinger.
I have to think that if I didn't race I would be pretty lazy about putting myself through this crap. There have only been a couple of times when I've lifted weights in life. The last time was when I started racing windsurfers. The soreness that you feel after a windy regatta is unbelievable, definitely more than after a bike race. It seriously feels like you got the snot beat out of you by three guys wielding pillow cases full off oranges. But it's really fun when you're doing it, like unbelievably fun. Anyhow, getting stronger made that into a "two dudes with pillow cases full of oranges" type of scene, so it worked. With the weight lifting I'm now doing, I can start to feel some nominal musculature setting in. My back feels really strong, and my shoulders are good too. I can definitely see how this will help, so long as I don't wind up looking like Hans and Franz.
One of the touchstones that I use to get myself motivated for these crappy winter workouts is my first race. This happened two summers ago, and scarred me so badly I didn't think to try racing again until this year. Actually, last year I had hoped to race but didn't because of The Baltimore Project, which I definitely have to write about sometime when I'm in the mood for writing about how perfectly squarely the world can kick you in the balls. But yet again, I digress. I'd ridden bikes for a long time and thought I'd give racing a try, so I showed up for this thing at Druid Hill Park in Balto. It was like Tuesday night, and I was working on a project up there. The course is nuts - many opportunities to die, including a very restrictive gate right in the middle of the course. Anyway, I line up for the B race and wind up behind some guy with "RIDE" tattoo'd on his calf. Okay. The B race, huh? Well then. I didn't know you got tattoo'd in the B fleet. WHOOSH! I wound up hanging on for dear life for like three or four laps, and they didn't pull me so when I got lapped I just got back on and kind of dealt with it for the rest of the hour or whatever it was. At that moment, I said to myself, "self, don't ever go to a bike race without being ready for it again." This is a rule that I have broken on a few occasions, most notably at the Giro di Kick My White Ass this summer when I should have been lying poolside somewhere, but generally it's one I'd like to keep.
So with that in mind I submit myself to the trainer. I love that trainer. Gonna make me stronger.
Oh, and all of you writers who write shows that are fun to watch On Demand reruns of on the trainer, enough already. I need your asses back at work. Thank you.