Sunday, 13 January 2008

Siesta Week

Yesterda's ride was brilliant but hard. Starting from Old Town, I went south to Mt Vernon, then turned around and went up to the point. For as nice of a day as it was, the traffic was sparse the whole time. I spent nearly the whole time just below threshold, which was a shocker since the week leading up had been super hard. There was almost no one at the Point, except a couple of pathletes of the highest order. I cruised up behind these guys, who were riding along slowly and having a convesation, and passed them with a friendly wave. My pace was purely dictated by power, so however fast I was going was however fast I was going. A few seconds after I passed, one of the guys passes me with kind of an "I'll show you" look. He's a bit of a bigger guy but was riding a nice bike (Independent Fab), so I figure he's ditched his buddy to do an interval and really think not too much of it. He gets maybe 10 yards in front and his form starts to go to hell and he slows down. I re-pass him right by the big statue with another friendly wave. Along the bottom of the river side, he comes through again, with another look. Whatever. 10 seconds later I passed him again as he slows. 30 seconds later he comes through yet again, this time looking like death, cuts in front of me, back swaying, knees flailing, arms pumping... then slows down sharply so I have to round him a third time. I wasn't even wearing team kit of anything, what makes these guys get so freaking competitive? I'm 35 miles into a tempo ride guy, you want to smoke me, go right ahead, it's certainly there for the taking.

Last night we had dinner at Open City in Woodley Park. It's really good and fairly cheap. DC is kind of a lame town for breakfast, but they have good breakfast and serve it all day.

This morning, I went out for the club ride intending to cut it short since the program called for easing into the rest week following a really intense week. The hours this week haven't been too nutty, only like 13, but they were hard. I felt like whenever I was on the bike it was tempo. Anyhow, I was supposed to keep the watts mostly around 200 today, which is impossible to do on the club ride. You are either way under or over. My lungs felt really clogged and I was blowing some nasty farmer hankies with all kinds of bright colors and stuff so I pulled the plug early, finished out a fairly easy hour and a half, did the NYT crossword (easy this week), read all about how now everyone really thinks we are indeed going to have a recession (except Ben Stein, who is THE original optimist) and took a nap.

Cue rest week in 5, 4, 3, 2... I wish rest weeks were as easy as they sound. You wind up doing a slightly detuned week with one or two days completely off.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Hah, the Pathletes. They are utterly pathletic.

I was like that more or less until I started racing. Then I realized 22 MPH is not f***ing impressive at all, in fact going that pace then blowing up after a while is incredibly lame. It's still hard to avoid the urge to try to compete with anybody who passes you, especially the pathletes, with their teasing-the-bull behavior, like they were trying to goad you into riding pink slips. The Powertap, however, is tremendously liberating. I just look down at current power output, remember that's how hard I'm supposed to be going, and then remind myself that the number is too damn low because I don't always ride with the discipline that I'm supposed to ride with. That makes it a lot easier to stick to the chart.

That, and knowing that even as a fairly weak roadracer (like most roadracers) I can crush most rec cyclists; and even as I can crush them guys who are just a little better than me can destroy me. It's easy to shrink your falsely inflated ego when you actually have the goods, and you are comfortable with your place in the pecking order.