Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Stop That Noise
"This is only a test" I reason with myself. The Nature Valley Grand Prix looms next week. Legs and Lungs are all fine, I've stocked the barn full of hay, and I'm ready to rip-roar across Minnesota. Why then, has everything got to be so wacky? Ever since I received a 10 pm. phone call from Nature Valley inviting me onto the Pro Chase program, all of my focus has been eat, sleep, breathe race preparation. I've made the most of my time, but my candle has been burning at 4 ends. Home in D.C., Work, Home in Hampton, and Training. That amounts to a scorching hot candle once you include travel time and bike racing time. I've been making sacrifices in all of these aspects of my life: my room in Washington is a mess with bike tools scattered about and cell phone and laptop chargers lay hidden underneath my 'inbox' of clean cycling gear. I've possibly alienated my housemates, and one of them is still waiting for me to help him fix his bicycle brake. I've spent far less time in Hampton with my wife then I intended this summer. That aside, there is yardwork to be done, 'the bike cave' to organize and stock, and I still haven't had a day to spend on the beach. It seems as though every time I arrive home in Hampton, I've forgotten something important at my room in D.C. and visa-versa. Bike racing has been an absolute blur. I can't exactly remember when the last weekend race I did was. I omitted this past weekend's events (two criteriums I always do well at) in order to sort some at-home affairs (as well as delay the inevitable timing belt work and new brakes needed on my automobile). This of course meant leaving my teammates with less help, and missing out on all the fun! "It is all a part of the experience" I tell myself. "I wanted the pro experience!" As I think this, I'm suddenly reminded of my ride the other weekend with my training buddy Kat. As we marched on to mile 90 in the heat and needing some food and drink, I started to slip into the 'bummed out' zone. "This is what I asked for; this was what I wanted to go through, and it felt like a great idea this morning!" Of course, a few minutes later I would be feeling right and cheery. I can't help but think I just hit that rough part of the journey where it feels tough. The journey is, of course, beyond the Nature Valley Pro Chase, and I expect that the Pro Chase week is going to be that Milky Way bar and bag of chips I bought in the rural gas station that brought me back to life on that eventful ride of a few weeks ago.