Heading to Minnesota

Last week was stressful. I got into work at noon on Monday and stayed late after a long morning of travel. My subconscious was transfixed on how I’d get a new bike frame within the end of the week for Nature Valley. I ended up calling in a favor from Hagens Berman and was sent a used Blue (Ian’s?) the very next morning. I stripped down my Specialized and equipped the Blue with my components on Friday and it was ready to race on Saturday morning—after an evening stop at Steven’s house to pick up a seat post and front derailleur clamp. Indubitably, things went wrong with the bike later but I got everything sorted out by the end of the weekend and it will be good for Nature Valley.

Other possessional and monetary turmoil included losing my ipod on the bus from the airport, realizing I lost my City Navigator card in my Garmin when I sent it in for a replacement Garmin, dealing with my Zipp rear that won’t stay true (Dan trued it on Friday…it was out of true by Saturday), and last but not least, I stressed about my ongoing ‘necessity’ of purchasing plane tickets and replacement bike parts that I can’t afford (in this case shifting cables and lube).

While sitting on the bus (I’m on the bus to the airport right now), stressing about bike parts I need from QBP, trying to remember who I need to call about the Garmin and ipod, I recognized that the more worrying you do in regards to menial tasks and physical objects, the less time and energy you have for free thought. Creativity, daydreaming, and wonder are more important than thinking about all that other crap, at least in the developed world where you don’t have to worry about malaria or starving to death.

Truly creative people are so absent-minded and forgetful because they’re occupied with actual thought. While most are stressing about the grocery list or remembering to change the oil in the car, creative people are wondering why it’s necessary that all the seats on the bus face the same direction or how a dragonfly’s wings work.

The world needs both: people who think about tangible things and people who wonder, but I believe we’d be better off by doing more of the later. I know I’m much happier when I spend time daydreaming than when I stress about details.

Moving on, I had a fairly good week of training and rest. I could have done with more rest. I did the Bus Stop ride on Tuesday, which was my biggest mistake. I pulled off with like 20 minutes to go but the damage was done. I should have rested after Philly on Sunday and the travel day on Monday. I went to the sauna on Monday and Tuesday to finish off my month membership at the rec center. Both times felt surprisingly easy and restful, unlike the normal suffering to which I grew accustomed.

Wednesday I rested and Thursday I went hard and did VO2 intervals with Matt. Despite being tired, my overall average power for the intervals was the highest they’ve ever been at altitude. So I haven’t declined from a peak yet, which is good news.

Friday I rested, Saturday I raced…for five minutes during the Sunshine hill climb. I pulled out a mile in, realizing I was being stoopid and that if I wanted a result at Nature Valley I better stop before I did more damage. Instead of finishing the race I got a free massage at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine from Kate Dean, rode to Safeway for a huge sandwich, then went home and sat in bed while eating the sandwich and watching a movie. I slept for almost 12 hours that night. Matt won the hill climb and Nick took second.

I felt better on Sunday for the North Boulder Park crit but my mind wasn’t in it. It was a flat, technical course that I’d never done before and a dangerous break got away in the first 7 minutes. I took pulls and did some chasing but my lack of cornering prowess that day kept me from doing any real damage. Once it was apparent that the break was gone for good, I lost all motivation, which made me corner even worse. I spent half the race covering my own damn gaps after every corner. It was very frustrating. I felt like I was driving a tractor.

I pulled out with 15 minutes to go once my motivation to continue riding for 4th place diminished completely. Usually I’ll race hard for 20th, especially if there’ money, but today I just wasn’t feeling it. You only have so many motivated days a year for racing hard. It’s not necessarily wise to force one out when it isn’t crucial.

It never feels good to DNF, especially twice in a row, but the extra rest was needed. Assuming I remember how to steer my bike by Wednesday night and with the strength my legs have had the past couple weeks, Nature Valley should go pretty well.

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