On Sauvie Island,
Lookin’ like wealth
‘Bout to call the paparazzi
– Jay Z, sort of
As long as your definition of “lookin’ like wealth” is a dude in ratty, mismatched, sweat soaked kit, sporting hairy drumsticks, about 10 pounds of lumpy flub around the midsection, and death-grimace induced by his blistering 21 mph on the flats, that is. If so, then I’m lookin’ like wealth exactly.
Because of reasons - most kind of whiny and none that anybody should be sympathetic to – I find myself in the month of August with an early January post-holiday body. My muscles, from top to bottom, have lost their pep; my arms fatigue after 20 seconds out of the saddle, my core can’t hold my torso from squirming about during moderate efforts, and my legs are but limp sacs filled with too thin batter, in dire need of a little extra flour and some punishment atop a hot griddle.
At one one time, quite recently in fact, my hubris was such that I figured for the remainder of my amateur racing life I would easily retain the fitness required to at least sit in through any race I cared to enter. The road races of 2013 were the first to prove me wrong, with DNF after DNF, and crits were soon to follow. I finished a couple early in the season, and then the dropouts began, with me either pulling the plug or getting dropped a few minutes earlier with each one. The whole shebang bottomed out this last Saturday, when I was irreparably gapped off the back of the Gresham crit, a race in which I have previously taken a lap on the field in a break.
I’m not trying to have a pity party right now, as much as it sounds like it. What I’m doing is trying my best to publicly embarrass myself. There were circumstances this year that will never have to be repeated, so the likelihood of a similar season occurring seems low, but I still would like the extra motivation that some simple shame can provide. I sucked really bad, it took all of the fun out of racing, and I promise to never suck like this again. Boom, done.
With that said, I’m happily already doubling down on efforts to reverse the sad state of my tiny temple. Early morning workouts, long team rides, stair sessions with Uncle Wilson and the Butterscotch Stallion… I’m saying yes to all of it. I’m even considering cutting out drinking outside of special occasions, like birthday parties, mall trips, and when 2 Chainz comes up on random. I’m no sports coach, but I’d bet that this is pretty close to Cancellara’s training plan, or at the very least Pippo’s. I’m expecting big things for cross season.
I can’t believe it’s already cross season! This Friday/Saturday/Sunday I’ll be down in Eugene for the Eugene Celebration “stage race” (hill climb, road race, TT, crit), which I think will serve more as a training camp and another lesson in humility. After that though, whether you think it’s too early in the year or not, cross is 100% upon us. Time to get high on 4 coats of Mastik, rebuild every neglected pair of egg beaters, and prepare for the impending chorus of shrieking cantis clawing dusty carbon rims.
With all that in mind, I want to ask you readers a question. What do you do for cyclocross workouts? Every year prior to this one, I’ve just done my best to carry over road fitness, and relied on racing for skill and strength upkeep. This is the first time I’ve built any kind of plan specifically around cross, and I’d be mega curious to hear what you all do to get ready to shred. If you’re somebody who does structured workouts – anything more planned out than hot laps or riding around forest park or something – share! A comments section filled with cool workout ideas would truly be a dream come true. My crappy body and I preemptively thank you!
PS: I put this video up on the last post I did, way back when, but I don’t think it ever worked, so I’m going again. COOL DUDE ALERT: Riff Raff has since been popped for partying too hard. For the most part I don’t much care if a rapper is in jail or not, but I don’t know if this guy could maintain his weird beard, outstanding instagram account, and Cheshire Cat / Icee medallion wearing life style in the gray bar hotel, so here’s hoping he keeps himself out of the clink.
PPS: I used to get my hopes up over Detox getting a release, even going so far as to schedule a BMX/40oz adventure day with Veed, that would have culminated with the purchase of a physical CD at the mall. That date came and went, as did several others, and I’ve given up. At least the imaginary album had actual singles, and some sweet sweet videos.