Past: I’m being coached full time this year. No more do it yourself strategies for me, as I don’t believe they work very well, at least for the amount of training knowledge I have, which has become very tangled and confused over the last couple years. My first real training year had too much intensity and too many hours for the amount of fitness my body was able to handle. Then I got a coach, Gilad. He had some good ideas about training and nutrition and stuff, but they were out of date and not structured very well. I had a great season anyways. Then I got a new coach, Jeannette. Her training was too easy, so I modified most of it and did my own thing a lot of the time, which is not equivalent to truly being coached. I had a good season nonetheless. I like that word because it’s a combo of three words. And this year I had no coach at all and planned to “race into shape,” which worked extremely well…for the last six weeks of the season.
So I decided to get a coach who I knew, and who I also knew knew his stuff. Sam Johnson. It’s been about two and a half weeks and I’m feeling fast. I started this fall a lot faster than I started last fall, since I took a shorter break, but the training he’s having me do also deserves some credit. It’s hard on the hard days, easy on the easy days, and medium on the medium days. Makes sense to do this instead of always going the same speed or always going hard. I did 18 hours of riding last week and will do another +18 this week. Lots of tempo and threshold work, which I have never done in the past. I say lots, but I’m pretty sure it’s at its minimalist amount right now. I’m expecting much more pain in the coming months. Also a good amount of pealing drills, which I feel like they might help a lot.
A few days ago I had an amazing ride. It was cold and misty out the entire day, but never seemed to actually be raining. I was soaked the whole day though. I went south in the morning over some familiar hills near sherwood and made my way out to a big climb, about 30 miles away, that I had only done once a long time ago coming from the opposite direction. It’s about a 45 minute climb if you go up the whole way to the top. I couldn’t believe I never knew about this climb before. I’m still finding new roads here in Sherwood despite living here my entire life. There’s a lot of roads.
Anyways, I stopped for a fried burrito, mountain dew, and snickers bar at a gas station on the way home, which was about an hour and a half still to go until I got home. I’d been feeling a tiny bit tired, but once that Mountain Dew hit my lips, it was game on. I cranked up the volume on my ipod, switched it to my intervals playlist, and let the sugar/caffeine high carry me home. I had left late in the morning, maybe even after noon o’clock, and it became pitch dark with about 30 minutes to go. And then it started raining. It was maybe 40 degrees out. And I was lovin it even more than a McDonalds slogan. I hammered up the last climb shaking my head in furry to Rage Against the Machines. Probably the most fun I’ve had on a ride in months.
Present: there is no present. It’s always the past or future.
Future: I have two more weeks here in Oregon until I leave for Solvang CA. The housing situation is a bit touch and go. Mainly touch. I think. I’m not sure what the “touch” and the “go” stand for in touch and go. One of my riding friends from Tucson, Michael, is meeting me down there on December 2nd at the bus station and we’re going to be picked up (hopefully) by the woman that was going to give us a place to stay. The problem is that now there is a problem that I can’t be bothered to explain and you probably can’t be bothered to read. It’s all very boring stuff really. So I won’t write it. I should get back to my short story. I haven’t made any progress on it for a few days. It’s easier to write in a blog, with no direction or forethought of what I’m about to write down. It just comes the instant that the thought spontaneously generates in my head, travels through my nerves to my fingers, who then write it down. Like that thought. Nothing to it. Ahhh, who am I kidding. The story I’m writing has the exact same process, which is probably why when I read parts of it to myself, it sounds like ten different people are writing it and directing it in opposite directions. Come on now fingers, get along and do like the legs do and go the same direction. Forward. And in circles. Scraping dog shit off your shoe, as my former coach, Gilad, would say, as well as my current coach, Sam. That’s one thing they have in common: they spend a lot of time thinking about scraping dog shit off their shoes when they’re riding bikes. I don’t know why, because you don’t get dog shit on your shoe while riding a bike. It’s all very confusing, which is why I just nod and say, “Uh-huh. Makes sense to me.”
In other news I got shocked by an electric fence the other day while attempting to feed grass to a persnickety horse. Three times. And the horse never ate any grass!!