March 30, 2009

3 days, 4 races, & 1 set of legs - The Prologue

Resting is the hardest part of training.

Patience is the hardest part of racing.

This week’s schedule is full of both, with just a sprinkling of hard work to keep me from going crazy.

I am not good at resting and have little affinity for patience, so after this week, the race will seem easy.

My first stage race, my first Crit and my first Time Trail. I have only 2 road races under my belt, I don’t know what the heck I am doing, but my entry fee is paid.

On Friday afternoon I will pin on my number, put on my helmet and roll up to the line to start the first stage of the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic Road Race.

I want to compete, I want to do well, I want to finish the race knowing I could not have given any more, could not have gone any faster, could not have pushed any harder.

As the peleton rolls out on Stage 1 there is one critical thing I must remember:

3 days, 4 races, one set of legs.

Are those legs ready? Am I?

This isn’t the time to ask these questions.

The work and training for this weekend’s race is over.

Now is the time to rest, to eat well, to sleep soundly and to trust that I am ready.

When the gun goes off and tires start to roll, whether I am ready or not is irrelevant.

The acceleration of the peleton will come quickly and I will have to settle in.
The first climb will rise in front of me and I will embrace the pain.
Someone will go off the front and I will have to jump, knowing I cannot let her get away.

I will try to be patient, holding a strong wheel, keeping out of the wind, conserving my energy. I will try to be patient, to be smart, to be efficient, but it will be difficult.

Deep down, I want to be the one in the break. I want to be the strong wheel. I want to prove, if only to myself, that I am a cyclist.