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Dog Days....

Anxiety. Work. Groundhog-day wake ups. Am I gaining weight. Push cycling to the back. Long for cycling to be in the front. Distractions. Travel. Work. Family. Work....

It's the dog days. That period between your season's end and keeping your mind in tact that another season will come and lots other than cycling needs to be focused on. I can guarantee so many of you know that mental thrashing that I am talking about. So what am I doing?

  • Eating "healthy". OK, that's an embellishment because my wife is a nutritionist and we eat unbelievably. My change is in focusing in on WAY more greens and fruit (although the latter comes at the cost of more sugars) and what I am essentially basing my diet around these days to keep my system 'moving'. Protein-heavy stuff will come when the super deep training comes. My body over the last few months feels like I can not cycle-out stuff inside I am focusing on the greens, tons of hydration (I know you all 'forget' to drink those 8 glasses of water a day!) all to make the stuff floooooooooooow.
  • Strength. I'm getting some gray I need to ensure this frame can continue doing what I love....forever. So now I am an early AM gym person, ~3-4 times a week, strengthening my legs, back and core. It's hard. Last year I did NOTHING, and suffered for it. Again, I came into last season with no opportunity for real training given the shit that went down so I had to just get fit by racing (which....was fun but left me dangling...reaching for that .0001% of something!) Frankly, to 'get by' last year I ended up drinking more than riding. It is what it is but it's what my mind needed to deal. Yes, a crutch. So come September, of course I never felt as if my core was strong enough to support the type of breathing I needed...and like my old coaches used to say: All power comes from the center. So, I've got me some fat to burn and some muscles to re-build.
  • Stay out of the red: I'm riding these days, because I can;t live without it. It's my soul. Some cross, some MTB, some road....long rides, short rides, medium rides. But nothing too deep. I did not use a my PowerTap or my Polar last year. Not at all. Not once in fact for the WHOLE year. I used my Polar simply for the watch! But now, I am using it again to ensure I don't get too crazy. Nothing deep. I know now after all these years that I need to reserve my matches as it takes me WAY longer to recover. Sincerely, massive efforts early at nearly 40 years old takes a lot out of you (or me anyways). I'm fit, and need to remember that and require polish versus whole-sale rebuilding. 2007 was a physical restructuring under Za Plan. That changed me positively forever thanks to Taro. Now I am building upon that subtly and with smaller bricks versus those massive ones re-laid in the summer of 2007.
  • Stretching. I'm not even going to say much here because I am a FOOL for not stretching more.
  • Relaxing: I'm not Sven Nys. I don't play him on TV. I am a daddy and husband and worker. Oh, and bike racer. I'm a nearing-40 year old with a UCI Elite license (huh?...yup, just got it in the mail)....but I n-e-e-d t-o r-e-l-a-x o-n t-h-e w-h-o-l-e s-c-e-n-e! Ha! At least the scene I envision my head. Seeing the forest for the trees is the watch-phrase I need to focus on. Remember racing is a part of the collective joy. Not the joy.
OK, I'm done. I wrote this for me to remember....

(photo courtesy of za Dubba's iPhone)

Reader Comments (6)

Nice one, dude. I'm printing this out.

February 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

Agreed. This is great.
Especially like the bit about your nutrition and the "flow" :)

February 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Swift

Stretching is my Achilles heel as well. Goes back to Vandenbusche @ Wasted State yelling at me to cut my hair & stretch. Rebellion that I'm paying for in the form off an old man's back. Though I did finally cut that mop.

February 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScottyD

What a great expression of what we're all feeling right now.
I just went through a VO2 test yesterday and I'm hoping it will help recenter me to focus on what I can do for next season. It gave me some great info to work with.
But right now it is time to make sure I give back to the family who have supported me through all my obsessions and to make sure the business is thriving and that my employees have what they need.

February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWes at East Coasters

started Yoga here, takes care of core ( strength ), stretching and relaxing!

February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Think outside the paridigm. Crossniacs are doing the gig. and

February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlack Rabbitt

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