I'm now into my sixth post-season week of alternate training. I'm still riding my bike but with no structure and certainly less volume and intensity. I have made the weight room my focus, getting four or five sessions in each week. After being pretty compulsive all season about my body weight, weighing in daily in order to fill out my Restwise entry, I have a good handle on what my usual range is. I rarely saw anything under 170 pounds but I was also usually never over 173 pounds.
No real science here. No training tips or dietary revelations. Just a few paragraphs to wax poetic. Humor me. I'll get back to business next post.
Yesterday evening was one of those days when it's great to be a cyclist. Yes, my competitive season is over and done and I'm doing a few other things like hiking and lifting weights. But I'm still riding my bike and last night was simply perfect. It was one of those times where perfect temps, perfect light and still wind come together in conditions similar to a powder day on skis.
My post-season is well underway now having transitioned from semi-neurotic, schedule-intensive cycling training to a more free-form multi-sport routine. I've been in the weight room three weeks now and the shell-shock soreness is mostly gone. I've done a few long hikes and even took three friends up Teewinot last weekend. The 5,500 feet of descending had my quads complaining some the next day but two hours of easy riding on the bike felt fine. I'm five pounds heavier now than I was a month ago but I'm enjoying getting my upper body strong again.
There isn't anyone with a pulse that is not aware of the alleged evils of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. My generation grew up during the formative years of the whole anti-cholesterol/anti-saturated fat campaign. It is such an integral part of food marketing now that few of us really even notice or, for that matter, question the validity of such claims. Low fat and low cholesterol have been dietary buzz phrases for as long as I can remember.
So, about a week after hitting the deck twice in two different races less than 300 meters from the line, my wounds were healing and my form still felt alright on the bike. Immediately after the aforementioned events I pledged retirement from bike racing for the season. What a difference a week makes. Now, I developed no aspirations of taking on something as burly as Tour of Park City but perhaps something a bit more modest would be a fitting undertaking to cap my season rather than a no-fault-but-my-own crash. I had penciled in the Utah State Masters Road Race at Chalk Creek as a possibility earlier this year. With its rolling-style course and an uphill finish it would suit my abilities at this point in the season. So, with only minor reservations, I signed up.