Not Racing.

Thursday night I didn't race at Kulis. I didn't do the Hatcher Pass hill climb on Saturday. I won't be doing the Upper Huffman hill climb on Tuesday, nor the next Kulis crit on Thursday.
That doesn't mean I wasn't riding or putting out more effort than a sane person should. On the contrary, I was probably working harder than I do during your average crit. I just didn't pin on a number.
After shocking my system for a week with a dramatic increase in volume, I've been hammering away at the intervals like never before during shorter workouts. Multiple sets of short, high intensity intervals with little recovery time between them. Cadence drills. Time trial efforts... and rest. What my body needs most is a balance between intense, focused napping and repeated, eye-bleeding sprints. Even taking a couple days off the bike, my fatigue levels are still way too high. I feel heavy and lethargic off the bike, but relatively decent once I'm spinning. Sometimes it takes a little while for my head to convince my body to get up and out the door, but eventually it wins. The numbers are trending the right way. I just have to avoid screwing it up, which would be uncharacteristic for me.
The Tour of Fairbanks starts this Thursday.
Unlike most years, I'm not bringing the family or staying with the in-laws. Instead, I'm doing the whole "I'm a big-time racer" and staying in a University of Alaska Fairbanks dorm room like most of my fellow out-of-town racers. I'm hoping the lack of outside distractions will help me get more sleep and maybe better recovery between stages. A little more interaction with the other racers isn't a bad thing either.
The fields seem to be filling out more than last year, which is thanks to the tireless efforts of the organizing crew. If we can avoid mixing Masters Men and Open Men this year, maybe my legs won't explode this year. No promises. Some strong racers are signed up in Masters, killing my chances at any sort of result for this edition. Still, if I can hang in there to the end I will be more than happy.
The stages seem to be more balanced than last year, but I reserve the right to whine and nit-pick in retrospect. I think as long as the packs are balanced, we'll have a good race.
I'm not racing in the lead-up to Fairbanks, and afterwards probably won't race much until just before the Tour of Anchorage because of a family trip. That's just how my season is playing out this year. A handful of crits and single-day races coupled with three stage races to try to snag some sort of encouraging result. Thin odds.
I will be riding, though. I'm planning on getting a lot of hours in the saddle when I'm in Virginia. I'm training again. Hopefully I'll shed some weight. Hopefully I'll find some momentum. I'm already piecing together little bits of positive feedback that perhaps my wife can sew into a quilt to keep me warm all winter long in the trainer dungeon.
Let's see where this road leads.


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