Monday, December 29, 2008

Lost - Lee's mojo (again)

Saturday was just one of those days that should have been a great day to ride. The weather wasn't horrible and there was a good group heading out for around 48 miles or so. The plan was for a no-drop ride at a decent pace. This was my idea as a way to start prepping for the more serious rides to come this spring. Yes, it should have been a great day but in the end it was just ok.

Let the story begin.

Since we were starting from Cafe Noto, Pat asked me if I wanted to meet early for a pre-ride coffee - his treat! I arrive at 7:30 just as Pat is riding up. A few minutes later we are drinking coffee and just chatting. Then others start to arrive and before we are even on the bikes the trash talking begins. You know, questions like "who's wearing the most layers when they should be wearing a skirt?" This is going to be fun.

At 8:00 the 9 of us head out and I know I am in trouble 10 minutes into the ride. I have 2 things working against me. First, my stomach is jacked up and I begin to fight the urge to hurl. Second, and perhaps more importantly, my legs feel like lead. I just don't have any pop and I am struggling to hang on from the beginning. Oh well, I tell myself to suck it up and keep riding.

This continues for the entire ride. I don't feel bad enough to turn back but I have trouble keeping up all day. Carmen is also not feeling well so we hang out together in the back. Finally, towards the end of the ride I managed to get on front and take one very decent pull. Then some of the group decide to haul ass back taking 30-second pulls. I simply sat up and watched them ride away. They are actually drinking coffee before I make it back.

In thinking about the ride I tried to analyze what went wrong. I have learned from Coach Tim that sometimes you are going to have bad days. Some days you simply cannot muster enough mojo to ride well. But this didn't feel like one of those days. And I can't blame my stomach for no power in the legs. So what the hell happened?

In thinking it over, I realized a few of my rides recently have not been stellar. As I turn all this over in my mind, why on a 23 mile in the rain on the Vegas (BTW - special shout out to Doppler radar for telling the closest rain was 200 miles away), it hits me. There are 3 significant mistakes that I making on these rides. It all deals with me thinking it is the off-season and riding like it's not.

Thanks to the holidays, and a lack of will power, I have gained between 10 - 12 pounds. That is not unusual and it will be gone soon enough. But it is enough extra weight to mess up my power-to-weight ratio. The additional weight simply means it takes more energy for every pedal stoke.

I also discovered I am not eating. I typically don't eat on my gentle off-season rides but the rides I have been on lately are challenging. So some of my late ride drops are really due to bonking. This should be an easy fix.

Finally, I am not in a good routine right now. I run a little during the week but no riding. Nothing on the road and nothing on the trainer. Then I go flog myself on the weekend and wonder why I am tiring towards the end. Of course, mentally I am still in the same shape as I was after my Colorado trip last July.

As you can see, it was not Saturday's ride that was important. It was what I learned from it. Now I know what I need to do to get the mojo back. The most important thing is to regain my perspective. I shouldn't be riding as well right now as I do during the season so I need to get over it.

Next week I will start hitting the trainer for speed drills, hill repeats, etc. Until then I will enjoy a few last off-season rides.


2 Comment(s):

Nicole said...

I always say you learn more from your bad days than from your good ones! Good analysis...I've found myself doing the same thing while running, so even when it's short, I strap the old HR monitor on and follow it...a hard thing to do some times! Good luck getting the mojo back...we need to start posting trainer workouts...I can't stay motivated to ride mine more than 20 minutes! :)

Sarah said...

Sounds kind of like a lot of us are feeling similarly right now, huh??

Hope you're feeling better, Lee. We def missed you on the rest of the ride but I'm glad you knew how to take care of yourself.