Friday, April 04, 2014

Spring Extra

Seeing as the Normal  Weekly  Posting guys sometimes do mid week or same-day extras and I usually post (but sometimes not) once a season, I figured I'd give it a try also.

Although my last post was not technically Spring, today wasn't technically Spring-like weather with a "Winter Storm Event" as the local news meteorologists liked to call a simple snow shower.  It snowed.  Whoopty fricken doo.  Stop trying to make weather extreme.  Unless, somehow, there's a crazy tornado filled with sharks, weather is never going to be extreme.  It is what it is.

With all the hoopla over bike race sanctioning on the mountain biking side of things, and my need to clean out my Google drive, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at my old training regiments and race results.  That was nearly 10 years ago, so my memory is pretty vague.  This, I'm sure, wasn't helped by the hundreds of times I rode around that damned Branched Oak Lake boiling my brain cells going as hard as I possibly could.  Seriously.  I remember one race where we had to share water bottles just to make it to the finish line since it was 90-some degrees with 1000% heat index or something.  I was on the Lincoln Industries Team and Spence was (and still is) on team Kaos and we were mortal enemies.  But I handed him a bottle on the last lap just so our finish line sprint could be fair.  However, it was more of a finish line squirm as we were all at some stage of cramping.

But anywho...Looking at some of the race results had me shaking my head.  In '05 and '06, there were multi-stage races(as in, more than 2 stages) where the cat 1/2 race had 40-50 people and the cat 3s had just about the same.  A few large teams of riders would come from all over the midwest to race our Nebraska events.  Now we're lucky to get more than 5 out-of-town people within a combined cat 1/2/3 race of 20-30 riders.

I'm guessing the big economic collapse of '08 is the cause of this downturn, but I remember it getting pretty bad even '07.  That was my last serious year of racing, and I think I was a cat 2?  Since those were my most recent memories, those are the ones I recall the best.  I remember being dropped from a cat 1/2/3 field of 20 since there was no place to hide and team cohesion wasn't really a thing. Aside from Kaos having a team consisting of a third of the pack and the 4 fastest riders in the state at the time, of course.  So races usually went: Kaos rider(s) in the lead break with 1 random person; another break with Kaos rider(s) catching up to the leaders; the rest of us in a VERY small pack with riders attacking to break up the field and weed out the stragglers (me).  Not a very fond memory.  But it was what it was.

Would I go back to that?  I dunno.  I switched over to dirt for a while after I got done with traveling and racing road, but I ran into the same issue - I was tired of the same routes I rode over and over and over for training.  Mountain biking was new, but then got old quick when all the local courses were 4 miles long and required many repeats for any length of a ride.  Again, the repetitiveness of it got to me.

So now I'm doing repetitiveness in the working thing, trying to really hit the debt hard.  Each day I've worked anywhere from 4 - 12 hours for the past 3 weeks at one or more of my 3 jobs - UNMC, bike building, and chip timing.  At UNMC, I work a fairly normal 6am-3pm shift, so that's nice albeit early.  It's hard forcing myself to go to bed at 10pm.  The work is not bad.  But now being supervisor, I make decisions that affect our group, not just me. So that's kinda stressful

A few days during the week and one or both weekend days I'll build bikes for the Trek Store.  That's only a few hours at a time, but it can be very draining after already working 8 hours at a previous job.  My weakly upper body and over-worked hands can do only so much bike wrenching before I get tired and start to make mistakes.

The chip timing thing is kind of a doozy.  It starts with preparing and stressing out a few days before the weekend, Friday night configuring the races and riders into the software, being at the races a few hours before the first race (this is where my new sleep schedule has actually helped), doing something related to the races for most of the day, getting home then dinking with results and spreadsheets and emails to get all the info out ASAP and finally either taking a nap or turning that nap into sleep since it's bedtime already.  And sometimes that whole process happens both weekend days.

Like the infamous Forrest Gump once said, "I'm pretty tired."

I remember over-training on the bike and how that felt.  You generally felt sore all over, had a grumpy disposition, and didn't want to move, let alone hop on the bike and do intervals.  But this over-working thing is something entirely new.  It's like...I'm tired in my soul.

I imagine taking a vacation would probably be a wise thing to do - at least from my UNMC job.  I'm getting close to maxing out my 240 hours of vacation time. (BAM!  Working for the State - mediocre pay with great benefits.)  I'd probably still build bikes for a few hours most days.  Gotta kill the debt.

Must eat all the debt...






Fred Hinsley said...

First of all. Thanks for posting. I understand you're on a bit of a tight schedule. Haha - you and Spence are mortal enemies. What did you guys used to do? "Nice" each other to death?

munsoned said...

Man, it wasn't even fair. Spence was always the one who brought a hug to a nice fight.

brady said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I had no idea that the cat 1-2 fields were that big in Nebraska years ago. Thanks for the trip down memory lane

Let's see, with you and Bryan posting on Friday, that leaves us with only Peter Boyd to complete the team Good Job blog sweep.