Ok. I admit it: I've been sandbagging. I've been getting a kick out of telling people that my first serious training ride was April 5, 2008 (the White Rim). However, for purposes of my 12 Step Training Plan, Step 5 of which is to be forthright about past training exploits, I need to disclose that I did, in fact, train through the winter. Just not on the bike. I should probably also disclose that this training often included 2 hour threshold/VO2 Max intervals at altitudes of over 10,000 feet, with several pounds of equipment strapped to my feet, my back, and my arms.
Rest assured though; I'm the type of sandbagger that you need not fear. Specifically, I am a Visionary Sandbagger, meaning, in my mind, I am the fastest in my category, and on the road I am the fastest too -- it's just that there are some who, inexplicably, ride faster than me. Though inexplicable and karmic-ly wrong, I don't win all my races. In fact, now that I think about it, except for some weekday crits that don't count, I don't think I've ever won a bike race in my entire life (that's Step 4 of the Process by the way). That, of course, is not because I'm not the fastest -- it's just because of a variety of issues, many of which simultaneously present themselves, like equipment, nutrition, position in the peloton, having a demanding day job, two kids (with one on the way), riders who can't hold a straight line (sometimes because, admittedly, they are dodging me -- that's Step 2) . . . . sorry, I'm sandbagging with excuses now.
Still, I cannot deny, and no one can make me deny that in my Visions, I go fast. And, despite my three weeks of on-the-bike-training -- see, there I go again -- I cannot deny that I'm feeling fitter and faster. In fact, I feel better now than I did during mid-season last year.
At Saturday's Tax Day Circuit race, in which the Cat 3s raced with the Pro/1/2's (the mention of which is yet another form of sandbagging), I felt pretty good. It may not have appeared that way when I got dropped no less than 5 times, but appearances can be deceiving. Had I been in 2007 form, I am pretty sure I would have (a) cramped, (b) gotten dropped once and only once, and (c) although related to (b), never would have been able to get back into the mix. How's that for a glass-is-half-full mentality: even though I got dropped multiple times, I clawed my way back to the peloton multiple times. As Napolean would say, "Yesssss." What is more, I actually made it over the top of the brutal 800 megawatt climb with the peloton 3 times. And if I would have had better position . . . . yep, there I go again. . . .
Then, yesterday, when I did an hour of hill intervals (I use this term loosley), I was surprised at how good my legs felt after the Tax Day sufferfest. Not once last year did day 2 of a hard block feel that good.
So, next week when you see me at East Canyon, know that although it may not appear to be so, (a) appearances can be deceiving, and (b) in my mind I will be going fast. Heck, as you train this week, remember that I will -- in my mind of course -- be going really fast.