I have one race left this year, Clearwater 70.3 World Championships. Training in Colorado for a race this late is a little tough. The weather starts to get bad, and unpredictable. You have to reset your homepage to weather.com, and you can’t be afraid to change your ride to a trainer ride at the last minute. OR, my personal favorite, you head out for a two hour ride, only to come back an hour later shaking because you are as frozen as a popscicle, where you put your bike on the trainer, and 30 minutes later you are sweating up a storm and in your sportsbra and shorts. You’ve gotta be flexable.
I’ve also been swimming a lot. My body feels better than ever in the pool as I am finally learning how to swim with my back, my abs, and my lats, rather than my shoulders (and dropping those to boot). All the time in the pool has really started bonding me to the sport. I had a few days last week where I was full of excitment on the way to practice…which starts at 5:15am. Wow. The form changes have resulted in some progress, as I have PRed in my 100, 200, 300, 500, and 750 in the last 10 days. And that’s just during normal main sets, so clearly something is starting to come together. I still have so far to go, but I am hoping to really keep this momentum going through the entire winter.
The last few weeks Steve has thrown yet another opportunity/challenge my direction. Motorpacing. The pros do it. I’ll admit, when I finished our first session I was pretty proud of myself, but during the actual ride, I have never thought so many cuss words in my life. Sarah was our moped driver and I never knew that such a small girl could inflict so much pain on me. It’s a good thing that she’s so nice, because during the first session when I thought of her name, about 5 cuss words followed it.
Motorpacing can be kinda dangerous. I mean, there is a moped involved, and the point is sorta to ride as close to the moped as possible. We knew it was business time, when Steve put on his helmet.
The motorpacing is a lot like a bike race. The first time, as Sarah was getting used to driving (it’s a pretty challenging job and she has done well with it) she would accelerate a little to quick, or wouldn’t back off enough on inclines and we would blow up trying to hang onto her. The second time we were in a much better rhythm and I only blew up once, instead of the 4 times I blew up before. Also, when you are the third man back (uhh…woman I mean) the draft is less, so you are fighting harder to stay on. The nicest place to be is right on the moped’s wheel. The second best place to be is on Steve’s wheel, and the toughest place to be is on Tony’s wheel. Tony can respond to whatever the moped dishes out and his power accelerations are strong and quick, AKA easy to get dropped! Here he is showing off what an angry motorpacing monster he can be. Just kidding, Tony is a nice as they come (but man is he strong).
The ride that we have been doing is slightly downhill home and boy can you fly down that road. I’m in my biggest gear, spinning, on a relatively flat road. We are going as fast as the cars pretty much and you should see the looks on other cyclist faces when the steam engine rolls by. Pretty wild. Here’s Tony just coming off a pull…if you can call it that, really the moped is pulling the whole way.
However, when the pace gets out of my league, and I am holding on for dear life, it’s just me and my legs. I can barely keep track of the road, or what gear I’m in. My form goes to crap and I just focus on pushing my legs as hard as I can. It’s scrappy, but it’s good for me.
There may be snow on the ground here in Colorado, but you can bet it’s not slowing me down. I’m still training hard, working on my weak spots, and aiming to get faster. Plus, I’m having fun, look where I live.