Homeboy: Tests Are Like Taxes…
Tests are like taxes, you have to do them and you rarely like the results. – By Gregg Germer –
This week I took my first performance test of the year and well – it didn’t go to plan. It showed I wasn’t in the best of shape, but it also showed I wasn’t out of shape. At times like these I would get a bit upset and fret over my performance, but the I remembered the only result that matters is a win, not a test.
So with this test came a barrage of negative thoughts about myself and my training. I began a quest to run thought after thought of my exploits of this winter, looking for that magical thing I could quickly change to make it all better. It’s times like these when I revert to a mental state of infomercial instant gratification that I dislike my being brought up in a society of Slim-Fast and Jenny Craig wherein it’s just easier to buy some magic pill than look to yourself for the power to change things. After some wasted time processing the past I realized has hard as I think about it I can’t change the past and the only thing I can change is the future. I have to put my focus on the week ahead and not the months of past.
Cycling is eternally a mental game… be it as much a physical one, but there are rarely tests of one’s mentality in sport. I have always thought it would be cool to do a psychological profile of the top 100 cyclists on the UCI rankings and you would find a special breed of person with character traits, along with some physical ones, which really were the facilitators in them achieving their level of sport.
While were talking about metal strain, I’ll parallel into the idea of European racing. The first competition of they year was a very well attended 140 kilometer Kermese race in Ichtegem, Belgium. There’s nothing quite like having some of Europe’s best amateurs, and a few ex-pros who were dropped from teams, drill the speeds into some very nasty cross winds and cause some wide spread disaster!
For this reason, some bad luck and bad position (both of which seem to always to together, so everyone out there in internet land take note!) I found myself demoted to the second large field after avoiding a nasty crash. Be it as it may, I surely would have met my fate when the race hit a crazy hard 2.2 kilometer cobbled road, which just happened to go slightly uphill and into the wind. This isn’t your average race by any means!
My fate, like 2/3 of the field, wasn’t a finish. After last year I am use to the thorough thrashing I received, but I know I will be in form soon and ready to give just what I have received. Then the real fun begins!
So the start of the season has been a little jittery, but as with any racing engine, all I need is some tune up, two or three races to break it in, some final adjustment and things are all in order for the flowers to be filling the room!