Heidelberg Homeboy: Mallorca-Germany And Back
As I sit here right now, I am 10 days away from my second training camp in Mallorca, the bigger and badder camp – 15 days of training in lovely, sunny Mallorca. The only problem with this one, well, there will be time trials, uphill time trials, mini races, and races up mountains — all the stuff that hurts, and makes you realize that hey, the season really IS about to start, no more thinking that 35 kmh for 5 hours was pretty quick. I’m scared to think that soon enough, I’ll look down at my sweet Endless Pursuit GPS and see 45-55 kmh (and I won’t be descending), but I won’t be able to make out the numbers all that clearly, as I’ll be crying like a little girl.
Ahh, yes – training camp in Mallorca…
The 17th State
I don’t know what it is with Germany and Mallorca. I’ve heard Mallorca referred to as Germany’s 17th state – Germans have a major love affair with Mallorca. I was in a store today and there was a double CD of German songs to be sung in Mallorca, what the hell? Signs in Mallorca are in Spanish and German. Spanish and German? Aw well, I guess it’s fair to say that my dream of doing a training camp in Tuscany won’t be happening any time soon.
I was in Mallorca for our first training camp from January 2nd to January 12th, and it was quite the experience. It was quite a bit of riding: we started with a five-block, yes, a FIVE block, then a rest day, and then finished with a four-block of training. I have very rarely ever ridden more than three days in a row, and considering we rode everyday between 150 and 200 kilometers, it was quite an eye-opener. I loved it though, I just felt, for lack of a better term: “so pro”. I don’t know what I’m complaining about though, they ride for like 3 weeks straight in the Tour, so cool.
I think Robby Ventura has a good idea for training camps, treat ‘em like a stage race, so when you’re cross-eyed climbing that ridiculously hard climb, you can think, hey, I’m going to be eighth on the mountain-top finish, sweet. When you wake up in the morning, it’s not just another day of ruthless training, it’s an opportunity to put the hurt on my teammates, but a better opportunity for them to hurt me (I know that’s not what he meant when he said it, but whatever works to to get through).
Ooh, no, training camp in Mallorca…
After returning from Mallorca, I realized that I was completely exhausted, and ended up sleeping most of my existence away for the next 3 days. I ate a lot, felt pretty fat, stepped onto my trusty scale and saw that I had gained almost FIFTEEN pounds in 12 days of mad training on Mallorca (I’ve lost 12 of the 15 pounds since then). Is that humanly possible? I didn’t look fat, where was this weight? I thought that I might have lost weight there, but then again, getting fifths and sixths of ice cream every night – probably not the best method to lose weight.
So with this horrific truth, I stumbled to my bike like an old drunkard and was most unhappy (probably due to the snow). I felt like hell the first few days, but little by little the love returned and by the end of the week I was roaring along. I had seen the light, my 5 hour rides that only took me 120-130 km were just not good enough anymore, way too amateur. I wanted to ride 190 km now, who cares how long it would take. The fact that riding in a group of 10 for 180-200 km really speeds up the process seemed to elude me, but I learned this the hard way as I stumbled home in the gloaming 7.5 hours after I started last Saturday. I rode for the entire daylight hours, it was so cool.
So, after doing 7.5 hours one day and surviving like a champ, I thought, well, why not do it again, so I rode 7.5 hours, twice in one week, plus one six hour ride, plus two 5.5 hour rides, and one little spin of 3 hours, sooo pro (for an explanation for this, see: ,span class=boldtextblue>www.soprojones.com).
Ooh, no, training camp in Heidelberg…
The weather has gone absolutely psycho over the past few weeks. Two weeks ago it snowed basically the entire week, and I was left riding the mountain bike through ever growing increasing snow drifts. I’ve never worked so hard to ride at walking pace, snow makes everything a bit more extreme – visually (so beautiful), physically (so hard), dangerously (very scary), and cold (what hands?).
Anyhow, after a rough week of snow, the sun came out, and suddenly it was 60 degrees! I took this opportunity to ride my bike a good 35 hours (see above), I just couldn’t stop, it was like spring time. It didn’t feel like training, it was the most refreshing week of riding in ages. Well, as soon as the warm weather decided it was time to move out, the wind had to come and blow the love away, and did it blow. I’ve never ridden in such a raging gale in my life, it was a frickin hurricane without the rain, and once again, I’ve never worked so hard to ride at walking pace. The weather is quite the fickle player here in Germany, it’s all good though, hopefully it will just make me hard, like Museeuw, or something like that.
It’s crunch time now – I have to ride like a pro now, even if I’m not one (or even close). The season starts in about a month, and all of my races will be between 140 and 190 km and fast – I’ve only done one race EVER of that length, and our crit speeds are their 180 km road race speeds. I am in for a world of hurt – the pain train is comin, oh it is coming, pulling into my stop right now. Then there are my two research papers – over 20 pages each, I’ve never written a paper over 15 pages, let alone TWO. I guess there’s a first time for everything. Wish me luck.
Feel free to email me with any comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you. Really, I would.
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