Friday, January 18, 2008

I [Hope I] Know How to Train Smart...

There comes a point when, if you really don't want to ride your bike that much, you probably shouldn't ride. Today for instance.

Today is another balmy day in Boise. Clear skies, dry roads, 27 degrees, 10 mph winds. Normally, a great day for a winter training ride. Normally, on days like today, I'd happily wrap myself in every single piece of warm-weather clothing I own (this is not an exaggeration -- my tights never came, if you remember), giddily stuff my pockets with food, bound out the door with a smile on my face (which would naturally be covered by my polarfleece neck gaiter), and start pedaling pretty darn hard. 15-20 minutes later, just as my hands and feet start to get numb, my core would be nice and toasty. Provided I didn't stop for more than thirty seconds, or let my wattage go below 250, I could be nice and comfortable (except for my hands and feet) for upwards of five hours. [Author's note: next year, I'm seriously considering exploring the world of true winter sports. I have a friend who tells me that skate skiing is actually enjoyable in weather like this.]

But it's not just the weather. When I woke up, my legs felt like they were dunked in a tank full of electric eels, thanks to the relentless onslaught of intervals my coach keeps sending me. [Author's note: this isn't unusual -- my legs feel like that more often than not. If they didn't feel like that, I wouldn't be training hard enough.] For the most part, I've eagerly gobbled up the workouts I've been given, even when my legs are tired. For the most part, I like the feeling of going hard on tired legs -- that's what stage racing is all about. Today however, my legs told me to reconsider. It's as though they were saying [author's note: god knows why, but my legs speak with an Irish brogue -- think Mary or Pippen in the Lord of the Rings]:

"Ya'know Sam, we know full-well we could finish the workout ya got planned fer yerself -- aye, we could give yer coach a power-file to remember for years to come -- but the hole we're diggin', it's not gettin' any shallower. If ya'd like our advice, ya should give us a rest: take a nap, watch a movie, drink yerself some hot coco, and look forward to tomorrow."

Sometimes, my Irish legs know best, ya know?

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