Saturday, December 29, 2012

Becoming Beastly

This morning I ran eight miles on the Children of the Sun Trail. Can you believe I didn't see another soul the entire time? The trail varied between being snow covered and ice encrusted. The ice was mostly where the foot prints, paw prints, and bike tracks crushed the snow. And there's one spot where the snowplows clearing the adjacent NSC roadway flung the mess onto the trail, making it a bit rougher. Combined with the 22-degree temp it was quite the change from the warmth and sunshine I was enjoying while running along the beach in Florida just four days ago. But I'm not complaining. I like the cold, too. During today's run I felt like Rocky IV. Only the snow wasn't thigh deep. And I wasn't carrying a tree trunk. And no cold-blooded blonde giant wanted to destroy me. And I'm not nearly as ripped. Well, I'm not ripped at all. But it was cold.

I plan to do more long distance running this next year. And I plan on training harder on the bike. So what's up with that?

During the last cyclocross season I stumbled across an article giving a single tip to improve your racing performance. Drop ten pounds. Simple as that. Just about everybody can afford to lose ten pounds and you'll be a little stronger and faster if you do. I didn't feel like trying that in the middle of the season but it gave me something to think about for next year.

I raced on the west side of the state a couple of times and seem to be more competitive there. There are a couple of contributing factors. Our Cat 4 races are 45 minutes long. Theirs are 30 minutes. It's easier to go all out for a shorter amount of time. Not that my all out amounts to that much, but you get my drift. Our age group breaks are at 40, 50, and 60 years of age. Theirs are at 35, 45, and 55 years. My racing age this year was 56 so I wasn't going up against 50-year-old whippersnappers in the west side races. They have many more participants on the west side, which is to be expected given the population base, so I was always battling someone. In our races I was usually battling one guy. And it was usually the same guy. But he's a great guy. And he's a beast.
A potential beast this way comes.
I mean that in a good way. Steve Meyer was my nemesis for almost the entire cross season. It would be easy to assume that since he finished one ahead of me in a number of races, that he and I were evenly matched. We were but only because Steve already had one race under his belt. Plus he rode a single speed. And to even things out a little more, he would crash once or twice. But Steve, although he's a beast, races with a smile on his face, always has an encouraging word, and is a great sportsman.

So here's my plan for next year. I'm dropping at least ten pounds but probably lose more. I'm already down seven so I'm on a roll, but I'm not in a rush. My bike commuting will be done like I'm going all out for a race. I'll throw in a couple of criteriums for fun. And I have a list of training regimens and exercises to follow to make myself more fit.

And next year I will be more beastly. But like Steve, very pleasant about it.

1 comment:

John Greer said...

10 pounds huh? My thoughts exactly. My goal is losing the poundage and to strengthen the legs.