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The State of Things

In my latest blog for velonews, I wrote a bit about how tired I was after getting back from my crazy block of racing. Even now that I’ve bounced back, I can’t believe the extent of my fatigue. I had just returned from a 7-week stint of races averaging over 4000kJ per day in 35 race days. In the first week of my break, I only had enough energy to eat and sleep. I wasn’t racing anymore, but my appetite was still aching for 5000 calories per day. I would awaken from a solid 9 hours of sleep, have a huge breakfast, and then have a late morning nap that lasted 3 hours. I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep again at night, but for 5 days I managed to keep this routine up before I started to feel normal again.

I stayed in Girona during my break rather than return to the US because I hadn’t yet had a chance to spend a big chunk of time there and get to know the city properly. I was only ever there for a week at a time, so it was nice to go to some concerts there during their summer Classical Music Festival. Other than that, I was a hermit for a while. I was fine while on the road racing, but it wasn’t until I got back to a quiet apartment that I realized just how overstimulated this introvert had been…I had such a nice time just laying in bed and mowing through books like a machine.

I had been looking forward to spending significant time practicing piano during my break, but I failed to anticipate how uncomfortable that might be during the Spanish summer in an apartment without air conditioning. Once the heat wave hit, any piano practicing had to be followed up with a shower, as the temperature inside was getting well into the 80’s during the afternoon.

I started training again for real after 9 days away from the bike and another 5 of easy spins to reestablish the rhythm, and quickly decided that any ride longer than 2 hours meant an early wake-up, as stopping to refill bottles every half hour gets old fast. My legs bounced back quickly, though, and I arrived at training camp a few days ago with a fair bit of fitness already.

We’re in the French Alps at the same ski resort we stayed at last year, although the cast of characters is a bit different this time around. Some guys don’t like training camps, but for me they work well at this time of year. I tire of training too much by myself around this point of the season, and a camp provides a good environment to just focus on training (and working off the weight I put on during my week of hibernation). As a big bonus, we have a car behind us with fresh bottles whenever we need them.

That’s a good place to wrap up the first post on my new site, but check back often! I’m up here on a mountain without too much to do, which means I’ll be in the mood to do some writing….