The middle of February… This can be a tough time in what seems like a long month for pretty much anyone. We are still stuck in the dead of winter and the days really don’t feel much longer. If you’re in Ottawa, you’re surrounded by snow and is very cold (at least today). This can make for some long days.
Well, I’ve found a way to beat the winter malaise. (And yes, I know. I’ve only been back in Ottawa for a week now so I shouldn’t be moaning about the cold and snow..) My solution to these days that really aren’t that friendly to us bike racers? Ride the rollers… Yep, never will 45 minutes or an hour go by so quickly as it does as you’re slip sliding around the rollers on your two-wheeler. Trust me, I know.
I just finished my first roller ride of the season. Wow, hard to believe that way back in the ’90s I used to only train on the rollers. Let me tell you it wasn’t a pretty down there in the basement. I was wobbly. I definitely didn’t ride in a straight line. My shoulders were in my ears. I gripped the bars a bit too tight. My knees were sticking out. I even fell off once. But I got through it.
45 minutes of roller riding is done. The time went by so quickly. Much more quickly than when riding the trainer. I guess because I was too busy focusing on staying upright that I didn’t have time or the energy to think about the slowly ticking clock. I’m not ready to watch television and ride the rollers yet. So I listened to a podcast on my iPod and tried to ignore the sweat puddles forming on my body. Thing is, with the trainer I can towel off and wipe my glasses whenever I want – on the roller this just isn’t happening.
It’s tempting to take the easy route and ride the trainer. Much less risk involved. I can watch television, drink water, and wipe away the sweat. But riding the rollers will pay off in the racing season with a more fluid pedaling stroke and an effortless high cadence (at least this is what I’m telling myself). Besides time flies on the rollers.
Tomorrow I’ll break out and get outside for another trail run followed by some trainer riding time to flush out my legs. I’m fully back in the groove of training now. My body is feeling good. I really missed this structured training. So far the fatigue levels haven’t been that severe and luckily I’m not experiencing much muscle soreness. I’ve reacquainted myself with my foam roller and my stretching routine to help keep my muscles loose and limber.
So there you have it. Almost one week into training for the 2011-2012 cyclo-cross season. It feels good to be coming back!
On another note, I have written a book. It is called: An Unlikely Elite. This is my story of reaching my goal of racing at the World Cyclo-Cross Championships. You can download it in epub format or in pdf. If you like what you read, it would be great if you made a donation to my fundraising efforts for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada. You can use the PayPal button on the An Unlikely Elite web site. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my book and for making a donation.