Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sterling: Victory over Doubt and the Burning Tights

The rest of life roared for attention this week - endgame on clearing out the beloved house I grew up in - resulting in a fairly draining past few days. Plowed through the training out of stubbornness but questioned the merits of VO2 intervals that felt like flogging a dead horse. Dead warming up, wondering if I should even be there, and hid the heart rate monitor so I wouldn't get discouraged by numbers stuck in the cellar. We all try to be "pro," to keep our legs up, stretch, recover, and sleep, but we train and race in the context of the rest of our lives - hosting epic Thanksgivings or chronically getting the flu while teaching first grade or taking care of others or whatever - so my own busy spells are hardly unique, and hardly prohibitive of good bike racing. But believing this is sometimes a mental battle. Warming up I kept saying to myself "I am so strong, I am so smooth," something I do when I need to shut negativity out. This race was wide open in Lyne's (and Mo's) European absence. I thought coming in (at least prior to warming up), that if I rode well I could win and didn't want to squander this rare chance. In the end, I had the horsepower to make up for a few technical gaffs. I guess you could say I was racing against my friend Rebecca, not on her best day, but more I was racing my own self-doubt. My race was nothing spectacular - sluggish legs and lacking in grace on several of Tom's course features (at one point Richard Fries exclaimed "very clumsy dismount by Milkowski on the run-up!") but I got it done. Last year this race marked the end of an ill-contrived decision to go cold turkey on caffeine for the week, and I rode around in a coma, so revenge taken on this front. After the race I was yakking away with Kathi Riggert in front of a portable heater when she yelled "you're smoking!" and my tights caught on fire. There was a pretty big hole so I threw them away right there - they were old and pilly anyway so it's no great loss, and Kurt might have a replacement.


stefan said...

damn, that studio is clean! never seen it like that... that's pretty funny about the tights.

Rebecca said...

burning fast legs! you had more power than you think!

Amy Dombroski said...

Anna, Anna, Anna, you're bloggin' is slackin'. Good picture in Velo News...I'm jealous of the Caribbean looking water in the background and your non-legwarmer legs; meanwhile we just accumulated a foot of snow.