Tuesday, July 25, 2006

wheel sucker

i'm five-foot-four, about. in october i weighed 135 pounds, which is a pretty good weight for me. it's not my best fighting weight. my best weight is about 125, but i haven't been that thin since about my sophomore year of college, more than twenty years ago. i shouldn't weigh less than that, because i look too thin, but it would be an ideal weight for bike racing.

i only mention this because when i got sick i started to put on weight and i was afraid to look at the worst of it, but at some point when i finally did get on the scale, i weighed in at 185. i won't even tell you the body fat content.

but there's this thing about gettting on a bike and hauling your fat ass up a mountain; you burn a lot of energy. if you go out and keep climbing often enough, the first thing that happens is not that you lose weight. the first thing that happens is that your fat ass is much more solid and jiggles less when you move. sometimes you even get heavier.

but you keep doing it and you do start to get lighter. there's less of you to haul up that mountain.

i weigh about 175 pounds now. it's still pretty heavy for a woman of my height, but every day i'm getting stronger. more solid. my uniforms are starting to fit again.

i'm still slower than i was last year and everybody keeps telling me that i should be more forgiving, that the real vicory is that i'm managing to show up on the start line. it's hard, though. i used to win things. i used to place respectably in time trials. i have been state champion more than once. it's really hard to let go of all of that and return to the state i was in before i was fast.

there's also this other thing: if you ride hard on monday and then race on tuesday, wednesday and thursday every week, your times for each individual event are not as speedy as they would be if you concentrated on one. it does wonders for your overall fitness, though.

maybe i will come back stronger than i ever was. i can hope.

last night i rode my bike from texas hill road in huntington up to the top of the gore road, and then i turned left and rode a ways up mccullough turnpike toward app gap. i stopped about 2k from the top, before the really hard climb, but let there be no mistake: it's still a climb.

coming through huntinton proper i was passed by a pair of riders and i asked if i could hop on and suck his wheel for a while. you can do this; when you're out and people riding together pass you you may ask permission to get on the end of their train. it is not polite to just hop on.

but then she came off the front and we hit a climb and i couldn't pull through. i couldn't keep up with them, nevermind doing any of the work, but for a while it was nice. then they turned off toward hinesburg.

so i kept riding. you find a gear you can turn and you keep turning it. and from where i turned around, it was a really cool descent. a car passed me and boy, i could smell his brakes burning. i was not using brakes.

that's not entirely true; there are some places where you have to use brakes. but i went as fast as i could and there's no feeling like it on this planet. i rode like i was being chased by the hounds of hades until i saw rumblstrip, coming to pick me up. then i rode a little ways, i think to van dine road, where there was a decent place for her to stop and turn and park. the map almost shows the trip; for some reason i couldn't get it to show quite how far up the gap i rode, but it's probably not important.

then i washed up a little and put on reasonably clean clothes as a courtesy to rumblestrip, and we went off ostensibly to do a little geocaching, but we didn't find a thing and we didn't care.

and tonight when we ran, i felt like i was running slower than usual; i didin't feel like i was suffering as much, and crashco caught up with me earlier than he usually does. he and rumblestrip paced me in to the end and i have no idea how this happened, but it was my best time by two minutes. two minues is kind of a big improvement.


anyway, i'm gong to try to get some sleep, even though it's comparatively early. i'm having some difficulty with takeing enough sedatives to get me to sleep. but not enough to make me hungover in the morning.

and lately i'm noticing that i get sluggish when the barometer drops. and if i have too big a hit of sugar. today at my house there was a maple syrup emergency: i'm almost to the end of the jug and i screwed on the lid and turned it upside down but it leaked anyway and there's only one thing to do in such a situation: get a spatula. i tried to scoop it off the counter and onto a waffle with limited success, but in the end it just came to eating it right off the spatula.

then i slept until two-thirty. i almost couldn't get up, even then.

little lessons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! A great time out on the bike and some interesting revelations - especially the maple syrup and feeling sluggish.

As usual I really like your writing. It's fresh and almost mezmerizing.


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