15 September, 2012

Friday the 14th (aka insomniac ennui)

What an amazingly long and energetic week.  Where does one begin?  From all my undergraduate physiological testing (quid pro quo from the racers was free blood work if you agreed and signed the death waiver for nutty physiological experiments from the grad students) from the best University in the world-the Universtiy of Texas-I deduced my fatigue comes from my lack of Fe, Iron, pronounced Eye-ern.  It has 26 protons and what this lovely element does for us is that it provides the backbone of hemoglobin.  Heme holds four oxygens.  When I was racing for UT what the physiologists noticed that I was rather anemic.   

So are you suffering from trouble focusing?  Maybe fatigue?  Perchance insomnia?  I is peeps.  Not chronically but now.  What my friends at work are suggesting is to eat a big steak.  As tempting as that might sound, I am a vegetarian, okay a pescatarian for my occasional forays into sushi. What prompted this bout of anemia you might ask?  Well, I raced a cyclocross race Wednesday and yes, as well as the release of endocannabinoids, it also made my hip flexors rather sore.  So what does one do to up this?  Ride the hour of power the next day.  I was yawning up a storm before the ride but the need to ride the bike supersedes the sloth-like tendencies of riding the couch (if I had a couch).  Remember too that as a teacher I have to do stuff like grade and plan and setup/breakdown labs between my bouts of playing racer wannabee.  Grading is not so bad when you have class company but regardless, the racing and teaching reduces sleep time.  Been slacking on my recovery rides and drinks post race too, so I guess that's partially my fault. 

Ahh shite.  Did it come to a head today!  As soon as school got out I crashed!  After I got up amidst a crushing headache I wanted to eat.  Without my kids apparently I don't have the wherewithal to buy groceries.  Opened the fridge and there was nothing inside except butter (contained in Jay's butter dish-that's another story), pickles, a chunk of cheese that I'm pretty sure is past due, Sirachi sauce (yea!), Picante sauce (yea!),  flax seed...etc. You get the picture (of the absent minded single Dad)?  My hurting unit self went back to bed in my foggy stupor of a headache and grumbling stomach to sleep.  Slept off the headache woke to a roaring stomach now I'm hungry and it's 1:30 in the morning (Saturday).  Found some leftover pretzels from our trip to Pecos so now I'm typing and snacking while listening to my latest used CD musical score:  Rudy Van Gelder's Remaster of John Coltrane's Standard Coltrane.  Paul Chambers and Red Garland accompany him on this one as well.  Gives me goose pimples listening to this stuff from the late fifties. 

Why even mention this?  Because I need to prepare myself mo' bettah for Sunday's cyclocross event (on a 29er nonetheless).  Live and learn.  There's time for me to correct my position and fly straight, so that's what I'm going to do.  As soon as a breakfast joint opens I'm going to eat, eat, eat, and maybe do some more eating, then I'm off to watch my eldest play her old soccer team in the high foothills later this morning.  Drowsiness coming up, Coltrane's done playing, better take advantage of it...

13 September, 2012

First Cyclocross Of The Season

synchronizing the jump before the dismount was rough at the beginning...
It was a dark and stormy night (sorry, I'm plagiarizing); but it was the night before the event.  It rained for most of the day too.  Channel nine reported two inches of precipitation so when I asked my teammate if we were still on for racing that day he reported he didn't bring his bike.  I was relieved because I err on the side of being race lazy.  On the other hand, the weather was just ripe for cyclocross and in Denver we're headed for a new record of 72 days of 90 degree plus weather so the Fall-like preemptive, welcoming strike from Mother Nature was novel for my senses and a wee bit overdue.

By the time my workday ended the asphalty surfaces near my campus had mostly dried and I said to myself, "Self?  Why for art thou not racing?"  I couldn't think of a rational excuse so I mentally committed (51%) to haul butt out of my classroom, lube my chain (easy now!), give my Airborne a pre-flight check, and ensure all my gear was in one huge duffel a misanthropic, psychopathic, serial killer (or hockey player?)  could be proud of.  Living in the ghetto, I needed about 45 minutes for my commute to Golden, leaving me with no time to warmup after registering myself.  In fact, my homey G, Kenny, had to pin my number on my bottom right side for me (not my actual bottom, mind you).

Like a NOVICE, I wore shoes that were not easy to clip in and out.  This cost me dearly at the start when I was suffering like a Cat 6 trying to get my left foot into my ATAC's.  Cost me about 10 places when all 50 of  us log jammed onto the singletrack.  Once on the singletrack I was a jostling fiend, passing whenever I could but not short cutting the trail.  Apparently one person took umbrage to my calculated passing and we were body checking each other for the line (I had the inertia, he was a dick).  I passed him on a left hand sweeper, and he took it a bit further and bumped me non-friendly-like on the right hand sweeper.  I deviated so far off course three people passed me.  Aww shite, I said to myself, "Self?  You gonna let that spandex wearing scrub do you like that brah?"  I wanted to retaliate and give him the supreme body check kara-te style whenever that opportunity presented itself but he was non-affiliated and I was flying the colors.  Natural Grocers would probably not like hearing that their representative was doing something unbecoming of the orange and black (yes, they are also Halloween's colors).  This part of the course, the mud is oppressive and turning-let alone passing-is difficult, so I bid my time to go for the pass at either the obstacles or  the one straight away before the start/finish.  Lo and behold I see my body checking friend and when I pass him all stealth-like I bust an ATARI lane change on him so that he has to brake and adjust his line as I cut him off (oops, sorry brah!) right before the downhill, muddy, right-hand sweeper leading into a stiff bump.  I'm dieseling like Beelzebubba at this point and there's no way in hell I'm gonna let this guy mentally draft off of me or hear me breathing from that expenditure of energy (i.e. burnt one of my matches) as I roll past him.  Y-chromosome redemption baby! 

So in my throttle-running-wide-open, diesel mode, breathing like Cyrano De Bergerac with a deviated septum and a wicked underbite, snot dribbling from my nares, while swallowing some choice soil samples (2012 is going to be a good, vintage year for mud!) I start picking off people.  I pick off my teammate and probably another dozen or so people.  I think I'm the first one on a (29er) mountain bike to finish.  It took a while to synchronize my jump with my heavy-arsed 29er with her 2.1 tubeless tires with my saddle bag dangling off my seat rails.  Needless to say, Penelope performed admirably with nary a complaint.  Also, my results are not yet posted on-line so suffice to say I can neither confirm nor deny my awesomeness (or lack thereof) from today's anaerobic endeavors.  Let's just say I was a pack finisher for this one.

Okay, my first one done and next Wednesday I'ma bring my correct shoes and an elbow pad for my body checking homeboy/competitor..

Now it's time to cleanup, grade, and to spend some quality time with a quality person.