I'm currently sitting on my couch sucking back probably more coffee than I should be, like usual, before heading out for today's ride. Looking out the window I was pondering random thoughts, more it was, what the hell am I going to write today. It was a rest day, had a massage, did some stuff, drank a little wine. Not really exciting. Then it came to the ride today.
The evolution of me, well at least in the last couple years. Every year I seem to take things a little farther in my performance. I'm getting older shouldn't I be getting slower?? Why?? I'm not complaining that I continue to get faster but I started to wonder why. The last 3ish years I've put in about the same hours of training a week, of course having Heather keep me on a leash has helped dramatically. The interesting thing is that I am actually racing more events now than in the past, group rides with finish lines!! The big thing is I'm not exhausted from all of it.
What about my body. This has been a big thing. shaving a few grams off a bike here and there is a great but no where near as impactful as dropping pounds off the body. 2008 my race weight was floating between 165-168lbs. I still looked lean. If anything overall stronger. I had slightly bigger arms and chest. I'm skinny regardless but I was big for being skinny. 2009 I thought I would take it up a level and drop some weight. More for one of the 24 hour races so we lots of discipline I was able to drop a good chunk of weight. Went down to a light weight 155-157. I felt the difference, and it showed in my riding.
Then there is this year. Well I stayed discipline on my eating, no bags of potato chips for dinner or eating till I was stuffed, mmmm I miss that. Eating more veggies, wine instead of beer etc etc. Well the end result is a current 153 lbs this morning and as the outdoor miles increase a few more drop off. Again I feel it on the bike.
The gear of course always helps but I've pretty much always ridden high end bikes. The only other factor is who you ride with. In the past I've ridden with strong average riders and usually been one of the fastest, now it's been riding with the fastest elite/pro riders and been fighting not to be the slowest. I'm happy that I can keep up with the guys considering that most of them are at least 10 years younger than I am. Yep, I'm the old man but my thoughts, cycling has kept me looking, feeling and acting younger than I really am.
SO what is my conclusion. It's everything combined that made the difference. Eat better, get a coach and ride with really fast friends. You have no choice but to get faster, if you don't you will end up on the side of the road after being dropped, alone, starving, knowing that you will have to explain your actions to the person that can be meaner than your Mother. I'm eating lots this morning, looking like it's going to be a great ride of pain as we venture to the mountains of Collingwood for the day.