So I had a pretty hard day last Saturday, starting with racing a tough race (my legs weren’t great and it showed in the results, but I rode an honest race so I am pretty happy about it) and then going on for quite a lot of climbing, which was very, very slow.
On my ride though I met, and then met again, a young bloke new to the area who was looking to get into road racing. He said he had just arrived from China, they didn’t do much road riding where he was from, and that he wasn’t a fan of hills. He pretty much had a track sprinter’s build and even while we were riding together I could see that hills were not his friend. He was on a nice enough bike but he had enhanced it with his own graphics, and they seemed to have been applied with a thick black marker pen. He had written his name on there, which I thought was sensible, but he had also written, all the way along the downtube, “Victory Loves Preparation”. It was, I thought, a great motto. And here he was, out riding in the hills. So while he may not have been a climber that day, he was preparing to be one.
I liked the motto, and I repeated it to myself a few times over the next few hours. The next morning when I woke to the sound of falling rain knowing that I had 200km in my program for the day it was that line that came to mind as I dragged myself out of bed, for what turned out to be a great (if somewhat wet) ride.
Of course good intentions for preparation are all very well, but sometimes life gets in the way. This week has not been a good one at work, and somehow what was meant to be a week of lots of racing and a trip away to ride on some bigger hills has become late nights at the office, no riding at all except on the wind trainer, and right now I am about 600km behind my distance goal for the week. So forget that bit of preparation.
The other view of course is that it is great preparation for the fact that in Transcontinental there will be things that don’t go as planned. Getting up tomorrow and doing whatever training I have time for without beating myself up over a missed goal or pushing so hard that I end up doing myself damage is probably an essential sort of preparation!