Saturday, February 13, 2010

And So It Begins.

"Are you ready to race?"

The Mexican asks me as we sit at an outdoor cafe on the main street of Santa Barbara. It's Friday, sunny and I've had a few glasses of wine. The latter is making me a little slow on the uptake and I initially think that the question has to do with reaching the bottom of the glass in front of me.

"Like right now or in general?"

He gives me a look that suggests that I exercise some common sense.

I shrug.

"I suppose."

Motivation to race is hard to come by right now. I'm not sure if its the product of the mileage we did in California or my preoccupation with things other than bike racing. The road race season opener was three days ago. We were on a plane. I haven't even bothered to check the results page to see who won my race.

Because I simply don't care.

Not caring, ironically, has become a source of anxiety. It feels like burn-out and I haven't even lined up to race yet.

We did some great rides in Santa Barbara. Lots of up, up, up and many spectacular vistas. We visited the gate of Neverland Ranch, cruised past wineries featured in the movie Sideways and spent time at the summit of Gibraltar Road, which, at the time, felt like the top of the world.

As predicted, I had good legs for two rides. Sunday's 70-mile Lake Casitas Loop and the 93-mile epic slogfest up Gibraltar to Solvang and back up Hwy 101. But the climbing legs were on vacation by the time we did the Neverland Ranch Ride on Wednesday and I skipped the second Gibralter ascent on Thursday due to a splitting headache and quads so sore that they were tender to the touch.

Instead, R and I stayed in the foothills, stopping for coffee in Carpenteria and for a photo op at the Santa Barbara Pier.

This was our vacation ride. The ride where I finally started to relax and enjoy the week away from Portland. No worrying about nutrition, start times, flat tires, route maps or keeping the group together. Just me, my man and two wheels. It was a little bit of heaven. Too bad it was our last day on the bike.

Calling training camps "vacations" is a misnomer. To me, vacations mean relaxation. Peace. Quiet. A chance to slow down and be still. To eat slow and ride slower (if riding at all). Vacations do not involve the constant juggling of personalities, jockeying for hot showers and predicting of food preferences. Vacation is not exhausting. And I am exhausted.

So I sit here at my desk feeling like I need a vacation from my "vacation." But instead I print off OBRA waivers and send out carpooling emails. Sublimity is on Saturday and I need to find out whether my current ambivalence is more serious than a sort of cyclist's Seasonal Affective Disorder.

1 comment:

Cigo said...

I love how our blog posts titles are the same...

Soon as you get the taste of blood in your mouth you'll be on it. Don't worry. All you need this year is balance- and you'll find it.