Friday, July 6, 2007

Passing the time, a day in my life...

So, pre-race day has dawned again. Slept like a baby last night after the epic ride. Feel good again this morning, I'll ride about 1-1.5 hours today. Couple of form sprint and a few efforts at threshold. Nothing tough or that strenuous. Just gotta get the blood flowing, and clear out the legs. Gonna need some good legs tomorrow ;). I thought I would fill some of you in on how I spend my days here whilst not riding mi bicicletta. No matter how long of a ride I have, it always seems easy to fill the day. Generally I wake up about 7am. Get up, relieve myself, and the proceed to create some breakfast. Coffee machine gets turned on first, then eggs and toast, or yogurt and muesli... Depends on what I have planned the rest of the day. This meal will basically fuel my efforts for the day. Less food on recovery days, more on race slash long days. As a general rule in the house, "eat half as much food at meals than you would at home, and twice as much on the ride." And lots and lots of water. This is the Euro way courtesy of Bernard. The idea is simply that we, as North Americans not only eat wayyyyy too much, but also of the wrong things. I eat much less here. No seconds, one plate. And I have never felt so good. The liters of water definitely help too. Makes the whole body feel good and running smooth by drinking a lot. After breakfast, I grab my cup of joe, and head to the common room to check the net, email, etc... Generally head back to the kitchen after that, prep some ride food (Nutella sandwiches, banana, waffles...) and then get changed dependent on the weather. Grab the bike, and hit the road. After ride, it is time for a shower and some warm clothes. You must constantly be dressed warmly (house rules) to avoid sickness and help you body focus its energy on recovery. Socks, pants, long sleeves, and hat. Thems the rules. Obey or get reminded constantly by all. Works for me. Then usually a snack/late lunch and some tea. Followed by a nap (if needed) and some relaxation. Watch some bike racing (or Wimbledon tennis and Moto GP lately) and surf the net until dinner. Dinner usually consists of pasta/rice with some form of meat (mostly chicken or fish) with some veggies and a piece of biscotti and an apple for dessert. I truly enjoy the preparation of dinner the most in the day. I bought a whole bunch of spices lately and love to mix them up with sauces and curries to create something new. My current every dinner spice is simply hot sauce, but man, gives everything a kick and keeps the metabolism working faster apparently. Love the stuff. Recovery days I usually add in some baking (going to make some homemade ride bars today) and some extra movie/TV watching. Mostly I have been streaming and downloading new movies on the computer. Finished a few seasons of the Office and am now working on Little Britain. BBC British humour at its finest! Todays ride, is looking like an exceptionally windy one, according to the weather Westerly winds at 42km/h. Sweet. Then I have decided to learn to make crepes for lunch. The internet truly is a wonderful thing for a cyclist. I might have to read a lot more otherwise and send all you clowns letters everyday instead! After dinner, is usually legs up time, movie or Monopoly or general chillaxing time, and I usually throw in a bowl of cereal about 8. Thats my life. Pretty wonderful I must say. But yes, it is a hard life. Everything is done carefully, to avoid sickness, we ride rain or shine, there are very few days to be a tourist (recovery is paramount and walking all day isn't recovery), we can't enjoy too many Belgian brews, there are almost no sweets in the house (except some for ride food), and riding is our job after all. You must answer for yourself and represent the house well. Everyone has a job, as long as you do that job to the best of your abilities and work hard, everyone comes out happy. I have had the word passed down that my job for the race tomorrow is to cover early attacks and try to get into an early break. It will be a hard day. But it will also help me, both in the race and in the long run. If I can be in a small group heading to the climbs, I don't have to worry so much about my position in the pack and fight tooth and nail for a top 10 heading to the first climb. It will be harder work, but make the decisive point in the race easier in the big picture and make it easier for my team leaders for the day. And it could be worse, I could be designated to go back and forth to the cars for water. That almost guaranties that I won't make it over the climbs with the lead groups! Well, I have work to do, I'll update you after the race. Ciao

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