Ah race season is finally underway for me. I've been in this training bubble alone outside in the cold everyday since December. The clouds have part ways more and the sun expresses it's hotter temperatures onto the earth. It feels nice not having three+ layers on me while I cycle. I already have my zebra/cycling tan going on. It looks pretty cool and my girlfriend Maija admires it :)
My first race of the season was also my first race with a new team; Team Somerset/Somerville Bike Shop. Gill the owner of the Somerville bike shop took me on even though everyone else on the team is CAT1. I'll have to work hard to show him and the rest of the team they are not wasting their time. If anything I'm sure it's comedic to have a muchacho blanco on the team. Our first race together was this past Sunday at Central Park in NYC. The course is a little over 6 miles long and we did 5 laps. A short race for most 1/2 guys. It's one of the many reasons I'm not a big fan of racing in Central Park. In my opinion it's a place for sprinters or beginner competitive cyclists. Just as New York City can be claustrophobic so can a bicycle race in the park. The road twists and turns like a snake and because of it's short distance the pace is blazzing fast from the start. Sunday was no different. It was a great temperature (mid 50's) for a morning race but I was still felling overdressed in my all black cycling kit. Our team kits have no come in yet so we are all wearing matching black kits with no sponsors. The black knights! My legs responded to every hard effort the pack or the course threw at me.
New York City racing is a small community of people. For this reason it was no surprise when my teammates and I rolled up to the starting line everyone had that "who are those guys" expression on their face. In the end it really doesn't matter what your wearing. I'm sure if they had full results instead of only top 10 our team would have spoke for itself. All 4 of us finished in the top 15. The race went off with a few attacks that were brought right back. Gill did a great job of working hard on the front, chasing down any attacks. I did exactly what he said which was sit in until 1 lap remaining and then get up into the top 15. With one lap to go I waited until the hill to get a good position in the top 15-20. I sat right on Gill's wheel but didn't see our other two teammates which was essential for a proper lead out. Coming into the final 1-2K it was very hard getting around people because we were veering in and out of the joggers lane. (Not intentionally) In the final sprint I had no wheel to chase, went hard as hell to still have a top 15 finish. I was a little pissed with this result. Also because one of our other teammates finished 6th. Where was he for my lead out? Guess I will have to wait until next weekend for another shot at a lead out. I've been thinking lately that still at the CAT2 level it comes down to what I can do for myself in a race. I can understand why it's hard for people to sacrifice themselves in a race for someone else. Especially when they are not getting paid. Tour of the Battenkill will be my first good test to see how I match up against other CAT2's. I'm very excited for the day.
On other news my body has been a little bit of a mess lately. Two weeks ago I had some pain in my big toe. Turns out I had an ingrown toe-nail and needed it removed. That set my training back a day or two. I'm still dealing with some residual soreness. Then about a week ago the right side of my mouth was killing me. Turns out I had a bummed wisdom tooth that needed to get removed. Right after the race on Saturday I headed back to Long Island where I went straight to the Dentist where he ripped my tooth out. OUCH! I've been on painkillers for 2 days now. I'm hoping today will be the last day of this.
Other things on my mind...
Thinking about finishing my Masters.
Thinking about what to finish my Masters in...
Thinking about how much I love training and living in NJ compared to Long Island.
I really like cookies.
I have become crazy attached to our dog Cooper :)
Video games are cool but a waste of time.
March Madness is crazy fun and the games are so close!
I can't wait for my mouth to stop hurting.
I have been realizing I might be a Philanthropist. I've been looking into volunteering so of my time but haven't told anyone yet. There is this organization that needs people to help out with war veterans. It could be senior citizens or people who are the same age as myself. I think this would be interesting. My life of cycling and training sometimes makes me a selfish person. I'm constantly thinking about how I can improve myself as an athlete physically. But I am realizing that to help others and donate your time can be not only mentally stimulating but effects our minds positively. This week I'll look more into this veterans help idea.
I have also realized that we should never try to be someone that we ARE NOT. While trying to figure myself as an individual I do not want to become a person on the basis of someone's own endeavors. We can only be who WE choose to be. Most jobs out there are respectable professions but we must respect ourselves before we can commit to that type of livelihood. Parents are quick to think of the top respectable jobs for their kids because those professions are well regarded intellectually. No matter what the circumstances if we do not choose our own path to righteousness then we are living the dream of someone else. Those words do go with the fact of finding ones lifework. The question we must ask ourselves is, If we could live our lives all over again would we change anything?
Ah but the real question is:
What choice did we actually have from the start?
We can't run from who we are, our destiny chooses us...