Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All revved up with no place to go.....

Ahh, makes you feel 16 again doesn't it? I know, not the best quality video out there. Try this one; cavorting, scantily-clad women in leather and fishnet. I think the 16 year-old in me just had a cerebral vascular accident (or something). I know it's cheesy, over-the-top, objectifying, demeaning and promulgates sexist stereotypes of women, but it's also rock-n-roll. This is before we talk about Carmen Electra, ahem, fronting ZZ Top's Sharp Dressed Man and Legs. Is it warranted? Perhaps not, but I like to think we can all let our PC instincts lie down for a while in the interests of a thumping back-beat.

Lest us not forget the late Robert Palmer, the godfather of such scantily-clad rock foolery.

Is it me, or are those knee-length dresses on the guitarists looking dangerously modest? Probably because of this. I've heard that Richard Curtis films, such as the one that last video came from, portray an inaccurate picture of England as a romantic wonderland; snow at Christmas (a la Bridget Jones's Diary)? Please! And it, should it actually snow at Christmas, we all know the place would grind to a shuddering halt that would last until Epiphany. Still, I have to be careful of them. Too many can put me in a state of nostalgic melancholy.

Not that I've ever pursued Rene Zellweger through snow-covered streets or publicly dumped Anna Chancellor (that Gladys Althorpe; never buys 'er own) for Andie MacDowell of course. It's just the, well, Britishness of it all. Oh well, it isn't good to dwell too extensively in the past, in detracts from the now dhaling.

Which rather long-windedly brings me to the original subject of this post, feeling decidedly all revved up with no place to go. Randal asked me this morning when I was going to use some of my form on a race-course. I have no idea.

Let's look at it. I spent the winter sitting, by choice, on the sidelines while y'all skated and skied around me. I have neither the skill or the knees for such activities and gladly awaited the return of sports dependent upon a decidedly higher coefficient of friction. None-the-less, I slithered and slid my way through many, many training runs, putting miles in the bank against such a day.

I missed Moose due to both family and triathlon commitments. Goffs, I was on the course at the turn due to RNS commitments. I missed the Pig being unable to secure the time off work. I skipped the 8 miler today through (to be honest) blatant apathy yet paradoxically buried myself on the training run. I'll miss the Bulldog 5K for the same reason as the Pig and the following duathlon for the first reason stated, but I'm still working through last year's gin so that's not so bad.

I am, on-track however to make a 2011 racing debut at the Bluenose, reprising my role as the 1:30 pace-bunny and, once more, I hope to reprise my role as full-marathon quasi-sanctioned/quasi-bandit running half-an-hour behind the main group.

This isn't because of the Tally. I have neither the time, money, inclination or knees for such foolery. It's because of what racing does for me. One, I really enjoy it. I can't explain it either. I'm a basket-case beforehand, sometimes for days, totally wound up, I push myself like crazy during it, and invariably spend a few minutes on the floor retching afterwards. Not the way intelligent people behave on their days off. But I enjoy the cut-and-thrust of racing, the tactics on the fly, finding out exactly what my body can do.

Which leads me to the second point. I'm too lazy to be a real athlete. I'd much rather go for a scenic ride, see the proverbial roses and smell the proverbial coffee than do intervals. Ditto running. It's only by racing that I train for racing. It's only by racing that I push myself harder and further than I would sanely do so on a random Wednesday night training run. You can train as hard as you want, but only racing makes you better at racing. I thought I'd read a similar sentiment from Steve Tilford recently. I can't find it now but go ahead and read his blog anyway, it's really, really interesting.

Sure, you can train quite adequately for a time-trial on your own, on the rollers or on a treadmill. Just settle down, ramp up the pace until you hit your numbers and hold until done. Easy. But the bike-portion of a triathlon/duathlon aside, we're not solo, we're mano a mano. We're reacting to other people.

There's no such thing as a game-plan in a race, it all goes to shit once Mike blows the whistle. Someone goes off the front from the gun? Well if it isn't Matt Callaghan then you probably have to chase him down right now; so much for easing into the race. Then if buddy goes in the last 5 K, is it a real threat? Is he going for a flier? Should I chase him down? The answer is undoubtedly "yes" in all cases. The next thing to do is go catch him, go deep to do so, and then either sit on and make sure he doesn't do it again, or put in another dig of your own just to piss him off and show him who's boss. Can you train for this? Only to a point. Every race is unique and you can't map every possible scenario out. You can't ask him to wait, you hadn't planned your attack for another kilometre and then you can both go and make a race of it and besides, you've only trained at pace x on the dread-mill and would he mind dreadfully if he slowed down because you're not ready for it!

Nope. Just go already, and never mind the Garmin.

I miss racing.


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