I have two favorite jokes that involve pigs. One is inappropriate for this venue. The other one is more of a humorous parable, that goes... What's the difference between "involvement" and "commitment?" Well, think about a plate of bacon and eggs. The chicken, now she's involved with the project. But the pig? The pig's COMMITTED. Bike racing is sort of a similar thing, a point which Mike made clear to me the other day.
Mike and I do well in that we build off of each other's energy. There are a lot of times when I'm buried deep in wheel builds or unloading the tent and all the endless amount of crap that goes to a cx race from the car, and knowing that Mike's plowing through some other thing keeps me more motivated. The other day, it fell to me to help him reenergize about some stuff, and explaining himself and where he was with momentum and energy, he said "it's like bike racing. When you're training well and getting the hours in and making advancements, it's so easy to convince yourself to eat better, to not have beer n+1, to go to sleep on time, to generally do the right thing. But when you're not getting the hours and not seeing the progress, it's so easy to let the other parts slip, and all of a sudden you've lost all of your momentum." So very true.
In my world, apart from going slightly mad with a large volume of wheels to build and turn around (keep them coming, people), training is going well. The missus, who broke her arm in a weird fender bender just after Cap Cross, is getting back on track, and we've had a few weeks of good work to get some figurative miles between ourselves and the holiday/thick season shenanigans. The weather last weekend totally prevented any riding of the bicycles outside (well, Brokey McWingwing isn't ready to go outside anytime soon anyway, really), so it was time to nut up to two days of workouts that would definitely take you past the involvement zone and into the commitment realm. Smells like bacon. Mmmmm. Bacon. And those workouts, although they were a big challenge from every respect, really closed the door on "after cx season" and opened the one to "it's going to be road season soon." (And mtb season too). Since then, I've noticed myself looking forward to the next workout, easily making the right choices to better prepare myself for the next workout. Feeling like an athlete, becoming committed.
The magic act is, of course, keeping the genie in the bottle enough to let the whole thing ferment properly into a toxic brew of ass whoop juice (of course this is all relatively speaking - by June I will be able to HOUSE all of the local 10 and under tricycle races) that is at the ready when things really count. For the pins and numbers set, you just can't let the enthusiasm borne of feeling like an athlete again all of a sudden cause you to stray from the plan. It's fun to let the dog off the chain a bit every once in a while, but you've got to stick to your knitting. For the non-racers, if you've somehow been able to keep convincing yourself that pulling enough threshold intervals to flood the basement in your own sweat (and for the record were it not for the prospect of showing up to races and getting absolutely pantsed I could not convince myself to do what it is we do), and you're ready to go blow up a group ride, it's all to the good. Strike while the iron's hot, take some scalps. Let that dog run. Crack some eggs.
But the racers, you've gotta keep fattening that pig. No chopping off a leg and sneaking in a quick pork chop (I'm reminded of another joke about a heroic three legged pig, the punch line of which is "a pig that special, you can't eat all at once" - I have a surfeit of pig jokes, it appears). Nope, bacon season's coming, but it's not here yet. The Fast® may be developing its list of naughty and nice, but to really get a full dosage, you need patience.
The season's coming, it's time to be an athlete again.