Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fitness comes and it also goes

Right now, the fitness I worked to build and used to win a race at the end of April is slowly slipping away. That's the downside of being in school. When tests come calling you have no choice but to answer. Unfortunately, I missed out on the Pedal for Proceeds (I trusted the weather forecast for thunderstorms and it turned out to be a nice day--I wasn't very happy). It would have been my last chance to capitalize on my mini-peak that I reached for the Whitnall Classic.

Instead, I've spent the last three weeks making sure I'm on top of school. I guess you could say I've been in my "build period" for Final Exams. This relegates my bike training back to the same and will set me back a bit in my summer plans. Hopefully I'll be able to use June to my advantage and meet Superweek with the same success that I managed in the early season. However, it means that when the State Road Championships come in two weeks, I won't be quite the contender that I hoped to be. Of course, it will be worth it because even if I get dropped in that race I won't be dropping out of medical school.

I'll just look at this as one of my hill-climbs on the way to winning this four year stage race, I suppose.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ben King: a Real American Hero

I think I just might have a new favorite US Rider.

Last Fall when Ben King rode his way to a US National Championship out of an early break that turned into a long solo finish I knew he'd be a rider to watch. I was right. King was racing on the Trek-Livestrong team last year when he burst onto the professional scene and now is riding for Team Radioshack in the stars and stripes. I've tried to keep tabs on him a bit this year while he's making his ProTour debut and it's been quite rewarding. He's had is fair share of trial by fire including short stage races in the European circut and even a shot at Paris-Roubaix (see picture above). King is classy and articulate, bordering on eloquent. Clearly enjoying the ride and a great representative for US National Champ. Right now he's duking it out at the Amgen Tour of California in support of Chris Horner.

Check out his three part series at his velonews blog about what the transition has been like so far.

Hopefully he'll have a shot at defending his title with the switch in seasons for the USAC Road Championships this year. It won't be long before we find out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May Challenge 2011

I'm a little tardy in posting this, and unfortunately for this month you may have to get used to a little sparsity of postage. You see, this month's challenge is not truly a physical challenge like the month's until now. The challenge is in fact almost an anti-challenge.

Every once in awhile it's important to step back and make your physical fitness a little less important. Yes, less important. I know that sounds contrary to most of what you may have ever read here, but hold on just a second and listen a little more. Sometimes (often times) there are things more important than your fitness. Let me give you a for instance...spring finals during your first year of medical school.

I subscribe to the philosophy that fitness should always be an underlying theme in life or else life will suffer. But sometimes it's important to stop your keen eye for your physical aptitude and make sure that you are balancing the rest of life. This may mean scaling back some. Which it does in my case. I have no pending races, but I definitely have pending examinations.

Therefore this month's challenge is as follow. Do enough to enjoy yourself and maintain a little fitness, but no significant fitness gains are to be made this month. Take the time to attend to other areas of life and let fitness sit on the back burner long enough to ensure balance. Then when June comes--and summer with it--get ready to jump back on the train.