Sal and I headed out to Forest Park last night for my first cyclocross ride of the year. Actually, it was my first ride of any kind in about 8 weeks. I was a little nervous – recalling my first ride up Thurman last year – how I gasped and sputtered and generally almost blew up. Seriously, it was a little embarrassing.
Last year, I ran all year. When I hit ‘cross season, I’d just finished running the Hood to Coast. I felt like I was in pretty good shape. I wasn’t too worried.
And then Thurman kicked my ass, the Leif Erickson Trail took a turn sucker-punching me, and I realized that running fitness does not equal bike fitness. I’m not sure how that works (many people have assured me that it should translate just fine) but that wasn’t my experience. I ran the Hood to Coast like a champ, averaging about and 8:00min/mile pace, and then I sucked ass on the bike.
What the hell?
I digress. My point? If you want to be a good runner, then run. If you want a more well-rounded fitness, you gotta do other stuff. That’s all I’m saying.
So I was concerned yesterday as we set off across the city as to whether or not my boot camp fitness would translate. Would I suffer just as much as last year? Would I feel wheezy and old and crappy and lame? Or would all those crazy 5:30am interval training sessions I’ve been doing since January actually pay off?
I wanted pay off. I expected pay off.
For me, fitness means nothing on its own. The value of fitness is how it translates to make me more competitive at the sports I love to play. Boot camp had already made me a faster, more explosive softball player – would it help me knock out hills on the bike?
I was not disappointed.
Sure, it was an easy ride up Forest Park and back down, then back to the office and home. Grand total for the day was not more than 22 miles, but it was a walk in the park – and that’s a good sign. That’s how it should have been. That’s a kick-ass indicator that my boot camp fitness is going to translate into a good ‘cross season.
And though he never really challenged me, Sal was impressed with my ride. He noted that I looked extremely comfortable and relaxed. My heart rate stayed super low.
So now that I know I’m starting from a good place, it’s time to bring the pain.