There was a time when you felt pretty darn fast on a bike.
You had moved your way up from the back of the B group to front of the A group.
You won a couple Cat2 races, came in 2nd a couple times.
You were starting to believe you were one of the fast guys.
But there were always stories of the other guys.
The REALLY fast guys.
You may have caught glimpses of them now and then.
They were moving through the woods like ghosts.
absence of effort
their bikes uncomfortable and featherlight
their tight kits adorned with logos and plastered over muscularly thin frames.
You figured you were just as fast.
Welcome to my off-season training.
I'm the fifth fastest guy in a group of five.
I'm back to back of the pack.
I've lost a stone of weight, bought the uncomfortable bike, have the kit covered in logos.
But I'm the group ride caboose, barely hanging on, desperately hoping that they might be getting tired too and will stop for a break.
They eventually do, but they don't seem nearly as tired as me.
I train hard.
Maintain my strengths.
Improve my weaknesses.
And I'm seeing glimpses of hope.
But it's still a steady diet of humble pie.
And I'm hungry.