T Minus Five Days and Counting

January is a month of stinging wind and biting cold, or at least in my mind's eye that is what I still imagine it as. If you live in the top half, or maybe top three-quarters of the country, the image may mostly be accurate. It is January 7th. One would think the last thing on the minds of racers from the Great Lakes region, for instance, would be packing road intervals into a final week of pre-season preparation. Counting cords of firewood, or drams of warm brandy, might still be taking precedence over a countdown of days.

Around here though, with five days to the first criterium of the 2014 road race season, things are looming a little frantic. Considering the time of year, one might be excused for a lack of fitness, or at least to admitting to being only "winter fit." I fear that excuse just will not cut it here. Here where we have had the pleasure of weeks, not hours, not days, of perfect and near-perfect outdoor riding weather. Here where there has been no rain, no snow, and thus no foul-weather cancellation of training rides. Here where said training rides are as thick as the number of days in the journal marked by the simple lament, "lack of energy" or "no snap in the legs."

I fear I may very well earn the wrath of the Wankmeister when I am discovered sitting at the back of the 50+ field this Sunday. Letting others, more dedicated in their approach to winter training, do the work and take the glory, while I struggle and gasp and attempt to hang on for dear life, is appearing to be the likely scenario. I should know better, I knew the day was fast approaching. I am beyond being able to feign ignorance. Sleek handlebars, arching forward before curving back in graceful, engineered perfection stand to be wasted. 

There is no hiding from the fact that "I just didn't." Many words will suffice at the end of that "just didn't." Try inserting "prepare", "put in the miles", "train". Heck, I took so long deciding who to race with this year (re-up'd with PAA after a ten-year gap) that I won't even have team kit to race and "show off" in. Like the person who shows late to the party, the fun will be in full swing by the time I arrive. The other night the motor died on the drive home - it was motoring along fine, then suddenly and without warning, no power at all. The mechanic fixed the problem a couple days later (throttle control) at no charge. It was apparently not much of a problem, and required next to no time to resolve. Unfortunately my human motor may be set for the same problem. I may find the power suddenly gone after a few laps. And I don't think it will be quite as quick or easy to correct. Yay or nay, who's ready, and who needs more time?