Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Past, Present, & Future at the Tech Park

PAST - About a mile and a half from my house is a Technology Park.  Most small cities have one - nothing more than a collection of buildings, warehouses, and offices for technology based companies.  They're common sites for riding laps and criterium races as they're frequently devoid of traffic outside normal business hours.  This was the site of my crash last Labor Day when I destroyed my frame and donated some skin to the pavement (from my knee, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and oh yeah .... my face).  That crash happened while doing a specific workout - "form sprint intervals".  The idea is to get a good cadence going on one side of the square course, turn the corner, grab a much larger gear, and do a slow motion sprint up the grade.  You then carry that effort through the turn at the top and along the third leg of the course.  On the final side of the square you recover while on a slight downgrade.  That particular day something went wrong on one of the turns and it has affected my cornering ever since.

PRESENT - 9 months later, in early June, form sprints appeared again on my workout schedule.  It has been so long and my cornering has regained some of its earlier form but that turn still has a bit of a mental hold on me.  I've done form sprints at the Tech Park four times since.  The first 2 times back on this workout I exercised a lot of demons.  Keep in mind, the workout really had no role in the crash.  The crash could have happened anytime but what this workout does is force me to go through that same corner at speed over and over again --- it's a challenge mentally.  The 3rd time I went out I did it later in the evening due to the persistent temps around 100 lately.  While there I ran into a familiar face from the Rockwall Cycling race team and we chatted while riding laps.  I was warming up while she was cooling down.  I ended up warming up longer than originally planned and the sun had set.  No problem - I was prepared with the appropriate lights.  It wasn't until I started the workout that it hit me.  I was now going to repeatedly go through that corner in the dark and without knowing how much speed I was carrying into it (due to being unable to see the Garmin clearly).  The reality is that I still have yet to go through that corner as quickly as I did the day of the crash.  I think I maintain more of my momentum through it but I definitely don't enter as quickly.  In the end, all went well - I survived and took a big step in regaining some comfort there.

My apologies to Rockwall Cycling,
but hey .... this jersey fits.
FUTURE - No, I don't have a crystal ball.  By "future" I mean my little ones.  Last night's form sprint workout had the whole family at the Tech Park.  Julian rode over with me and joined in the workout by sprinting the incline each lap.  He ended up getting in a solid 18.5 miles.  Meanwhile, Angelia and Connor did some riding in one of the parking lots and around the building.  Once I was done we traded off so that Angelia could ride laps as well.  It was a good way to get Connor involved and he really enjoyed it.  When he wasn't riding he was cheering loudly for us on our sprints.

Oh, the evening wasn't completely without incident.  There was that point on the ride to the Tech Park that Julian decided not to make the right turn and instead ride into my wheel.  He took a quick spill to the ground and got some scrapes and bruises but nothing major.  He popped right back up, quickly removed his bike from the street, and when he was ready we continued onward.  Final inventory showed marks on the shoulder, elbow, and a couple around the knee.  He'll live.


Colleen said...

Coming back after a crash is the hardest thing - great job battling it out and getting through it! :)

And glad that Julian is alright. Some battles wounds huh?

ATTrio said...

Wow, Nice job! This blog is awesome, I think it is soo cool that your entire family participates in these events.

I will be back often as I am a newbie tri person.


TRI714 said...

I love that you guys do this. Your son just learned and early lesson on ride distance and wheel over lap that's all. Good for you man.

Caratunk Girl said...

I love that everyone in your family is into racing, the picture of (is it Connor? in the jersey is awesome.

I am glad that Julian is OK! Now he has a good story, right?