Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Digging's always been my thing (pumping too, but that’s another story). Give me a shovel and I’ll shovel… a pedal, and I’ll pedal. So in Paris-nice they gave me a race and I raced. It was easy; all you do is race for 5 hours a day for 7 days and its over. So that’s what I did- with a fractured shoulder, with colitis. And while I was racing, I was digging. Digging, and digging and digging. By the time the race was over I had dug so deep that I could no longer see the light. The shades were long removed and everything was dim and dark like a nice Seattle day in the winter. I got done with the race and got sick immediately, I started to recover, but I had a trainer in my apartment… so I trained. Then came Criterium International and I raced. I raced, raced, raced until I finished… 28 minutes down. Handily making the time cut, but absolutely destroyed. The next day I didn’t start. It was so easy; all I had to do was race!? But wisdom around me said to stop, there’s something wrong, you’ve got to go home and see a doctor and figure out what’s wrong. I was devastated, and the world was upside down. But the truth was that I’d been digging, and digging, and digging since I started Paris-Nice. And to stop digging when you’ve been digging so long is hard! So I did a little digging on the side, when I’d go out for a spin I’d start at 200 watts but be blown away. I couldn’t do it. I’d coast and recalibrate the power tap, but 200 was still just as hard. Something was wrong. I actually am screwed up. And then I realized how far I’d dug and started digging myself out. It was hard to believe that I was so low- I’d come from so high. At California I was high, like Mauna Kea high, and then all of a sudden I was at the depths of the ocean, about to run out of oxygen. So I started digging myself out… and it wasn’t until 4 days ago in the route du sud mountain stage that I finally found the sort of form that I was looking for. It was bizarre and void of anything resembling elegance but it was a start and it was a light in the very dark hole that I’d been digging for the past 2 months.
But the second half of the season is going to be good, great, victorious, triumphant… and I’m going to put my hard hat on over my shades and build, build, build until I get there.