On Friday, after work, I drive down to a “kermesse” in Connecticut. The traffic thickens on the Mass Pike; I bypass the Sturbridge Tolls and still arrive at the race site early with lots of time to kill. I start my warm-up with plenty of time before the start. The late afternoon sun beats down on me. It will be cooler by the time the race starts at 7PM and nearly dark by the time we finish.
I’m smug in my warm-up, on a trainer stationed by the back of my car. A trainer! I swore I’d never ride one of these again. But here I am. I spend 45 minutes pedaling at low heart rate and medium cadence. Spinning and taking my time for my legs to wake up. Getting older. It takes a long time to get things moving. Plus, I haven’t been on the bike since Tuesday night. Plus, I did a rollerski interval workout the night before. Plus I was in the car for an hour and a half. After some time, I’m sweating hard and a thought passes: all I’m doing is dehydrating myself. Another 30 minutes on the trainer. I slowly begin to ratchet up the gears and increase the intensity, the last few minutes just below race-pace heart rate. As I step off the trainer and swap over to my race wheels, the announcer is calling us to the line.