The ache in my toes migrates up to my shins and finally settles nicely into the Achilles,
Constant no matter how many times I step off the bike and run next to it,
Keeping up, trying in vain to coax the blood back into the ends.
The cold bites through the high end fabric that works for the first few hours,
It's now too far in to expect anything shy of a hot tub and a fire to warm my core.
Still I'm enjoying my pedals,
Turning over the cadence that carries me into spring and brings a smile.
It doesn't lessen the suffer I'll get to feel in a few months, it only succeeds in polishing it.
I don't want the Spring to be new to me, I want to hash out every eventuality
Pre ride every second of the first few races a 100 times.
Taste my own blood that should be back in my toes,
But instead lingers in the back of my throat. Outside pushing through Winter,
Maybe the others are warm on the couch,
Not all of the work is for the races, But, it is always for me.



The Spring will be here, but it's still really far away, here, but 60 miles and 5000 feet down I get visiting hours with Spring, sort of a conjugal visit to warmer place.



I don't skate as much as I used to, mostly because I'm weak and frail but I always think one day I'll skate a lot again, these bikes and skis and snow are in the middle of me and my board. Not a bad thing at all but a thing, for sure. I will however pay my $11 to see this movie. A wonderful diversion from the tripe that normally is pushed out there.



Clean riding when up high it's dirty, function in that middle ground and it fills my pockets with the pleasant smell of fresh embro and lactic acid. One clif bar short and an hour of daylight more would have put an even bigger smile on my face.


I'm full of shit

I'm average, I enjoy taking the process or program or whatever you want to call what amateurs do in the winter when the rest of the country is getting fat(ter) to heart. I know nothing I do will drastically affect what happens in March, April or November. I have my tools in my bag and what I do now can only tune the machine, it has the capacity it does. Nonetheless, nothing makes me happier than going out for a ride or a ski when most of the others wouldn't, one more lie I can tell myself mid suffer mid summer or mid fall. I do it a lot, lie to myself when the clock is on the wrong side, the legs and lungs and brain aren't getting along, all of the system, the machine is going pear-shaped. "You do 10 more minutes of this and you get a week off" I'm full of shit but sometimes it works, like a teenager trying to get his girlfriend in bed, lies and half truths to get what you want. That being said; today is a rest day. I might have earned it but I doubt it.



Convincing myself I am doing enough is the hardest part. The work equals a lot more than I think. Settling into winter I gather the keys every night to open the lock the next day. Secure and warm, lightly plodding my path, different as it is. The warmer weather just means more time and distance, not more work.


I was out there, on either side of sunset, no light at the end other than the snowpacked road glowing like a little ribbon to show me the way back. After working all day and not enough new snow to fix the abysmal nordic conditions the bike was the logical call. Quietly pushing through winter, absorbing the quizzical looks, getting my work done, the extra maintenance only makes the quiet KMs better, warm almost the whole time and happily turning over the pedals.



I've always wondered if the wiring just wasn't right, I understand what I can but pieces just never really fit as well as I would like. Never is the result as good as it could have been. Doubt blocks success, close but not quite there, always. Doing the most has always meant just coming up short. If you race yourself can you ever win? Losing feels better than winning a lot of times.


There's a gorilla standing over me, not quite 400 pounds but pretty close. I feel his presence and wonder if I can outride, outski, outrun him. Nevermind that if I sit down he steps back. I did that yesterday, at the end of a nice mid-day ride I sat down and drank a coffee, solo,weird, the feeling was sensory overload, I didn't know what to do, it was like a 10 minute vacation, a few hours on the bike and the coffee melted away and then blew up in my face. Unable to really enjoy the moment I felt uneasy, I was cheating, not pedaling, not working, not doing what I should, but what was that? I took a break, and made a lot of it. I'll do more of that, I just don't want to waste the legs, the bike, the skis, the time in vain. I hate losing.


I wonder what the muscles smell like today. Does lactic have a scent? I know it has a taste, that iron laden, holy shit what am I doing to myself for the millionth time is this a good thing in January, why was this a good idea feeling.


In and out of the daylight. The sun isn't giving me enough time so I cheat and steal. An extra few minutes becomes an extra few hours. Adding up the accounting in my head, trying not to forget it's January but April comes sooner than I want to think. Don't let it get away.

Saturday's work

The legs hurt in different places. Skating instead of pedaling, trade wax for lube.
All of the same fuel; coffee, clif bars and vietnamese food. Either way looking back at my tracks keeps me going forward.



I had a professor in college who was all about economy of language, he never wanted more words than were absolutely necessary. But he didn't shower a great deal, an was pretty stinky. So, here I sit writing and thinking about how much less I would write if I had to set the type for the 3 people who read my words. Gutenberg was a genius but how tedious it must have been. We are spoiled by modern technology. Remember the phrase "desktop publishing"? Can you imagine what Gutenberg would think of that? Instead we have to invent tediousness in our daily lives; like choosing a certain vocation, career path, or general habit. Like something involving 2 wheels, 2 skis or 2 shoes. My mother used to say "If you put the energy into a career that you've put into cycling..." blah, blah, blah. Whatever, I didn't and I wasn't good enough to catch a check even when I was younger. My field to plow, my work. I like the fruit and veggies it produces, my carrots I had for lunch were delicious. My field, my plow.



Already into the winter work. Rest is the work between workouts.
Staying warm is the part of the puzzle I like most. Skis or bike, it all helps get through the dark before the light. Fatigue from the different work.



Leaning on the poles, trying to see all the way down the calendar. Too many different lines crisscrossing between here (now) and anywhere that matters. Use the poles and snow to start the trip. The rest always falls into place on time. Not lazy-just patient. The work today will help shut my eyes tonight.


What started crisp finished soggy. Working with not against the winter frame It was all I needed and a little more...I needed that too. Only ruin it by gorging on granola bars.