Saturday, August 25, 2012

Taper Day

Xterra Lory is tomorrow and I'm feeling nice and rested.  Maybe too rested.  Does it count as a taper if you go into it straight from recovery from your last race?  I've had maybe one hard run workout in the last 3 weeks, been on my bike only once for a short spin and managed to fall and skin my shin while straddling the bike.  I've been to the Rez and skills masters but no hard interval sessions.  The was partly due to needing to recover from the last race but also due to going on many hikes.  Hard to let summer slip by without hitting the high country for some hiking.  So tomorrow will be interesting.  I'm at least hoping for some improvement in the run.  At least it's the shortest, easiest of all my races.

And I got my invite and secret squirrel password code to register for Xterra Nationals so I don't need this race to qualify.  But a race is a race and I want to do well.  I registered for Nat's. as soon as I got the code because they were only giving me until Sept. 2 and then they were going to roll my spot down to the next person.  So now all that's left is training.  I have 4 weeks and I'll get in as much as I can manage after recovering from Lory which hopefully won't take as long as after the other races.

Spent the day feeling antsy, packing up the car, chores, letting dogs in and out for the millionth time.  So I decided to wander the 2 blocks to the end of the street to watch the USA Pro Cycling Race.  It was fun to see but I'm glad I didn't invest anything more in it than a 2 block walk.  I shot some video and almost got run over by a motorcycle.  Hope they were a little more careful with their driving to the finish up Flagstaff which had a zillion more spectators and way narrower, steep, winding roadway to pass through.

The lead breakaway pack

The main peloton

I shot a few photos of the stragglers.  The shots aren't that great but I love how they show off the hills in my neighborhood.

And speaking of pro road racing, I'm hoping upon hope that Lance Armstrong doesn't decide to enter Xterra Nationals again now that he's banned from racing or rather banned from races that USADA has jurisdiction over and I don't think Xterra falls in that category.  He's already slumming it at a low key mountain bike race in Aspen today and a running race in Aspen tomorrow.  I really really dislike him and don't want to have to deal with him and his entourage at Nationals but I guess that's all out of my hands.  I did see a good article about his fall from grace.  I'm sure there are zillions of articles but I like that one in particular.  A quote:

The most important lesson of the Lance Armstrong story, though, is the hardest to prepare for and guard against: our own gullibility and willing complicity. What is astounding and disturbing is that one man – a dominant personality as well as a dominant athlete – was able to enforce his will, isolate, bully and silence his doubters and critics, and win the world's top cycling event year after year and make people believe in him, despite there being, apparently, dozens of witnesses to its utter phoniness. Too many people had too much invested in the Lance Armstrong story, and the power of persuasion followed the money.

Actually I never liked him right from the start and was never sucked in but I think I'm in the solid minority on that one.  As far as I'm concerned his bullying, ruining of lives and careers, arrogance, use of cancer victims for his own ego and career advancement, and role in keeping drugs prevalent in road cycling are far more bothersome than the doping but I guess you can't strip someone of their titles and ban them from racing for being an asshole.


  1. Oh wow, I didn't realize there are so many cars and motorcycles that accompany the cyclists. Does each cyclist have a spare bike or two following along behind them?

    Nice shots of the stragglers. Sure would love to have hills like that in my neck of the woods.

  2. P.S. Best of luck tomorrow!

  3. I have no idea about the support cars, bikes on top, etc. All I know is they were crazy, driving very fast and people on the side of the road had to dive out of their way.

    And tomorrow is today! Race was very fun.

  4. The whole stripping someone of their multiple titles thing is weird, though. Does he have to turn his winner's jackets over to the #2 guy? And I wonder what all the record books will note--the 2nd place winner now as the winner with an asterisk to a footnote about Armstrong? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

  5. He has to turn in all his awards, including his Olympic medal and re-pay all the winners earnings which came to 7 million dollars. Which is probably a drop in the bucket compared to the attorney's fees for fighting the charges. Even more important to him though is that by bowing out he can try to save face and prevent the damaging information from being made public. He's done some pretty awful things, been involved in some bad stuff with some bad people and I'm sure he didn't want that to be made public. Probably he could care less about his titles, least of his worries.

    Don't know what they'll do about 2nd place. Tour de France can simply declare no winner. Not sure what they'll actually do. USADA doesn't have jurisdiction over his titles but UCI and other orgs. have agreed to follow USDADA's verdict so it may take some time for the title stripping to work it's way through the different org's.

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  7. I was interested to hear a statement by Nike that it stands by Armstrong and will continue to work with him (in whatever capacity they're working with him). Probably in their best interest, too, not to have his name dragged through muck.

  8. Armstrong has his fingers in a lot of pies:

    A very tangled web which is largely why he's gotten away with so much for so long.

  9. And then there are his fans who are so emotionally invested in his mythology. This gives them a way to still be able to support him. I would have loved to see the arbitration go through and all the evidence come out but oh well. There must have been some really damaging things going to come out in order for him to cave like that. He never backs down from attacks on his reputation, ever, not for any reason. He's definitely working damage control and taking the path likely to cause him the least damage.