I feel like I’ve been in a huge cloud this off-season, like Charlie Brown and his rain cloud. I was struggling with motivation to train on the bike and things kept happening to make it difficult to do so. I wasn’t excited to ride my bike, so I did other things. It’s been taking longer to shift into 2011 season mode than in the past, and I know it was due to a little bit of burn-out at the end of 2010. I raced from February to November, and finished with the hardest race I did all year. No easy task, and then I tried to force myself to do state cross champs leaving a bad taste in my mouth because I was still so exhausted from the Claro Brasil Ride. 2010 was the best season I’ve ever had… great accomplishments never come easy – it takes hard work and sometimes you get really really tired. I knew the zest would be back, and I feel it budding like new leaves on the skeleton branches on trees at the beginning of spring. As you know, I was sick for a good week, and out of town for work for half a week before that. I finished antibiotics yesterday and my energy level has been back to normal for 2 days, so I figured despite a little bit of congestion, it was time to get back on the horse.
Being unable to ride for 1.5 weeks made me WANT to ride and miss riding. Sometimes when things aren’t your choice, you realize you want it more. That fact can be a real tragedy, but when you apply it to sports and you become able-bodied again, it means more to you than before when you were forcing yourself through your workouts. I imagine that riding means so much more to people with kids AND a full time job. Riding is freedom and a privilege, but it can be easy to lose that perspective as a racer during the winter training months on the road bike when I sometimes feel forced to do training I’m not excited about – i.e. when it’s freezing, windy, the roads are crap, and I have to go ride my road bike on a flat road for 3-5 hours when I’d rather be doing something else.
Today, riding my bike meant something to me again. And bonus! The sun was shining and there was no snow on the roads.
I also know that I get testy and irritable if I don’t get to ride for several days. The inner demons start dancing with their pitch forks. They need to be exercised, terminated. I actually pictured a little monster on a treadmill, and when I started pedaling, the treadmill turning up to full blast and the monster flying off the back and splatting like a pancake on the wall behind him.
Things are even better when you fortuitously run into one of your best friends so you have someone to talk and laugh with when you ride back in a head wind.
Me and my buddy, Anne.
I’m sad to report that I’ll be missing Camp Lynda this weekend. I was looking forward to mountain biking in St. George and seeing a bunch of like-minded friends, but a 10 hour drive and tough race-like days on the bike are not the best thing to do after time off the bike and being sick. I decided to stay close to home this weekend, keep the focus and still get in quality training, and if I relapse, at least I’ll be home. I hope everyone has a great time and I will miss you!!
So….I’ve hit the reset button for the year. It’s time to start over and forget the funk I was in the last couple months, to emphatically plan my race season and the training I need to be successful, to be determined, to revive my passion for the bike(even if it’s the road bike sometimes), to appreciate the wind flowing on my skin, and to pedal like hell and not forget to smile, even if my teeth hurt from the cold air!
As one of my favorite yoga instructors says every class,
Can’t wait to ride tomorrow!!