Another Year

The end of today will mark the end of another racing season. As seasons change, I continue to move to the next chapter in the big book of existence.

I wish I could say that it has been a successful season of racing. Sadly I cannot. This year I’ve had more DNF’s than tangible results. The last road race I did triggered an emotional decline and perspective change both in and out of the race setting. My goals I set forth were not met. I did however manage to learn a few things on what it means to train in a proper fashion. I will touch up on a few things I’ve learned and reflect on the silly decisions I made during the year.

  • Sleep is just as important as riding (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise)
  • Mega miles are meant for the winter season
  • Intervals are a vital part of training
  • Put good thing in your body, you’ll feel better

Looking back it is clear to see that early in the year I peaked and proceeded to fatigue my way through the spring and early summer. Just last month I managed to get my head in the right place (after I got the morning binge drinking and weight gain out of the way) and listen to my body. When it’s time for sleep, I sleep no more stimulants to try and power through a particular task. This was my strategy in school and it worked for me then, so why not when performing tasks more physically demanding? I can now tell the difference from being tired from lack of rest, and the normal tired feeling that comes with all types of riding. I got stoked on the progress I was making in the winter of last year (minus the intervals I refused to do) and thought I could continue to ride 12-16 hours a week.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, intervals are a precious tool in any athlete’s arsenal of skills. I surprise myself at how much I can exhaust myself and in a matter of minutes return back to my ready state. This was a pivotal flaw in my riding and while it took longer to understand that, I do not want to let this skill go. This in combination with a diet change has me able to ride harder for a longer amount of time thus resulting in smarter decision making when the going gets tough.

While I didn’t have a traditional rise and fall during the season, I don’t see myself letting go and getting significantly out of shape. I’ll probably enjoy a cup of coffee every now and again, but that’ll be about it. The increased mindfulness that has come with the diet change has me backing away from alcohol nowadays.

To shift topics, this calender year has marked a series of rises and falls (with more falls than rises.) While I find myself trying to re-kindle old flames of relationships come and gone, it is becoming more and more clear that  these were never meant to be. Those past relationships were of me in a different phase in my life and while I wish I had known what I do now during that time, nothing will change what has already happened. Until then, I’ll get by on two wheels (the funny part about that is since my car broke down recently, this is true both figuratively and literally.)

The life of an athlete can be a lonely one. That along with an overnight work schedule only adds to what already exists. And while I could go on and on feeling sorry for myself, I know this is nothing more than a transition. Until next time.

-dfj

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