I finally cracked open "The Cyclist's Training Bible" (Joe Friel) and I'm remembering all over again why it is I want to train and not just exercise. I've decided not to make any race commitments or ride commitments, etc. until I get a little further on in the book and can begin to set some real goals (I don't really have any right now) and then make a plan. And I need to seriously get down to selling that TT bike and buying a new bike, ASAP!! Joe Friel does a really great job of basically saying "look, you're not pro, you don't make money doing this, so just chill and have fun with it. If you have family and work and other priorities, you canNOT make this your number one thing." Which I knew, but I keep feeling like everybody else is so hardcore with it all and I've been such a lazy butt and was getting all jealous that everybody else is in great shape and I'm not (yes, I’m in shape. But not great RACE shape). But then it's like everything else in life, which ebbs and flows and right now I just have other things that are more important (like home improvements). I was also reminded that burnout can take even years to come out of so now I don't feel too bad.
Basically I'm gonna go back to basics. I'm doing a 6-week thing with Tone Fitness since they're a sponsor and I got a good deal. They're going to help me work out my alignment issues, which we're now thinking is a big source of my quad and calf pain. I realized I DO like to run - when it doesn't hurt! They found that I'm very externally rotated with my right knee and foot, which explains a lot. It feels more like PT than Pilates! I get ‘homework’ to do and I come home all sore!
Lately I've tried to take the pressure off by just allowing myself to 'exercise' and not really 'train.' I even had this moment while I was leading last week’s “Entree” route (the medium-paced route) for the Soup Spoons & Carbon Forks ride where I thought "ya know...I could get into riding like this...easy and laid-back style. This is fun!”
But then there's still that part of me that likes to try and hang w/the strong guys, likes to battle it out for the sprint lines, likes to compete. It really is so frustrating being part type-A and part mellow! I CAN'T ‘just’ exercise; there has to be an underlying motivation there, a reason to push harder, a reason to ride even when I don't feel like it, etc. So I think by setting some real goals for the year and rehabbing my leg, I will finally feel refreshed and ready to get back at it.
I feel excited about the year ahead and what it will mean for me and that I finally feel like I don't care what everybody else 'wants' me to do/race. I'll do what I can do given my situation and that will make me happy. Some people have put a lot of pressure on me and it's made me really wonder if I should even be racing because I don't want to make it what I’m all about 24/7.
I know this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this. But before it was with triathlon, and now it’s bike racing. Same story, different game. And once again, I am learning that there are no ‘right’ answers.
It’s been awhile since I actually created some real, achievable goals and I think going back to the basics is a good place to start. And maybe on that goals list I can put down ‘new blog,’ too.