Thursday, August 25, 2011

That's a wrap..for a little bit anyway

Decision made: I'm shutting it down until December. I'm burned out on competition. Actually, I think I'm burned out in my head.

I've been riding my bike every day this week for nothing other than fun. No time measured, no distance, no nothing that even resembles training. I sold a few things and picked up a sweet trail/all-mountain bike and have been focusing on shredding and not on racing. I've gone from wearing lycra to wearing baggies and a loose fitting jersey and to a 'chunky' helmet with a visor on it. My rides have begun when they start and ended when I'm done. Just FUN and nothing else.

If I haven't felt like hammering up a hill I haven't. If I feel like bombing a downhill I do. And I'm not afraid to eat that little extra and drink a few more beers if the mood warrants.

This is all a bit of rambling, but I think I really just overcooked my brain. My training was smart, and I feel I got the best out of myself, but I really believe I made the mistake of being too hard on myself. The fact of the matter is that this year I've earned exactly $0 riding a bike. While it's not about money, that does sort of put things into perspective (at least for me anyway). For all the hours I've trained and sacrifices I've made, if I'm not enjoying what I'm doing, it's just not worth doing.

I'm harder on myself than anyone. When I crossed the line at the Wilderness 101 in 8 and a half hours, I was devastated. My plan went to shit, the wheels fell off, and that was the day. What I failed to realize was that no one cares. Sure I do, but none of the guys that finished in front of, or behind me gave a damn. I was racing me. That's it. After all, isn't this what it's all about anyway? Get the most out of what you've got.

Ok, this is all kinda going around in a circle, but I'm just toasted. I love competing, and I'll be back, but for right now I just wanna ride my bike like I was 8 years old, have fun, and get my personal life and affairs in order. The races will be there when I'm ready to come back. :)

Gotta say too, I'm REALLY happy with the bigger suspension bike. It's a 26er and I'm loving it. I had forgotten how much fun these are. Much more twitchy, but that makes it fun. I'll have a little write up on the bike coming soon.

Sorry for the blathering-just had to get it all out there:).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shut it down?

Seriously considering shutting things down for the rest of the season. It's been a really year for me on a personal level, and things don't seem to be getting much better. I'm not blaming it on anything in particular, probably just a whole butt load of bad luck, but that's life I suppose.

Anyway, with that in mind, I'm really thinking about bagging the rest of my race season-at least until 'cross starts. I'm really just feeling very wishy-washy about serious training right now, and kinda just want to ride my bike for fun. I've been dedicated and disciplined throughout the summer, and I think I might just need to let my hair down right now.

I'll probably change my mind in a couple of days or maybe I won't. The only thing I know for sure is that I'll be riding regardless.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I've found myself in a bit of a pickle....

I just sold my tri bike. With the money I received for the bike, I intended to buy a new 'cross bike that's been hanging in the shop waiting for me the whole summer. The pickle, though, comes in the fact that I'm not sure that I want to buy it right now. I've had my eye on an All Mountain long travel suspension bike for a bit now, and kinda want that more than the 'cross bike. Add that to the fact that I just don't really feel like racing that much right now, and here I find myself.

Really, what I'd like to do with my fall and early winter is do some bike packing trips. Just head into the woods with a bike and a tent and spend a couple days and nights relaxing in the great outdoors. The all mountain bike would be perfect for that.

My competitive fire has sort of died for the moment. Maybe I'm just burned out, or still bummed from my last race, but I just feel like riding for the enjoyment of riding right now. 'Cross is a load of fun, but I'm not sure I want the responsibility of staying super fit all fall and winter. I mean, I'm sure I will stay fit throughout the winter because I always do, but I kinda just wanna step back and enjoy just riding my bike for nothing other than fun. Maybe I'm just too competitive:).

Anyway, this is all just how I'm feeling at this moment. I might wake up tomorrow and wanna kick some ass. Who knows. My motivation (as well as my life) is all over the map right now.


Along with a life changing event comes the desire to change...I guess. Either way, that's what I think I need right now, if nothing more than to get my head back on straight. Whatever...

This weekend started out well, but pretty much went to shit today. With an XC race coming up (it'll be 21 miles total), my focus this past week has been on short and sharp efforts. I've already got my "hay in the barn" from training for long distance events all summer, so getting a little top end speed is really whats needed.

My technical skills are at they're sharpest right now, so I've spent some extra time on the road bike working my engine. I really love the road. Something about it, I don't know if it's the "romance" of riding a road bike, the speed, or the efficiency, that makes me like it, but it is a welcome treat. Don't get me wrong though, nothing beats techy, rocky singletrack on a mountain bike or dirt roads on a cross bike, but I'm enjoying riding the road. Maybe I just like to ride ALL bikes?:)

So anyway, yesterday I spent 2 hours on the trails, attacking the hills and keeping the tempo steady otherwise. Today I was meant to ride the road easy for 3 hours, but because of helping my mother out with some stuff, I was only able to get in an easy hour 'recovery' spin early this morning. Kinda suited me though, as my legs were still a little tired. I'll get out on the road tomorrow for a few hours to make up for today before starting to really focus on sharpening up for the coming weekend.

I don't know what to expect and I don't know how I'll do at straight up XC racing, but regardless it'll be fun. I'm really hoping to win a raffle they're having for a sweeeeet all mountain bike at the race. I know I've got a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning it, but man, it would be sweet to get a nice long travel all mountain bike. I'd love to do some over-night bike packing weekends this fall and that bike would be perfect for it. Fingers are definitely crossed!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still don't know what to say...

It's been a few days since my last post. I usually try to post something every day, but I just haven't known what to say.

For the most part this has been the toughest year I can remember having. Personal woes, financial issues, and work problems have just continued to add up and up and up until I'm just at my breaking point. Actually, that's not true-I'm not sure I really have a breaking point:).

Anyway, I recently ended a relationship that meant the world to me. It ended fairly and in honesty I think it's for the best, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Sometimes things just don't work. That's life. We make plans and God laughs.

Compounding the personal issues has been the fact that I've had to take things pretty easy on the bike since the Wilderness 101. I had to go to the doc and get checked out and everything came back fine, but I'm still suffering from some lightheadedness every now and again. It's getting better as the days go by, but it's still there. Kind of annoying. This has made things difficult in regards to training because I'm really trying not to overextend myself. I've gotten out for a ride most days last week and every day this week, but nothing too long or too hard. It really leaves me wondering whether or not to shut it down until 'cross starts, or just soldier through and race my last few mountain bike races.

Anyway, enough negative thoughts. Just had to get that all out on the "interwebs". :) On a better note, I finally sold my tri bike on ebay and should be receiving payment for it tomorrow. Said payment will go directly to my bike shop so I can at last pick up my new 'cross bike! The poor thing has been sitting in the shop ALL summer! I think it's time to build that baby up, get it dirty, and get ready for some fall 'cross action!!! Can't wait!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So far being thirty has sucked. Plain and simple. Just. Sucked.


Definitely went a bit too hard yesterday. Felt good while I was riding but the rest of the day was filled with the familiar symptom of dizziness that's been with me while I've been recovering. Not terrible, but it was there for sure.

Today will be more of an easy spin (if anything), followed by resting my ass off some more. The good part about work being slow is that I can sit on my ass for an afternoon with my feet up. The bad part, of course, is that I'm not making any money while I'm doing it!

On a side note I picked up a pair of Sidi Genius Pro 5 Shoes the other day. I've never had a high end proper pair of road shoes, so these are a bit of a treat. Unbelievable how plush these are. They're not cheap, but straight out of the box you realize just where your money went. I've never had a more comfortable shoe on me feet, and I'm sure as these get more and more worked in they'll be even that much better. I'm hoping that (and for the price they better!) these will last a long time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another good ride

Another good ride on the road today. Probably went a little too hard at times, but still felt good. The only difference between today and yesterday is that I'm pretty tired after this ride. Yesterday was the perfect tempo while today was just a bit above what I should be doing. I'll rest up for the rest of today and try to stay off my feet. Should help.

Tomorrow is probably either going to be a complete rest day or just an easy 60 minute spin. I'm really focusing on taking things very easy this week. Like I've said before, I really, really, really don't want to set myself back by going too hard. I'm already afraid that I might have burned a couple too many matches today, but we'll see how things go.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First ride back

Got in any easy, easy 60 minute ride this morning as my first back since Wilderness. The road bike was a welcome companion today for sure. I took it really easy, mostly just a simple little spin, but it felt fantastic to be back on two wheels again.

I think in addition to my fatigue and exhaustion, I've been having a little "exercise withdrawal" too. I missed my endorphins and I'm glad to have them back!

Tomorrow I plan on taking it easy again, but riding for a little while longer. I'll gauge the time based on how I feel, but I'd like to cap it at 90 minutes. Baby steps for now will save me from overdoing things and toasting myself.

One good thing I noticed today was that I feel fresh, not out of shape. My legs feel just as strong if not stronger than they did before the race, though of course I didn't really get a chance to properly test them today. No matter, they'll be there when I need them I'm sure!

Monday, August 8, 2011

When training and racing go wrong...

Haven't written much in the last few days. Not for any reason but there's been absolutely NOTHING happening.

A couple days after Wilderness, I had a funny episode where I had shortness of breath and dizzyness. Kinda freaked me out, but I knew that I had gone hard in the race and was extremely dehydrated at the end. Not to mention the fact that I didn't sleep or hydrate well in the days before, or that I drove 6 hours home shortly after I got off my bike. It was all a perfect storm for complete exhaustion.

I was freaked out, but decided to give it until the end of the week to see if anything changed. There was never another shortness of breath episode, but I couldn't shake the feeling of being dizzy and lightheaded. Friday came and things didn't change so I got my ass to the doctor.

I was examined for everything, had my heart checked and my blood drawn. The prognosis: I'm just one tired mofo! The funny thing is that I don't feel tired, sleepy, or fatigued, but my body is just not ready to push.

I haven't ridden or even exercised since the race, and I'm going to let my body fully recover before I get out and start riding hard again. In all reality I could go out and ride, but I'd more than likely push my complete recovery back, or stop it completely. Not a good idea considering I still have a few races left in the season, not to mention 'cross season coming up.

Like I said, I haven't ridden in almost a week and a half. I'm feeling a little soft and like I'm unfit, but I'm sure once I hop back on the bike in the next few days it'll all get back to normal. I'm planning on just riding super easy this week, probably no more than 90 mins or so at a time. Also, in all likelyhood, it'll probably be all on the road. I'm really focusing on NOT stressing my body any more than it has to, while still keeping some form of fitness. My next race is on the 27th of this month, and it'll only be a 'C' priority race. After that I'm looking at the Terror of Teaberry, a 40 mile super rocky and technical race. Then 'cross season begins and I'll be focusing there. I'll probably do the Something Wicked Events 6 Hours of Cathedral Pines race, but I kinda want to do it as a team instead of solo like last year.

In the end I'm just happy to have gotten a clean bill of health from the doctor. More important than any cycling is health. If I'm not alive, how the hell can I ride my bike??? ;) For now just restin' up and giving my body the TLC it deserves.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Restin', restin', restin'

I'm not going into it again, but after my less than stellar race this past weekend, I decided to take a complete week off the bike and pretty much any exercise at all. My body just hasn't felt "right" since Monday, so maybe I ought to listen to it and hang it up for a little bit.

I can't remember the last time (without sickness) that I went more than a day without some sort of movement. It amazes me that people actually live like this! I'm starting to think that I haven't felt quite normal because I'm not exercising. Not exactly sure, but that's just my theory.

Anyway, most likely won't do much until next Tuesday when I start back on the bike again. I've registered for my first XC race on August 27th and will be looking forward to the short and hard effort. I'm still on the fence about doing any long races again this season. There is a 40 miler and a 4 hour race that are on my radar, as well as the Something Wicked Events 6 Hours of Cathedral Pines race that I'm still kinda into doing. For some reason though I'm just not willing to commit to the longer stuff at this moment-almost like my heart just isn't into it. Maybe time will adjust my thought...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just a thought...

Maybe it's the dissappointment I'm still dealing with from this past weekend, or the fact that my body is just crying out in pain with every step, but I'm seriously thinking of dedicating the rest of my mountain bike season to shorter, true XC events. I never considered racing these, but now I'm starting to think it might be an overall good decision. There are still some good races left, they're cheaper, and I might actually be good at them.

The only thing that I have to worry about is that I'll have to start racing in the Sport Category since I've never raced any USA Cycling Events before. Then again, if that's the only worry, then I should shut up and do well enough to get my cat 1/pro license instead of bitching:).

Anyway, just a thought for now...