Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The end of the world as we know it...

Well the world may not have ended, but my life has been a roller-coaster lately. Coming into winter break I was really struggling to find the motivation to ride, even when I was riding outside I had a hard time focusing on my workouts. On top of this I was ending one of my worst semesters in college, and the idea of spending the upcoming holiday at my empty apartment was not terribly exciting. Cue the pity party.

My motivation hit rock bottom this past Friday afternoon. After a mere twenty minutes on the rollers I gave up and headed over to my parents' where I was greeted by the news that dad was facing a medical problem that could seriously restrict racing for the rest of his life, and oh by the way Mom fell and cracked her ribs. I spent most of that evening bouncing between parents and taking notes during appointments. It was hard to be in the room when my dad got the news about how everything would affect his racing career.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve, due to a cliff diving accident we ended up driving up to Indianapolis to spend Christmas Eve there with my brother. As we said grace I realized how luck my family is that we were all together and relatively healthy. It put my lack of motivation in perspective. I don't ever want to find myself in my Dad's shoes, but if I ever do I want to have no regrets, like him. I've had to take some time off to be with my family, but I am very much looking forward to refocusing my efforts over the next few days.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lessons Learned

The weeks seem to be just flying by. A lot of little victories have occurred since I last wrote, particularly training-wise.  I had my first century, as well as a series of really strong rides with guys from the Scholar's Inn Bakehouse Team. Health wise I have lost a fair amount of weight (15lbs since end of July actually) and am down to 120 lbs. While it makes it even harder to keep up with the guys on the downhills, I can already tell I am climbing better and generally faster.

Over the past few weeks I have learned a lot though, from my teammates, my coach and myself. A few of the lessons have been small, but it has very much re-enforced my drive and focus.

1. Talk about your goals. Big and small.
A goal, no matter how small is an important steppingstone towards greater things, and keeping them inside yourself is almost like cheating. You lose the accountability that comes from having others know what you want.  My goals coming into the fall were focused mostly around Collegiate Nationals, as well as working towards a Category 2 upgrade.

2. Sometimes rest is more important than training.
A few weeks ago I was supposed to do my century, but I came down with an annoying cold. As much as I didn't want to agree with it, I knew my coach was right when he said it was in my best interest not to do the century that weekend. I got better much faster, and was fortunate enough to attempt it a few weekends later.

3. Never give up. Ever.
Two years ago I was told by my orthopedic surgeon that there was a possibility that I would never ride again due to a problem with my knee. Last Sunday I rode 100 miles, today I did 60 with over a 17.8 average. Enough said.

4. Ask questions.
Local pros have been showing up to our team rides lately and I have been able to learn a lot just from asking them about their experiences, as well as from my team director and fellow riders. Curiosity never hurt anyone.... much.

5. Things that are worth it are rarely easy.
I know what my goals are, and I know what I want more than anything. Juggling Graduate School, 15 hours of riding, and 15 hours of work as well as writing workout plans for 8 girls on a Little 500 team does not make anything easy. Friday and Saturday nights often find me going to bed early, and the majority of my socialization occurs on a bike. I've had friends call me crazy, and maybe I am but honestly right now this is worth it to me.

Anyways. Just a few things that have been drilled into my head lately. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings!!!