Well, I’m in the second week of my new phase in life. Starting to get in the groove of it. I’ve got to say there is something to be said for getting a good night’s sleep and starting the day refreshed. Not to mention the fact that my teeth don’t hurt anymore…
So, what happens now? Well, I’m still working (except really for yesterday and today). Tomorrow I’ve got a meeting and then I’ll be able to start on a pretty interesting project (for a technical writer). This project will keep me busy for my four hours a day. I’ve got my work day set up for the hours of 10 – 2. Pretty perfect. This allows me to get a good sleep in the morning. Then get to the gym or yoga before starting work. Quitting time at 2 gives me plenty of time to get my ride in and then have time to just recover and be me. Massive bonus of this schedule is that I’m working from home!
Getting the cyclo-cross focused training puzzle pieces together as well. Took in the mountain bike for a tune-up. Picking up some clincher ‘cross tires so I can get my ‘cross bike ready to roll. I’ve got a technical cyclo-cross coach arranged as well (thank-you so much) so this will be excellent. I’ve learned from two seasons of racing in Europe that yes wattage is important but technical skills are still number one. My wattage numbers are steadily climbing and now I need to bring my technical skills up to the same level.
For me a lot of this has to do with overcoming fear. That’s right. Fear. It took me a long time to recognize this deep seated monkey on my back. I couldn’t figure out why I was quick to brake or ease up on my pedaling. After much trial and error and soul searching it came down to one thing fear. I think this fear is really tied to self-confidence. Lacking the self-confidence in my technical skills caused some fear in my racing brain. So now the job is to build up the technical skills, thereby boosting the self-confidence and hammering down the fear. Like I said, puzzle pieces.
Exciting times really. I’m stoked to get out on the ‘cross bike and push my limits. (Reminds me I need to check out the NCC web site to find out if the Gatineau Park trails are open to cyclists.)
The work in the gym is really starting to pay off. My legs, upper body and core are noticeably stronger. The tricky part is now figuring out how to best use this strength on the bike. I’ve realized that my upper body is really not doing much when I’m sprinting or climbing. I’ve tried to get the upper body and core engaged but just can’t put my finger on what I’m missing. More practice. More questions. More advice. It will come together.
I think the biggest challenge I’ll have this summer is patience. I want to do everything now. If it was up to me, I’d pack a gym work-out, a rode ride, a cyclo-cross ride and a yoga session all into one day! Yes, coach Steve has done an excellent job of getting me to slow down and take a breath. But you know that feeling when you want something so bad you just want to get there as fast as possible? That’s how I feel right now.
Yes, the emotion and passion is back. I’ve had a great couple weeks of training. I’m feeling more focused and invested in what I’m doing. So far I don’t feel any extra pressure on myself. After all, my only working part-time does affect not only myself but Marc as well. I have two jobs now. My goal is to do the best I can at both. At the end of the day, I’ll be able to rest my head well knowing that I’ve done all I could today to get to my goal.
For some extra inspiration, go read this interview with Svein Tuft. This guy is a role model for all cyclists out there.
Okay, time to get the bike out and get out for my ride. On deck today 2 hours endurance with some sprint work. Cool. Moving forward. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Oh, I believe the latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine is almost ready to hit the pavement. Make sure you pick up a copy.