Flying High

Pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now. On top of the world. Feeling like a million bucks. Guess this is because I had a banner day today.

Kicked it off with a smooth commute into the office on my two-wheeler. Nothing like zipping past cars that are stopped in a never-ending line of cars. I love zooming by, knowing that I’m actually getting somewhere. This morning commute helps me really take stock of things and allows me to start my day with a clear mind. I find that if I’m stuck in traffic or even feel like I’m being “held up” by the motorist in front of me, I can become a bit surly. Work was nothing spectacular. Accomplished some stuff and then left. Wow, nothing like the bright blue sky and warm sun to help me forget the time spent in a cubicle. Awesome ride home – felt like the wind was at my back the whole way.

Had a great talk with my coach today. So helpful to have a coach who guides me along this path of cycling but who I can also be totally honest with on how things are going. We had a great chat, talked a lot about my focus for the next few months with an eye on the ‘cross season. Gains are happening in the weight room and on the bike. I’m feeling super strong, my numbers are going up, and my confidence is super strong right now.

During my training ride today, I realized how integral this confidence is to athletic success. I was listening to the latest Inside Track podcast. The host Robin Brown was interviewing Perdita Felicien. Felicien is one of Canada’s top athletes. World Champion. National Champion. Countless other top results at international track and field meets. Felicien is one of the top hurdlers in the world. But as they talked about during this interview, her athletic career has seen its share of ups and downs. Felicien has had her share of injuries and disappointment (Athens Olympics), but she keeps on coming back. But through it all she has her confidence. She knows that being a hurdler is a gift and she also knows that she is talented. This has helped her get through the lows and as well keep her grounded through the highs. I’m looking forward to seeing her compete again. (In fact she raced this evening in Toronto…) One thing I really appreciated from this interview, was how Felicien stressed how she was and still is concerned about developing ego. She said it is important for her not to come off as a “diva” or to develop a big ego – for this she relies on her family and friends to keep her in check. Anyway, if you’re looking for an interesting interview and some insight into what it is like to be an elite athlete, check out the podcast.

Hmm, seemed to digress a bit, but hopefully you got my point… As for me, my confidence is really high right now. I’m feeling good about my training. I have been getting some pressure because I haven’t been racing much this summer. This pressure can be hard to take. Especially when I know I’m really fit right now. It is tempting to start racing my brains out. But I have to ask myself, how will this help with the bigger picture? Will I be recovered enough to put in the solid training rides and time in the weight room? More importantly, what about the mental fatigue? I’ve just put together my ‘cross racing schedule and it is busy, full-on from mid-September until the end of January. That is a long season. With very intense racing, challenging courses and a great deal of travel. So I need to be as prepared and as ready as I can. Hence the lighter racing schedule this summer and a greater focus on training and recovery. One thing I’ve really noticed is that with my increased fitness, I can really focus when I’m on the ‘cross bike. My brain isn’t concerned about getting up the hill or maintaining speed – rather I can focus on other things like reminding myself to look ahead, to use my upper body when climbing, or to simply enjoy what I’m doing.

Yah, so things are good right now. Feeling pretty darn lucky.

As you know, I couldn’t do this without support from my sponsors. So I want you to check out the Kingsbridge blog – the company is involved in some fundraising for cancer research. Pretty much everyone I know has been affected by cancer in some way, so thanks to the Kingsbridge team for contributing to a worthwhile fundraising venture.

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