Kind of had a breakthrough today. I realized that this really is going to be a different kind of season for me. I think I’ve finally admitted to myself that I have to shift my focus a bit this year. Yes I want to race. Yes I will keep on racing. But I really can’t get caught up or worry about the results. I have to focus on what I can do this year to become a better cyclo-cross racer.

This year, I just can’t expect my body to respond the way I need it to. Getting my ferritin, red blood cells and other malabsorption issues sorted out really doesn’t allow me to expect the maximum from my body. I simply don’t have this luxury.

Instead the focus this season really needs to be on: how much can I learn? What can I take from each race and technical training session that will help me in the seasons to come? Fitness can always be built and increased. Technical skill growth takes time and dogged determination. I’ve always known that my technical skills are holding me back. So now this year it is really my chance to focus on technical skill development.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still be out there hammering away on the pedals training my aerobic and anaerobic systems. But I think there will be a shift towards really focusing on skill development. More on-road/off-road rides. More sessions of going to the trails and drilling the sections and really pushing myself past my comfort level.

This is how I can maximize this season. Is not about the results page. It is about how much can I learn this year so that next year when I’m healthy and firing on cylinders, I can have the best season possible.

Right now I’m so thankful to be able to be out and training and racing. I’m having fun again. There is a strange feeling of lightness for me when I line up to race. I know I can’t race at my maximum abilities right now. I can only line up and go as hard as I can on the day – hoping my legs will respond to what my brain and heart are willing them to do. Along the way, I’ll just try to learn how to read courses better, ride the mud better, keep my cadence high, stay off the brakes, get better at turning my front wheel – just become a better technical rider.

Most of all, I’ll be sure to continue to have fun. These last few races have been tough physically. But they have been excellent mentally. I’ve stopped beating myself up. I’m lining up. I’m racing. I’m soaking it up. I’m smiling. I’m looking at the good and the bad from each race and making notes on what I need to practice first.

One day I’ll wake up and it will be all systems go… I don’t know when this day will be. But until then, I have to shift my perspective.

Like What You Do. Do What You Like.

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