That Racing Feeling

Over the last couple of days all I’ve been able to think about is racing my bike again. I’ve been thinking about the spring and summer races I’ll be doing. I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do in these races (yes, a bit crazy but I can’t help it!).

In short – I’m itching to race my bike again. When I’m riding my bike in the basement watching another episode of Damages (pretty good for the trainer..) and grunting through another set of intervals, I’m thinking about racing. I’m think of goals left unsettled, of new goals, and of simply getting out on the open road.

This is a good thing. I think I’ve finally reached a point where I’m back to full health – my nasty ulcerative colitis flare of 2010-2011 is well-behind me, my body has rebounded from the medication side effects, my back is fully healed from my 2011-2012 season-ending injury, my confidence is back, and I’m feeling good.

I finally feel like myself again. The self that really just wants to get out and have some fun on the bike. I have no outcome goals for the spring/summer racing. My goal for each and every race is to go as hard as I can – to push myself, to be engaged in the race, and see what I can do. I fully expect this approach to racing to end with some surprises – likely some blow-ups on the bike, some lucky moves that put me in a successful break, and others that simply show me what I still need to learn.

I don’t know how other cyclo-cross racers approach their spring/summer racing campaigns (so tell me!) – but this is what I aim to do. I’ll be building fitness and strength during this time so I’m excited to see what does happen.

Yes, I’m excited. I wish I could get out and race today! It is hard to believe that I’m turning 40 in a few months – I have a feeling this will be a good year.

(My good friend Nikoline Hansen emailed me this photo today – it was taken of us at the 2009 Treviso, Italy World Cup – this race seems like a lifetime ago. It was the start of a dream season. Nikoline and I met that day during the pre-ride and have been friends ever since. Amazing what the bike gives you.)

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