Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The swing of things

If you have never seen Big Hero 6 the pic above might not make sense to you. But, it still gives the premise of where I am. After a few months off the bike I have lost my endurance. Gone. Hence, I am not fast.

So how did I get here? Like I said before, life. But that is just the umbrella excuse that I am throwing out there today. The table of contents under "Life" is very deep and has many different sections that have told my story thus far. Bottom line, I am where I am because I allowed myself to head down this path. Now, I have the long journey back.

This time last year I was geared up and approaching being ready for the hardest race I have ever done, Lumberjack 100. I knew I could ride the 100 miles, but my longest "trail" or "singletrack" or "off-road" ride was under 50 miles. I have a few centuries under my seatbag along with numerous Kal-Haven trips of 70+ miles. The dirt was different. I was able to finish, but I trained for it. I was strong. I was quick. I was mentally sound. The weekend after (remember the deer incident?) was where it all started to fall apart.

I had glimmers of my pre-lumberjack 100 self when I did a few solid rides. These glimmers didn't last long as winter approached and "life" started to happen at a greater rate than I imagined. I did manage to have a solid first quarter on the trainer. Had some solid sessions and was doing alright, but nowhere near the level of 2015, and it was wearing on me as "life" was happening even more.

I pulled back. Reset. Now, I am doing alright and I am actually getting back on the bike. I rode Upper Mac for the first time this year and was reminded just how out of shape and heavy I am. It was okay though, because I was out in the woods and spending quality time with my Anthem SX. The itch to go fast is coming back. Wanting to ride is a more common feeling. Watching what I am eating is getting easier. TV watching includes the Tour of California and UCI World cup mountain bike races. I am actually interested in bikes again, which is a good feeling for me. I even bounced over to the MMBA site and looked at the remaining race schedule. 

That browsing led me to reminisce about the 2014 Sweat Shaker race. It was the first ride I did on my Trance. I took a solid 3rd in Sport Clyde. My first Sport podium.....and the last. I was in great form and planning another trip to the steps in 2015 when disaster struck about a mile from Exit 168 on US-127 near Mid-Michigan Community College. My season ended that day. I allowed myself to fall. But, I was super confident before the deer event. I was ready. Mentally I was strong before the accident. I wanted another medal, instead I got a new bike.

I am signed up to race Sweat Shaker again this year on June 25th. I have about a month to get physically ready for a fun course. I have that same time to build my mental toughness back to where it was nearly a year ago. I have to get back into the swing of things....

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