I guess three weeks (minus that one itty bitty race) was the appropriate amount of time off before starting to train again for the 2012 season. When I counted out on my calendar from January 1st to the Ouachita Challenge, I came up with the odd, but not necessarily unlucky, number of 13. That meant one spare week after carving out three of the lovely four-week training blocks by which we cyclists like to map out our lives. So, extra week of taper right before the OC or extra week of break before the season? Since the first two weeks off the bike flew by largely unnoticed due to holiday stuff, I was really glad I let myself have one more week to just be at home, chill, and a focus on the first few days of my Whole 30 before starting training again.
I knew I'd made the right choice, because by Saturday I was ready to dedicate this song to my road bike:
It probably didn't hurt that the weekend was sunny and unseasonably warm for January, although I still ended up in pretty much full winter gear on Sunday morning when I woke up to 27 degrees and didn't feel like sitting around until it got warm. I just got out for a couple of hours of base miles each day, which was surprising tiring after riding more than 40 minutes so rarely in the last few months. Regardless, I'm happy to be "training" again.
I'm also getting pumped about taking on the Ohio Spring Race Series this season. Given my limited road racing experience, my biggest goal is just to stay in a position where I can watch what's going on and learn about racing tactics. It will be a bit of a departure from the "just go hard until you get to the finish line" nature of mountain biking and 'cross. I think what used to turn me off about road racing is suddenly becoming intriguing.
Finally, the bike inventory reduction from the sale of my Anthem didn't last too long. I've been wanting one of these little cupcakes since the 2012 Giant catalog came out, so I finally decided to spring for one before it went out of stock. Adam has the more manly version that he uses for commuting and seems happy with it.
Once I get it hooked up with a basket, Jake can be relieved from commuter duty and reverted back to 'cross bike mode. I decided I wanted an "ambassador bike" on hand to lend out to girls who would like to try 'cross but aren't sure enough to commit to a bike purchase. Potential situations include but not limited to: Sarah F. successfully convincing her Little 5 team (or any Little 5 girls for that matter) that 'cross is way more fun with multiple gears, real brakes, and knobby tires, and possibly a sweet clinic/ pre-season practice race deal I'm working on cooking up. I know it's a long way off, but file this away in your brain in case you encounter any other situations where Jake can be of use in 2012.