Saturday, July 13, 2013

Week #28: Doing My Best

It's a Saturday and I'm blogging from Oklahoma. There's really not much point in waiting until Monday to make an update because nothing will have changed training-wise, and I'll be busy with the events surrounding my grandma's funeral. Today I am sitting in my parents' house, not really knowing what to do and thinking that if I'd driven here like I wanted to, I could of at least have brought a bike and ridden today. Of course, when I found out that my grandma had died and that I would be making an unplanned trip home in the middle of summer and the middle of, well, everything else that I've been working through the past few months, missed training was the least of my worries.

It still is, I guess, but I am feeling really unsettled by yet another interruption in my attempt to establish normalcy. I'm also missing the second round of the Tri-State 6 Hour Series, but I guess that's what drop races are for. The homemade plaque will still be mine.

My mind is a little clouded by the silly kind of, "OMG, I missed five days of training and now my season is ruined," thinking that I secretly scoff at when it falls from the lips of others. I'm also a little disturbed by the roughly four pounds that I have gained since I moved in April, because in the past when I gained weight it was because I was depressed, missing training, and binge eating. In this case, it is more that I was ridiculously lean from my obsessive Death March preparation, so just dropping my food neuroses enough to have a normal social life, drink some beer sometimes, missing training for more "strategically important" stuff, and not sleeping too well the past few months were enough to make me gain weight. It just feels like I've lost control. My worries are not so much about the potential outcome of bike races as they are the feeling that I've lost my anchor.

I trained obsessively for a few months as a way to get myself mentally and physically fit for the rough period I knew was coming. It worked. I got to win some Hopslam and make some good memories to cheer me up in the dark period that was to come. Then I took on my real demons, and I made it through that. I'm just really struggling with "normal" taking way longer to achieve than I ever imagined it would.

I just have to keep telling myself that I'm doing my best, and that most of the things happening in this period of upheaval will make for a much nicer "normal" when it does happen. A death in the family was not something that I was really expecting or planning for at this time, so it's especially hard on me because I didn't really have any emotional reserves built up to handle it right now. I'm just trying to struggle through this weekend and tell myself that I'm tough enough to handle it, because I already handled everything else. After this, I will still have some more upheaval of the good kind as I'll be missing training for a good reason. I'll be spending next weekend in Chicago with my "romantic-type male riding partner", but there will be no bikes involved. I'm a little worried about back-to-back weekends away after the stress of this one, but I want to seize the opportunity to see him while he's west of the state of Ohio for the weekend. So family and new relationships can be detrimental to bike racing, but ultimately, they are more important.

In an attempt to do the best I can under the circumstances, I did my first intervals of 2013 earlier in the week, and I'm really committing to getting in every weight workout that I can when I am in town. The last two 6 hour races are just going to be suffer fests, as my longest ride between races #1 and #3 will have been about two hours. I'll survive, though. Then on to cyclocross with maybe a chance to go shred to rock gardens in Pennsylvania in between.

Eventually, I will settle into my new life, nurture my new relationships, manage my single-income household, and figure out how to still rest and train in a way that feels balanced. I'm just not there yet, and the most important thing is to remember to keep trying. I'm building good things here; they just might not be complete in time for me to also to be CX-podium ready in September. And that's okay. I spend too much time worrying about the next couple of weeks, that I keep forgetting how much time I have left to do the all the things that I want to do.

We stopped at a lavender farm on the way back from the airport,
so this is my only interesting picture for the week.

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