Monday, February 2, 2015

The Dawn of a New Era

The last weekend of January was no more conducive to training success than the rest of the month had already been. A high of 22 degrees on Saturday and an active snow storm on Sunday kept us from accomplishing much bike-wise for yet another weekend. On Saturday, we attempted to do a short mountain bike ride on some new double track/not-too-technical trails that we’d never tried before. When we got to the first section of unpaved rail-to-trail/double track, we discovered car tire tracks through it. I’ve never been on this trail before, so I’m not sure what it’s actually supposed to be under the snow, but I was surprised and also a little relieved to see car tracks, at least on that day. Unfortunately, we only made it about a quarter of a mile, because with 10 or so inches of accumulated snow, the car tire tracks were still too soft to ride in many places. It was a situation in which I don’t even think fat bikes would have been much use.

Earlier in the month, I talked about the freedom that comes with physical incapacity, when you finally give in to being sick or injured and let whatever plans that incapacity was keeping you from fall away with no guilt. I didn’t fully let go, though, since I’d already signed up for the Death March and had invested in creating a Facebook page for my Death March Memes hobby. I thought I’d made peace with not being competitive, and I had too much investment to feel like I could drop out. As January has dragged on with conditions continuing to not turn in my favor, I longed to be rid of the burden of Death March expectations, regardless of how few I tried to have. So Friday night Frank and I had a long talk and decided that I would be better served giving myself permission to not race, and having made that decision made a weekend of battling whether to ride in miserable conditions or stay inside and feel guilty a little easier.

It may seem like right now I’m letting adversity win, but I don’t really care. When I gave in to my physical incapacity, I also vowed to let go of stressing over a future that I can’t control in regard to Frank’s job search and everything else that depends on it. Now it’s time to also let go of the past. Last week I said that needed to find a new anchor and new handholds in my life, so maybe unhitching from an old anchor will free me up to do that faster. Going back to Indiana to try and relive past glory is just going to make me feel bad every day that I’m not on track until it’s over. Also, if my state after returning from Sarah and Josh’s wedding and from SSCXWC are any indication, I’ll probably be saving myself some post-trip depression resulting from feeling like I don’t belong anymore, be those feelings rational or not.

Now I am free stop comparing myself to two-years-ago-me and figure out what the new awesome me will look like. Right now I don’t know what my new anchor will be, although I am looking forward to the first Mid-Atlantic Super Series cross-country race on April 26. Cross-country is another thing that I just had to walk away from at one point, but now I’m feeling like a fresh start in a new series might be cool. It also means that I don’t need to beat myself up trying to do long rides in miserable conditions just yet. For now my goal is just to complete all of my weight training sessions and ride my bike on all of the days that I’m scheduled to ride my bike (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday) without too much stress about quantity or quality, at least until Daylight Savings Time comes back. At that point I should have a decent base back with seven weeks to start pushing before my first race. It seems like a much more doable plan.

Imagine this sitting in a pile of snow with more pink.

It’s mostly coincidence that I finally got together enough money for a new cross bike at the time that I decide to give myself a fresh start, but it’s still a nice marker. I partly wanted to wait until my new Giant TCX Advanced Pro 1 arrived before posting, but it’s already a day or two late, so I’ll just go ahead with a stock photo rather than delay. Hopefully on Wednesday I’ll be taking my first unburdened pedal strokes on a gorgeous new carbon fiber creature untouched by Hoosier National Forest gravel slurry. Much like the past accomplishments and failures in which she played a central role, my 2011 TCX w will be held onto and cherished, but moved to a more peripheral part of my life (maybe as a singlespeed). I hope this pretty new blue boy serves me as well as she did, but his story will be his own, and I’m sure it will be a good one.

1 comment:

cheryl said...

You should take advantage of all that snow and go cross country skiing or snowshoeing - have some fun, do something new, be adventerous, and let go of the feeling that you have to do a race early in the year. have some fun :-)