Saturday, March 31, 2012

Time Trial

Today was the first time trial I've done on the road since....well, since Augusta last year.  I wasn't particularly well-prepared.  I haven't been sleeping real well because of random nerve pain.  The last week wasn't a pretty training week.  I had to concentrate just on making the legs pedal, rather than any sort of power goals or training intervals. Work has been  stressful because I have a new boss and trying to balance work and training is becoming more and more difficult.

When my alarm went off at 3am, I really wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. But I pulled myself out of bed, threw on clothes and set off for San Diego.

My antipathy towards the entire race didn't subside as I set up my trainer, in the dark, at Fiesta Island.  My disdain for time trials (well, that's not true, I like racing against the clock the most) didn't decrease when I put on my skinsuit and the ridiculous helmet and shoe covers.  I rode over to the start line, not quite sure what to expect from my legs.

And so I set off - 7:18:30am.  At least I passed the trike and the 90 year old man!  I kept pedaling.  I lost all type of feedback from legs besides pain around midway through the second lap.  So I just kept pedaling, trying to monitor my effort through my heart rate.  I didn't think it was going too well.  But I kept pedaling, trying to feel the pressure/power on the pedals.

I rolled in at 34:43 when all is said and done.  That is 1:44/k.  The national standard is 1:47/k.  97% of the standard.  Not too bad.  Last May I rode the same exact course at around 39 minutes.

I am strangely disconnected from this result.  I should be elated.  This is the first time I've ridden the national standard on the road.  It may be due, in part, to my exhaustion from lack of sleep.  Or as I get further and further into this world of paralympic cycling, I am expecting these results from myself.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's about what you love

If you have talked to me since Worlds, you know that I struggled with a fantastic case of demotivation and general disdain for everything. I didn't want to ride my bike. I didn't want to look at my bike.  There are a lot of reasons that this happened and I've been working on digging myself out of this hole.

The following blog has some suspect recommendations (esp regarding nutrition), but the guy went to Notre Dame and his posts pop up in my LinkedIn account.

The Myth of Discipline

My favorite part of the article is: "There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. You are the result of what you love most. You either love finely etched muscular abs more than donuts or you love donuts more than wash board abs you could do your laundry on. It is as simple as that. Don’t beat yourself up that you have no discipline or further drown yourself in a sea of refined carbs. Admit that you like crappy food more than you love strength."

What is it that you love?  This is the question that I've been asking myself.   Today was the first day in a LONG time that I enjoyed riding my bike. In terms of training, it wasn't a stellar ride.  But in terms of my mind, it was exactly what I need.  After five hours of beautiful weather and great riding, I remembered that I do love riding my bike. And sometime it's not the actual bike riding.  Instead it's loving strength that I feel growing in my legs.  It's loving knowing that I am getting better.  It's loving the desire to be better, feel better and earn my place on the National Team.

The near future requires me to make decisions. I want to let love help me choose the path I take.