I was speaking with my coach the other day about my fitness and how I felt that I might be approaching last year’s fitness levels before a string of health issues side lined me and has left me struggling to get back up to speed. Why is this important to me?
When I was younger and studying to be an artist one of my uncles (an artist) shared with me that studying art was like revealing magic. Well I discovered some magic last year when racing! When I was fit enough and working hard but could still breathe in the peleton I was able to truly see the race in front of me. I was able to suddenly see who was getting ready to jump, who was suffering, who was talking to whom and who was riding poorly. It was like having the curtain lifted to reveal a completely different world. I wasn’t worried about holding on to the wheel in front of me or when I could recover and when I thought I would ever get feeling back in my legs. I could move on instinct alone and not burn match.
When I started to train with a purpose and structure I had one real goal in mind – “Get into the mix!’ I just wanted to be involved in that part of the race where athlete’s are responsible for the outcomes of races and not just there to sit in or struggling to hang on. I will continue to train and race this season in an effort to be in the mix. I know I am close and if I can just see it for a shining moment I know I will go into the off season like a man possessed and train even harder so that I am guaranteed to be in the mix in next year’s racing season.
I had some time over the 4th of July weekend to decompress and relax, ride, train on new roads and be with family. This gave me an answer to a question I have had all season, Why am I trying so hard when its obvious I am having a rough season? Its easy I want to live in that moment when the curtain pulls back and I can see the race for what it is.
This leads me to the subject of this post: Believe in your self and your training. For those of you who are coached you know exactly what I mean. You are living on faith that the time, sweat, blood, money and sacrifices are going to pay off. You know they will but you still let doubt creep in. I can’t tell you to stop doing that and it will miraculously get easier it won’t. You have to listen to your self and your coach and make decisions sometimes daily on your day to day progress.
If you are not coached and trying to self coach and you have entered into the vicious cycle of trying harder and not seeing results I have a simple suggestion. Set daily and weekly goals in other words bite off smaller pieces instead of looking at the whole season and saying I have not met this HUGE goal.
Keep trying and you too will get to experience the magic of a bike race.