The Three Thirds of Many Rides and Races

I was on a group dat last weekend, and as we were getting to know each other someone found out that I’ve skied at least four times a week all winter. She asked, why? I said, because I love it. She looked a little confused and expressed that she had assumed there had to be something more, like I was training for the olympics or something.

This made me think, is there something more? What’s the deeper part of my motivation? Motivation is what drives us forward and is super important for consistent success. I’ve coached several racers who have lost motivation and because of it started missing more and more workouts, and ultimately having a poor race season.

I’ve had short periods when motivation is low and it’s hard for me to get on the bike, and sometimes even hard for me to finish.

With skiing though this almost never happens. I’m very intrinsically motivated to ski. It’s so different every time that I feel like an explorer enjoying a whole new experience. I think part of it has to do with the need to be with someone else. When I’m with someone else we can have good conversations and it makes the skinning pass quickly, and then the skiing is sooo fun. Especially this year. When the skiing isn’t good, it’s easy to want to stop a lot sooner.

Today I hopped on the road bike for the first time this season. The weather was perfect, low 70’s with low wind and a perfect blue sky. It started off fun because I haven’t been on the road bike for a while, but then about 30 minutes in it started to be uncomfortable. I felt my motivation drop. It made me wonder, why I am I out here for 2 and a half hours? I was a little bit concerned by some of these thoughts because I’ve biked so little this year I should be thrilled to be on the bike!

But there’s an interesting pattern that I’ve noticed with rides, and it happens in races too. The first third is great, and then the middle third is really hard, and then the final third is awesome! I think it’s something to do with momentum, and how I process the time in my mind. This doesn’t happen every ride or race, but it happens frequently.

So why do I ride? Why do I spend so much time training? Well, those 2/3rds are really great, and it’s also really great for the rest of the day. I feel accomplished and capable. That has a lot of value.

Why do I race? Well that one’s easy. I love it. Sometimes it’s really painful. But crossing the finish line and accomplishing a big goal is one of the most reading things I ever do. And it never get’s old.

Like ski touring, racing is never the same. Each time is a unique experience with a story to tell.

I love racing.

So it’s time to jump back between the tape. It’s been too long. I signed up for the Weekly Race Series first race on Wednesday at Eagle Mountain! It’s time to throw down!

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