Sparks

The past few months have been hard for me. I’m someone who is used to over performing. Nearly every race historically has been an over performance, at least in my mind.

But recently, it’s been the opposite. I’ve had higher expectations and have been way off. It’s hard to manage.

I’ve had feelings of wanting to quite. To give up. I ask myself if what I’m doing is really worth it.

Just last Saturday I was on a ride with my little sister and Dad and was just about ready to quit bikes and shift to pickle ball or something different.

I had completely lost the feeling.

I hope the Durango people don’t mind, but one of their slogans is Never Forget the Feeling. #NFTF

I had forgotten.

I wasn’t having fun.

I wasn’t racing well.

Perhaps past tense isn’t the best tense to use yet. I might be getting ahead of myself.

But since Saturday I’ve noticed a change.

The feeling has been rekindled. The feeling of joy, satisfaction, and personal growth. Maybe the reasons I keep racing are shifting. Maybe it’s proving to myself that I still can get better, and still can improve. Maybe it’s that getting outside and moving my body is really good for my mental and physical health.

I’m still not in the best place. But I’m feeling better.

As I was pondering about why I’m not performing as well as I have historically, I remembered that things take time. Adaptation takes time. In my experience, it takes two months.

Two months to get from base building, too feeling really good on race day. And then you have about 4 months to perform well before you need to reset and rebuild your base, or have a midseason break.

I didn’t start doing intensity until June, and it was still kind of random. No structured intervals, mostly just the Weekly Race Series on Wednesday nights. Other than that I was still skiing a couple of times a week and riding in zone 2/3. And I was wondering why I wasn’t performing as well as I thought I should be.

I’d lost patience.

I wanted results, and I wanted them now.

I had to remind myself that my focus this year was on collegiate Nationals in Mid-October. There reason I was waiting to do intensity was because I wanted to focus on that race.

Now, after missing so many of the races this year and performing mid at a lot of the summer races, I’m wondering if that actually is the best idea moving forward.

I think I’ll probably make changes in future years so that momentum is carried better throughout the season. I’ll start earlier on the bike.

At least if that’s what I decide to keep doing.

The good news, is that I’m starting to feel better. I hesitate to say that I’m all dialed now and racing will go fantastic for the rest of the season. But I’ve liked the trend over the past week.

On Saturday I did a big road ride and felt probably the best I’ve felt all year. And then on Monday I executed good intervals and was able to execute really well and with good power. On Tuesday I had a good endurance ride that took a little to get into, but then I found a good rhythm and was able to have a lot of fun.

Yesterday I did shorter intervals and also felt satisfied in the way I pushed my body. It felt different than previous efforts during the year. A good kind of different.

I’m racing on Saturday, so we’ll see I can continue to find the feeling. Because that spark can turn into a fire.

Just let it burn.

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