What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

How do I fix this?

This is me, a college sophomore, smiling and shouting out to my coach, "Hey, look at me!!" I was quite proud of myself at the time for keeping up with the 'A' ladies (I was a 'B') as we crested a hill in a road race. Inspired by my team, I worked my butt off (quite literally) on my bike during college, keeping the Collegiate Nationals Team Time Trial in mind each year. The 3 years I was on it, we won.

I later entertained the idea of "going pro." I never imagined myself as the super star, or winning gold- but I had a George Hincapie mentality (which I blame on being a defender during my soccer upbringing) and I knew I could contribute. So I dipped my toe in it, tried a few pro-level races which I mostly spent hanging timidly on the back. The level of seriousness, however, turned me off. There were things I LOVED about that level of racing (mostly, getting exhausted), but I just wasn't quite so cut-throat enough (I thought) to care so terribly about whether I won, but I cared more whether I got in a small, hardworking circular paceline, because those things are FUN.

Anyhow, I struggle now to figure out my "athletic identity." I've considered running (a marathon!), triathlon (an Ironman!) and cyclocross (a muddy, technical bonanza!) and haven't succeeded in committing to any of them. Now my quads have shrunk, drastically, in my mind- and I can feel it on the bike. I stand to keep pace... and the power just isn't there.

I've also been having a harder and harder time actually getting myself out the door for a ride. Is it because I know that it doesn't feel the same and I just want to ignore the problem? Why don't I have the fervor to improve that I once had? Because I have no team?

All I know, is that it is much harder to discipline yourself to improve when you're trying to get BACK into the shape you were formerly (and recently) in, than it it is to improve from ground zero where every gain is a new experience. It's harder- because of pride.

It also occurred to me that I had been accustomed to such a high level of energy output (..ha, and input!), that maybe I'm feeling like an addict coming off drugs. I'm craving the endorphin highs.

So how do I fix this?
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