Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Supposed to be Fun...

I promised that there would be some bike content forthcoming. You see, I haven't really been wanting to write about my racing this season - haven't felt good about it for awhile. In fact, at one point, the passion I've had for years for riding/racing my bike was gone. I was dreading getting on the bike for the races, and for training. I was in a BAD place.

Late last year, I decided that I would race as part of the NEBC Women's Elite team. I was excited but nervous to do it, and spent a lot of time training. The team started the season this year with Battenkill - I got dropped. Then we did Turtle Pond - I got dropped. Next was Sterling, and I got dropped. Sense a theme here? In between team races, I also gave the Wayne Elliot race a go. Guess what? I got dropped there too (though I WAS racing with the 50+ men's field, and those guys do NOT get slower as they get older).

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm and motivation went out the back too. Add in the fact that I started a new job in March, and that I have the additional full time job of NEBC president, I was also tired, and the commitment required was just too much. So, I resigned from the team. Ok, I quit. But resigned sounds so much better, don't you think? ;)

Amazingly, taking the pressure off has been good for me. I did the Waterville Valley TT, and defended my title of Master's Woman champion, and finishing as the 3rd woman overall. The day was viciously windy, and coming down the mountain road was terrifying. Getting pushed by a sideways wind gust at 38 mph is enough to scare the pants off of anyone. It was tough to control the bike, and it cost me some time going down. Still was a good day though.

Then last weekend, we treked out to Ipswich for the inaugural version of the Weeping Willow mountain bike race (yes, I KNOW I said that I wasn't racing MTBs anymore - so I lied ;)). I used the same trick at this race as at Winding Trails, and took the hole shot from the start to get out and into the singletrack in front of the field. The course was winding and a lot of fun, but working that hard for 20 miles (or 2:19 if you want the time) put me at a deficit. I ended up doing well, winning the expert women's field for geared bikes overall, and my category. VERY fun race, and a great boost for me as well.

Mike and I have also been doing some "fun" riding. We did a nice tandem ride a few weeks ago, venturing out onto roads we've never ridden, and just riding until we didn't want to anymore. We ended up in Framingham (of all places), and then home from there. Last weekend (on Saturday - before the MTB race on Sunday), did a great ride up in Bethel. It was nice to be up in Maine after not having been here since February. While we could have done without the headwind, it was a nice ride.

I will continue to race this season - I will just be focusing on the races that I want to do, and that I consider "fun". Life is too short to be doing something we don't like to do.

And today's adventure? You'll have to wait for the next post to read all about that, but I'll tease you with the fact that it included almost 6 hours of saddle time and 4 notches. Oh - and it was FUN!


vicki said...

I can totally relate to how you're feeling. I've been in the same place. Life is short, so make sure each day is the best possible. For some this is having their legs ripped off every Saturday and Sunday and for others it is enjoying the "gift" of the bike. Just keep smiling and soaking it all in.
P.S. I quite like all the kitten content. Nice to see Marc and I aren't the only ones obsessed with our "kid" - I mean cat...

Jonny Bold said...

We can all relate to the mental burnout you were feeling. Chances are your motivation will go through the roof now and it will seem like more fun than ever.

Just imagine being injured and unable to ride by choice. You'd be so eager to get back in control of the decision making process.

Seems like you're getting that worked out now......Good Luck.