Starting to find consistency after a break is difficult. A relatively fresh body thinks it can do all the things. Unfit legs fatigue much quicker than the mind imagines. It’s too easy for me to throw down some big rides, overdo it, and fall apart again as soon as regular life demands all my time. I’ll probably fall into this trap anyway but at least I managed to avoid it yesterday.
I can always count on climbs to be motivating. When I moved here from St. Louis 20 years ago I was a terrible climber. My years with the CU Triathlon team did nothing to really change that. I tolerated climbs but didn’t embrace them. Cue up my first failed Leadville 100 followed by jumping head first into singlespeeds (thanks Fixie) and all of a sudden climbing became my jam. Just keep a nice steady tempo and watch the climb fly by.
Yesterday afternoon I wanted to ride but was having trouble getting out the door. My sinuses were better but I was nervous that cold weather riding would set me right back to square one. Oh well, got to find out sometime! I thought about Lookout but honestly it wasn’t steep enough and so I pointed the Pivvan to Boulder instead. My concession to Flagstaff was that I would stop before I overdid it and I would limit my power. I figured a couple laps at ~220-240W would keep my heart rate down. Lap 1 went smooth as can be although I seriously considered whether I had enough clothing on the descent. Lap 2 took a bit more effort up the wall but I felt strong anyway and the rest of the climb was easy. I had planned to stop after 2 laps but it was only 20 miles so I allowed myself one more half a lap.
I figured wanting more was a good place to stop so I coasted back to the Pivvan. 5100 feet of climbing in 2:30 at an NP of ~220W in the bank. Made me wonder if I should do another Everesting? Flag would be a lot less laps since each one is ~2000 ft and in shape I could do 2500 ft total per hour pretty consistently. Looking forward to more rides this weekend and then getting my bike commute routine solid again!
Now I can get back on the bike without worry of making things worse. I also had her help me dig into my ongoing sinus/nose/throat issues. We’ve got a plan so I’m going to start with step one for the next few weeks and see if I can get it resolved. I don’t feel like it’s been normal since 2017 so if I can start breathing normally again in 2020 I’ll be happy. It bugs me when training but it gets exceptionally bad when I’m racing and was a part of why I dropped from CTR 2018. I’ve got some work to do to get fit but at least that’s the fun kind of work. Let’s get after it!
Something I loved about my old blog was writing regularly and sharing thoughts along with pictures from rides and adventures. This led to great friendships that have persisted though the years and personal growth as I processed my experiences in writing. My goal for 2020 is writing regularly as I share my journey of getting back to training consistently.
It all feels pretty overwhelming at the moment. I know the prevailing theory is that I’m super human but I promise I have moments of doubt and struggle the same as the rest of you. Starting off 2020 sick was not what I had intended but Marni helped me make the best of it today. I managed to renew my lapsed TrainingPeaks account, update the website and blog, and setup a doctor appointment for tomorrow.
The FOMO is strong when I’m stuck indoors but I’ll have to find a way to cope. In many ways my 2016 Tour Divide run is held up internally as an ideal and my life is even more complicated now. Teaching and coaching (athletics and otherwise) demand a huge chunk of time and then add the whole father of two boys thing and hours manage to slip away everywhere. Part of the reason I picked Canning Stock for this year, aside from being novel and exciting, is that I can slot it relatively perfectly into my open summer time frame for final preparations and travel. Hopefully that helps me get through the initial bumps of the new year and firing on all cylinders by spring break.
For better or worse, you’re all along for the ride now so we’ll find out together!