Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Change of Pace

The season is over. No more races. No more training. Done.

I like the "off season". I like not racing and I like doing non-bike racing things. Things like drinking wine, hiking, skipping stretching, or not doing anything at all. 

I've had two awesome hikes this past week.
 The first was to Blue Lake. Due to all the canyons getting flooded, there are no Boulder people anywhere. It's great. We had the trail all to ourselves.
 Hike #2- up Hessie Trail. Again, not a person in sight. We did have some wind, and snow.
 It was awesome.
Being a "normal" person for a while is pretty nice. Hanging out with friends is more fun when you don't have to do intervals the next day. Splitting wood is more fun when it's the only exercise you'll get for the day.

Cheers to the off season.
Shot out to Dr. Andy at Peak Sports Chiro. He fixed me up yesterday. Seems like forever ago, but I crashed myself twice in one day in France and got a little jacked up. Dr. Andy is pro at un-jacking and I feel much better. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Euro Trip- Part 2

 Once we got to Italy, things got instantly better. We were in a 4 star hotel with good internet and a beach/ocean view. We were in town where we could walk to morning coffee.
The racing was better- minus the cars, which seemed to be everywhere. The peloton was smoother, the transfers shorter, the scenery better, and the temperature cooler. The helmet numbers, on the other hand, were not ideal.

Even Italian doggies were cuter.
 We no longer had to cook our own food. Though, due to the meat looking like this, I continued to stick to a plant based diet.

 Which included a lot of this type of food. Rice and ________
 I had a little more fun in Italy. My body stopped hurting from crashing, jet lag was gone, my fitness was getting better rapidly, I was enjoying riding my bike, and the small things like- internet, food, coffee, and communication was easier.

We had a nice last dinner at a pizza place that had great gluten free crusts. 2:45am wake up for a 3am departure for the airport to come home.
 I'm happy to be home. When I look back at my Euro experience, I have to admit, it isn't with fondness. I know some of this is due to it being the end of the season and I'm ready to be finished racing for now.

The racing made me fit, the racing will make me a better racer, but I did not enjoy it. This has been a tough reality to face and I'm not really sure what to think now.

I do know I'm still motivated to train and race next year. I still like winning races and having success as a team. For now, that's all that matters.

Here's to the off season.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Euro Trip- Part 1

 It all started nicely. Look I'm in France riding my bike. It's fun, it's pretty, it's all good.
Minus the sleeping arrangement with sheets big enough to cover almost half the small bed.

 Alexis and I went for pre Prologue Espresso- just like normal (though the flavor ranked one below nasty).
 We had nice team dinners and coffee together. 

Then it all went downhill-- and onto the right side-- twice. In one day.
 It sucked and I cracked.
 Everything hurt. My body hurt. It hurt to ride my bike. I wasn't sleeping. The internet sucked. The drives each day were long and windy, the and racing was hard with no success.

 I tried to HTFU. I tried to race my bike. I was sort of successful in that I won a trophy. Most combative of day # idon'tremember.

 But I was not having fun. This no-fun feeling has not happened to me for several years. I've made a point of making my bike racing fun. If I'm not going to get rich doing it, I might as well be having fun and enjoying my life as a bike racer.

Being in pain, away from home, not making money, and not able to have a chance at winning each day really made me think long and hard about "what am I doing here?"

Finally we finished Ardeche. We celebrated with grapes picked right from the vine,
 and beer and pizza- for me.
 We drove to Italy and I still had a bad attitude. I needed an attitude adjustment- ASAP.  I got one. Thanks to The Sister and her advice of "ditch the expectations and enjoy the experience", my trip has now turned into WWHD (What Would Heidi Do?).

If Heidi were in Italy, she would drink wine. Cheers.
Heidi would eat a chocolate croissant on the bike ride during the coffee stop (no the espresso is no good here. It's all over roasted and tastes burned). 

Here's to a better outlook for this week of racing, and here's to enjoying the experience- no matter what kind it is.
Racing starts this evening with a 2km TT. Yep, less than 3 min.