I got restless the other night. I started on my standard list of activities when I get The Itch. I pulled out maps. I perused the interwebs for cool trip reports. I started looking at calendars and at Airstreamclassifieds.com.
“Everyone is doing cool things right now except for me,” I whined.
“Like who?” Scott can be incredibly patient with me when I get into my moods.
But I think what was getting me, more than the fact that I wasn’t out bikepacking or doing something higher on the Way-Cool scale was the fact that for the first time in three years, I have nothing ‘big’ on the horizon. The realization came that all I can do is to see what my body does in the next few months before I can plan big adventures. And I suck at patience.
Good thing Scott has a dropper post. Demonstrating proper descending form.
On recovery rides, be sure to go say Hi to the ducks. This guy knew he was sexy.
On one hand it’s nice. I can just hang out and ride when I feel good rather than worrying about how I feel, how I’m climbing, how I’m descending, etc. It’s been a while since I’ve forced myself to take this giant of a step back from racing, though I’ll be the first to admit that I have plans brewing in my head that might be slightly nicer to my body that my original plan of some massively long rides next year. The fact that I’m even thinking about riding a bike fast again seems to be a sure sign of recovery.
Somehow I coerced Scott into giving me a ride to the Crest and letting me meet him back at home. He’s the best-est ever.
As it turns out, endurance athletes are found to have elevated homocycsteine levels as compared to the general population, at least according to one peer-reviewed paper. What hasn’t really been determined is whether the elevated level is a training adaptation or an indication that what we’re doing could be damaging to our hearts. There’s also a genetic component to these levels with something like 20-30% of the population having at least one copy of the high-homocysteine gene. So my current issues may have absolutely nothing to do with my adventuring.
I digress. I think where I was heading was that this wake-up call has made me question the long-term health benefits of my escapades. I love racing, and I love ultra-endurance racing, but if it’s going to come with the price of a weak heart and the inability to ride a few years down the road, it turns out my priorities are in riding long-term much more so that racing.
After my little hissy-fit, I made a determination to change my attitude. Instead of ‘I can’t do this or that long ride’, I started thinking in terms of ‘If I cut this part of the ride off and am will to drive a little more than I normally would, I could totally pull this ride off.’
It’s been a strange shift in attitude, instead of always choosing the ‘Ride more’ option, occasionally choosing the ‘Ride less so I can go ride again tomorrow.’
A little bit of CT loving. It rained and we had to hike our bikes up some of the hills. I love the CT.
With the high country boasting some pretty good snow drifts already, we’ve embraced the low-down loops, and every once in a while, choosing the ‘Ride more’ option, or at least the ‘Ride trail instead of road’ option.