Today was my third day of following a structured training program. Been wanting to try this for years, to see if I can be faster, stronger and hurt less while doing it. I love racing bikes and like most bike racing freaks I want to kick a bunch of ass! I have always wondered if I am capable of being FAST? There are those who might get confused and think that I am already FAST!, but really, I am not. Sure I am quick enough and most importantly can go with much less sleep than some of the FAST guys and this has enabled me to do well and even win a few races. Look at a any one day races and I am not even close to the winners, don’t quite have that speed…..
For years I have been wondering when will someone come along that does not have to sleep and is FAST and will crush the multi-day, self supported bikepacking race world! Well I want to see if I can make myself into that person. Thus the need to step it up, get some help/coaching and give it everything I have. No excuses, no screwing up, total dedication. Like anything it is easy to dream about and so much harder to live everyday.
I have been afraid of the pain, the soreness, the dedication of time and energy. The thought of doing millions of intervals, riding the trainer all winter long has made me wince. Well the time is now and these things are kicking my sorry ass and will for months to come. But today I was made aware of just how much commitment this is going to take and it wasn’t the pain of bleeding eye intervals that shook me. I was scheduled to do an easy, steady 3.5-4.5 hour ride today. Basically staying on the pedals but on flat-ish ground, real nice simple spinning. Well I don’t have a road bike, and that is for a reason, I ride the roads to get to dirt and trails. This exercise would have been best with gears on pavement, for all the dirt roads go up and down, up and down….
For the first hour and a half it was all good. I rode out the highway and climbed up a gradual dirt road. Then the road got steep, so I turned around, oh yeah now it is a downhill. So for the second day in a row I dragged the brakes so I could keep pressure on the pedals. I have to admit I felt ridiculous. Kept reminding myself, dedication, adaptation, make it work. After that I just turned up every dirt road I came to, till it got steep, then turned around rode the brakes, took the next road. I passed singletrack after singletrack. Staying on dirt roads, wandering all over the sage hills southwest of Gunny. I really hit a wall. What am I doing, riding around randomly, keeping my heart rate down, avoiding trail riding…. I love singletrack!
Hard to keep goals in perspective, especially when they are so far away. I have been lucky to pull off what I have done with little or no help, just riding, sometimes far, sometimes fast. Still I want more. I want so much more from myself. I talk so much about limits, pushing them, exceeding them. The trouble is doing your homework. I can suffer, go with tiny bits of sleep, yet to do what I want requires more. It is time to progress, grow, expand. Time to dedicate myself not for a ride, or a weekend, but for months, years. I must stay strong, stay focused, stay on target, stay on target. This old dog is trying hard to learn some new tricks, damn it isn’t easy!