I competed in 30 road races in 2017 from February 28th through August 14.
These races brought me to travel as far as northern california, eastern Oregon and as deep into towns close to Portland. I had to contend with rain, cold, extreme heat over 100 degrees, altitude changes, and avoiding crashes in the bunch. Nutrition difficulties were from the early season in trying to figure out how to eat to not gain weight then at the end of the spring how to eat enough not to bonk or have indigestion. As the races piled up a feeling of fatigue was present each morning as I became less enthused to bounce out of bed and onto my trainer. When I figured out how to eat enough to fuel my workouts, how to rush less in my morning routine to leave enough time to get ready for the day before my first client and after my cycle training, and how to work with what my body gave me each day, I felt that racing and training made me stronger and more vibrant for all people around me. I made many great aquaintances and friends. I deepened my relationship with my partner and with the region around me. We got to visit many small towns and farms. Exploring local eats and hikes along the way. We read books and listened to great podcasts and music along the way. The road season is a party that gets me out of the routine of my small world out into the countryside yet there is enough discipline to appease the order seeking side of my brain. There is a quality of staying on track and working towards a goal and building slowly in each race and pedal stroke towards a depth of understanding about how to convert work into the art of experiencing the world. It is like flying when you are able to combine the right amount of effort with the task at hand. It is like struggle and pain when the connection between body and bike is not ready when the race dictates. But with a mind for feeling what is gong on first and easing into it rather than fighting the body for what its not ready for is a way to get on good terms with what needs to be done. The people in the group help eachother do more as one unit that each individual. We each make it harder by attacking and pulling through harder and easier
I did not accomplish my highest objective of earning enough points to qualify for an upgrade to category 2. I need to use my power more effectively next season to make decisive brakeaways that are more daunting to undertake but potentially more rewarding than earning a lesser place. For instance I was often working at the front of the group to keep a race from splitting instead of starting or contributing to good brakeaways sticking later in a race. This is more risky but the reward of finishing off the podium is not a good reward. The goal for next season is to mete out my power at particular focused times during the race. This will require astute attention on my competitors and torrential and frightening feelings of jumping into the deep ocean and off on my own away from the comfort of the pack.
I am starting earlier this year by reflecting and then preparing. I am excited by the potential to improve.