Semi-endless Winter and 6 weeks of Pre-race Panic

In Minnesota, even in the southern-most tropical region of the state, the abundance of this winter’s snow harvest continues to pile up. The 3.5 feet sitting in my yard no longer represents a winter wonderland, but a multi-layered, crusted reminder of days, weeks and months of wind-whipped bitter cold.

However, in the winter of my discontent, I’ve found my cycling motivation for the upcoming year. I followed an actual training program, spending about 8-12 hours a week on the trainer, mixed in some strength training, ate smart and worked with a trainer partner that kept us both motivated. I managed to drop about 15 pounds so far, a couple more veins have chosen to make their appearance on my calves and I’m feeling a lot stronger. All in all, pretty damn happy with the way this winter has gone.

The rest of the winter’s program has me targeting building up more fitness and riding strength along with dropping another 10 before the pretty ambitious race schedule I set out for 2010 comes about this spring. No problem, let me see now…check the calendar…Holy S#@t, my first race is in 6 weeks.

All of a sudden I find myself less worried about whether or not the winter will end and if the snowmelt will leave us in a giant Great Plains-sized flooded mud pit until after the 4th of July and more worried the starting-line jitters building in my gut and how I’m going to attack the first climb. I know it’s a bit premature, but given my stellar effort at last year’s offseason training stupidity, early season incompetence and overall failure in my racing ‘program’ last year, I’m anxious for this year’s racing to start. I took the time to learn from my mistakes, train smart, make progress and set goals…you know, all that stuff they write about in magazines and people pay coaches to help them with.

The Glory I’m searching for is glory on a Very Small Scale. Cat 4 Masters Road and Citizen class MTB wins. Results that you have to scroll down 3 pages to find my age group and class to reach. The fun I’ll have pursuing this Small Scale Glory and the happiness I’ve had along the way will be far greater than any medal I might receive. The smile on my face that was missing through many years of workaholism is back, and I don’t want it to leave anytime soon.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to contain my starting line nerves until I actually reach the starting line. However, my outlook has changed a little – the winter can’t last forever, I can now envision myself out riding in the sunshine and my competitive side has started to stir. So, for those that will be at the opening Psychowpath race on April 3rd – just know I’ll be easy to spot. I’ll be the slightly catatonic, overly caffeinated guy with the big grin on his face.


2 Responses to “Semi-endless Winter and 6 weeks of Pre-race Panic”

  1. February 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    So, when do you begin training specifically for the 24 Hour Challenge in Michigan???

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