It’s been a pretty relaxed few weeks. Aaaaand that’s definitely the first time I’ve started a blog post like that. Weird, do you even recognize me?
Here are a few recent developments:
I rode my bike again. For about an hour and a half. Once.
And it was great! Actually it was kind of a clusterfuck because I forgot that I had put new brake pads in the last time I had touched my XC bike and never burned them in so I had no brakes and we had to stop and rub the pads down with rocks and then re-burn them in and then they only sort of worked. And because neither of us had ridden in a month (and we got a new van in that time) we forgot all the bits and pieces required to make a ride go smoothly, namely riding gloves and all our fancy ride-recording gadgets (forgetting the latter was kind of a blessing). But the parts where we were actually riding felt pretty great, especially the parts where we were pointed downhill and not having to breathe at 8,000 feet. So it was great in a sort of “yay I waited long enough to ride my bike and now I really remember why I want to” way and not great in a “goddamnit I just want my bike to work perfectly after being abandoned in the shed for a month wa wa waa” kind of way.
I started a strength training program with Dane from REVO PT & Performance.
I trained with Dane last fall which made me realize that being strong is probably the best feeling ever. I had never really experienced this before. I’ve never been a particularly strong athlete — fit, yes, — but not really strong. And actually being able to competently move heavy things from Point A to Point B is a pretty awesome feeling. Unfortunately after I re-hurt my knee last January, I never really picked up the strength training again, so I don’t think I saw many of those off-season gains during the season. This year I have a new training philosophy of being disgustingly, boringly proactive about my knee, which basically means being hyper aware and actually adjusting things in my training beeeeeeefore I dig myself a hole and actually get pain in my knee, because at that point it’s way too late. In the past, I’ve had a bad (and probably very typical) habit of being the last person on earth to recognize that I was having knee issues, because recognizing it meant doing something about it, and doing something about it meant doing less, which I hate. But my whole theory for this off season is to train less, but to train better and smarter, and if I come into the season a little under-trained, well, at least I’ll be trying something different.
Anyway, REVO is awesome, and I’m really enjoying being in the gym right now, which is weird, because I used to basically despise all sorts of indoor exercise, but now that I know which end is up on a kettlebell, I’m finding it far less intimidating.
We flew to Ohio for a wedding and Macky raced the Mayhem Enduro.
Because it would have been far too easy to just go on a trip to a wedding like normal people, Macky decided to add a bike race into the mix. While I could have raced, my bridesmaid duties prevented me from pre-riding, which was a convenient excuse to not race at all, because my brain is about as far from “race mode” as it’s possible to be while still also being a person who does this for a living. Which it turns out is pretty damn far away.
My desire to race this weekend was like negative 1000, and I had a good time heckling and harassing the pro guys on one of the many climbs on course and basically just trying to be the most obnoxious spectator ever. Usually I haaaaate spectating races because I’m wracked with guilt or depression from not being able to race (usually due to an injury). This weekend I only felt a teensy weensy bit of guilt and really no sadness whatsoever (the absolutely dismal weather probably helped with this, haa), which is either a really good thing or a really bad thing, I’ll let you know when I decide.
So, that’s all the updates. Like I said, relaxed. I realize this post was hardly earth-shattering, but I’ve noticed recently that I tend to save my blog posts for those BIG MOMENTS and HUGE OMG REVELATIONS, a habit which results in a lot of long gaps between posts and a lack of continuity. It’s also a little misleading, because those big moments are hardly the point. While I’ve had some revelations that have changed me and who I am as an athlete, the small things have done so ten fold — putting in the work, staying consistent, listening to my body. Those things matter more. And I haven’t been sharing them here.
For that reason, I’m thinking about publishing more frequent posts, some of which will be like this one, to be able to share those little things, and their effects over time. So, if you made it this far, and you like this idea, leave me a comment below and let me know. Also, feel free to leave a comment if you hate the idea too, because IT’S A FREE COUNTRY after all and I can’t stop you.