Sometimes you must fail before you find success

Every year I live on a balance of too much training versus too little training.  I try to hover on the fine line, but sometimes I find myself tipping over one day and crawling back up the next 5 days.  Remember how I left you hanging for my Enumclaw race report?  Well here goes nothing.

Going into my racing year I knew I wanted to target Enumclaw as a race to do well.  My biggest chance to do well would be in the road race, so as long as I "hang in" the TT and maybe get some time bonuses in the Crit, and get in a break in the RR, I could come out doing okay for the over all.  For the first time in my racing career I sacrificed some races (as in did some good training days in the week before the race).  I went into races feeling tired, fully knowing that in the future I was benefitting myself, but also knowing I wouldn't get the result I would REALLY truly want out of myself.  I just kept telling myself it was all training for CX.  Enumclaw was closely approaching and I was feeling really strong, 2 weeks before Enumclaw I went big and worked hard.  The week before Enumclaw I backed off a little, but was feeling pretty good, took a rest day here, rode easy there.  Then Saturday approached.

The TT didn't go as well as I would have wanted, my time was virtually the same as last year (1 second faster), that pretty much is a fail in my books.  On to the Crit. I warmed up went to the line, and then all of the sudden the race started.  Literally, like that, we rolled to the line and the official said go.  The first lap I was sacred to my bones because I wasn't sure how the people in the group where going to ride, so I quickly put myself up/near the front and tried to stay there for the remainder of the race.  I won a 3 second time bonus and knew I wanted top 3 so I could get a finishing time bonus, unfortunately on the last turn a little junior girl decided to chop me in a corner and cut me off, causing me to pull brake and slow way down.  I finished with the group in a measly...who knows which place.  The whole race my legs didn't feel like their good selves, they didn't feel like they should for a stage race.  They felt...stale, but I decided that was because of the TT in the morning (I mean really 15 minutes was that exhausting)?

The following day was the RR, and I wasn't excited.  Never a good sign.  I started the race, and I wasn't feeling it, my legs felt like crap and my head wasn't in it.  I decided I just needed to warm up and I would probably start feeling better after the first time up the climb.  Turns out it was actually the opposite.  At the top of the climb I felt like crap, descending the hill I wasn't feeling it.  Once again my legs felt stale and my head was...somewhere else.  I tried to do everything I could to amp myself up, but I wasn't motivated, I didn't want to race, I felt awful.  I decided I was going to give it one more lap, go up the climb a 2nd time and see how I felt on the third lap.  I didn't even make it past the climb on the 2nd lap when my mind and body failed.  I mean FAILED...and HARD.  Acceleration?  Strength? Speed? What's that, because I didn't have ANY of it.  I got to the feed zone and pulled the plug.  2nd chosen DNF of my racing career, but I wasn't bummed because I knew it was for the best.  The only thing that bummed me out was that Enumclaw was my target race and my race prep leading up to the race was all WRONG.  I didn't recover enough and my legs felt like lead.   WA WA WAAAAA....(you know that charlie brown sound)

The following week I was terrified to do any physical exercise.  I kid you not, scared straight to my bones and back out to my skin.  I taught a Step class on Monday and trained clients.  Tuesday (get this), I worked in the morning, went home at 12pm and sat until 10pm that night.  That's right folks, I sat on my couch and watched Lost, all day long, and I felt no ounce of guilt because I was "recovering".  The following day I was still quite scared to do any physical movement, but knew I needed to.  I rode my mountain bike out the interurban, the slowest I have ever gone.  I mean, so slow I was defying gravity by staying upright.  The following day I taught PowerPump.  Did nothing on Friday except sit in a car to Spokane for the 24 hours mountain bike race (gets it's own post).

I cannot remember the last time I only did 3 hours of physical exercise in 1 week.  I felt so bad at Enumclaw that I was scared to move the week after, scared for the potential of overtraining.  Scared that if I didn't recover right then, that my whole future racing would be shot.  Like I said, I live on a fine line or training and overtraining.  I have also come to the realization that I need more rest than others.  My job is physical, I'm on my feet for 20+ hours a week while I work, I wake up at god awful hours of the day, and I have to continuously talk, motivate, and smile at people the whole time I'm working.  This requires a lot of extra energy that people don't realize, and neither do I.  So, since then, I have tried to be more conscious about my physical self and how I can be better about rest.

Nap anyone?