In seven days I will be riding my bike on an island. Water will be on either side of me. The wind will howl. It might rain, thunder or the sun may scorch my back. I don’t even care.
When people say … go to your happy place…. for some reason Galveston is it. This trip in particular is much more than about racing. Racing is the gift. And while it’s not technically an A race for me I will race the best I know how. See where I am at. See what needs to be done for later in the season.
It’s coming together with friends I completely adore. All of us live in different states, and this race… at least for me…. is a celebration of the friendships I have made throughout the years in this sport. This is my version of a weekend away.
Training has gone well, I am happy with the progress I have made over the winter. My power on the bike steadily climbing. Watt by watt. My pace on the run descending, one second by one second. I have set my season up so I peak In September. Very often we can set up the season so athletes can peak 2-3 times through 2-3 cycles. It really depends on the athlete. I am still making my way back…. from an issue in 2011-2012 that I am elusive about (sorry but some things needn’t be broadcast to the world. It was just a physical issue, now health is GREAT!). I have gone through 2-3 cycles in previous years and I soon will again. This season I have set up one cycle. I have a five year plan that builds one year to the next as I am in this new age group. I like to look at where I will be by age 45 and what I aim to accomplish.
Short term gratification impairs long term achievement.
This season I am not chasing world championship spots or even Ironman. I am returning to a distance I have always felt suits me very well. This season I am aiming to get intimate with it again and if all goes well my best performance comes in September.
This weekend I did develop a small niggle in my upper left calf. Not a strain, a pull or a tear. More like a knot that forced me to shut down running for a few days, possibly longer. At this stage of the game I know not to allow that kind of stuff to worry me.
One of the benefits of having had Jesse Kropelnicki as a coach is that I know exactly how to execute his run injury protocol, how to handle this both mentally and physically, and how to use it to my advantage. I am not one to hide injuries or niggles, I am hopelessly honest about many many things. I am human too and I want you to know that I deal with these issues as well. I want you to know that there are ways to handle these sorts of things and one of the biggest keys is to trust the fitness that you have. It doesn’t vanish within a week. You have to be strong mentally and not give in to doubt. Bottom line and period. Never give in to doubt.
Doubt is poison.
To me this trip and this race is about reconnecting. With friends both new and old. With a distance I have loved since the first time I have raced it. and with the sun. Snow Meiser dumped a solid 10 inches on us last evening and I hear that in Texas…. it’s not snowing.
So here is to a week of marinating. Recovering. Packing my Quintana Roo and flying south to be on an island. With friends. With the ocean around me and the sun beating harshly on my back. I long for the wind to be in my face the whole ride. I absolutely positively adore headwinds. I don’t know why but I love it.
Stay tuned this week…. I will share some of my travel tips…. some pacing techniques I have learned…. and the fun we will have.
It’s Texas or bust!