Monday, September 5, 2011

Train/race SMARTER...PERSERVERE and meet your 2012 goals

For many of the you the racing season is over...for others it's on to the Cyclo Cross season.  Regardless, did you meet your 2011 goals?  For me, 2011 was sort of a bust.  Although I met my weight loss goal and power goal I did not even come close to meeting my race season goals...including my A-event, the Tour of the Battenkill.  I got caught up in a crash at mile marker 10 and ended up humping it by myself to the finish line.  What should have taken me 3 hrs. to complete ended up taking me 3 hrs. and 40 minutes.  Those additional 40 minutes out on the road put me in severe carbohydrate depletion and dehyrdation.  I'm lucky I even finished the race. Sure, I could have quit..but I didn't.  I did NOT plan on being out on the road that long, for that pace/effort, that early in the season. To say I was bummed (and pissed) an understatement.  I trained long and hard over the Winter for just this event.  I was ready too.  But, that's racing and sh$t does happen.  Albeit, for me, it seems like it happens all too often.  Just years ago, I had been training for a Half-Ironman event in Bend, Oregon.  I was ready, all signed-up, entry fees and travel expenses all paid.  Just two weeks prior to the event, I tore ligaments in my ankle on a training run which left me on crutches and 6 weeks in rehab.  I cried when it happened (I'm serious).  All that hard work (6 mos. of training) down the drain.  Although demotivated, I trained even harder the next year for the same event.  This time, just three weeks prior to the event I herniated two discs in my back on a Scuba Diving trip.  Not only did I miss my event, AGAIN, I had to give up running (too much pounding on my back).  Bummed? Are you kidding me?  Severely depressed was more like it.  Determined not to give up training, I concentrated my efforts on cycling since it does not affect my back. (Although, the herniated discs have left the side of my foot numb to this date.)   My sports related injuries even pre-date these as a torn quadricep muscle kept me sidelined for most of my senior year in high school football and hampered my college track and field days.  Nonetheless, I've pushed on and perservered over the years.

I am determined to train even HARDER for the 2012 season.  I will be stronger and I will be lighter than this year (remember, w/kg rule).  Only this time, my goals for 2012 will be built-in with plan B's in case of injury, crashes, setbacks, etc.  I can't let setbacks depress me like they've done in the past.  As long as I can train and ride my bike (God willing) I will continue to do so.  As a 52 yr. old Masters Racer, I'm not going to win any races..unless everyone crashes out.  I've accepted that, and I'm ok with it.  I ride because I enjoy riding and I race because I enjoy competition since I've been competing in sports since age 11.  I've just come to the conclusion that I'm just NOT lucky when it comes to BIG events...and conceded to the fact that whatever happens in the future..happens.  Although, having said all this, I can learn from these setbacks.  For example, why was I caught up in a crash this year at the Tour of the Battenkill?  Could it have been that I was riding in the middle of the pack instead of out front?  Absolutely.  I should have been racing smarter and staying out front knowing that it was least for the first half of the race until it thins out a little.   Why did I turn my ankle on a training run before my Ironman event?  Could it have been because I was running on the canal path instead of the road? Absolutely.  What caused me to herniate the discs in my back, could it have been all the heavy lifting of my Scuba Equipment?  Possibly.  What caused me to tear my quadricep muscle?  Poor warmup?  Possibly.  I need to train and race SMARTER!

If you, like me, didn't meet your 2011 goals due to a setback let it be motivation to train even HARDER for 2012 so you're stronger and faster.  If you met your 2011 goals..congratulations!  I'm truly happy for you.  When you start training for the 2012 season..train SMART!  Make your 2012 goals realistic.  And, if you have a setback- for whatever reason- plan for it, accept it, and re-set your goals for the remainder of the season and move on.  What you don't want to do is get so depressed and demotivated that you give up completely.  Trust me, after the Tour of the Battenkill..I didn't want to race period- and I didn't.  Hell, I didn't even want to ride my bike much- which I didn't.  And, I'll be the first to admit...that is NOT good!  Of all people (a coach) I should know better.  But, I am only human.

For you Cyclo guys..good luck for the upcoming racing season.  For you roadies, relax, spend some time with your family and start thinking about your goals for 2012.  And, train/race SMART!

Oh, the pic of example of NEVER QUIT and PERSERVERENCE!  Here's a link:

Power ON! Coach Rob 

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