The week before Christmas tends to encourage reflection of the year just gone. What a ride! Wins at the QLD series, State champs, Dwellingup and Saipan being highlights. I’d rate my 3rd at Langkawi International MTB Challenge as my ‘ride of the year’ (actually probably ride of my career) and certainly the most fun I’ve had for a bit. Once I’ve finished pursuing my goals in XCO I’m definitely getting into more stage racing – its got travel, riding and socializing all wrapped up in one neat package.
So the big goal for this coming year, unsurprisingly, is Olympic selection. If you are really interested the selection policy is here http://www.cycling.org.au/default.asp?Page=8021&MenuID=High_Performance/20012/0. Trying to work out a viable way to jump through all the requisite hoops is a struggle at best. I’m trying to remember the last time I wasn’t drowning under a mound of debt – oh that’s right, BEFORE I discovered cycling. The help I’ve had over the last 5 years I am incredibly grateful for, and am very lucky to have had. Reducing the costs of competing has been the only way I’ve managed to stay in the sport and all I hoped for ( I certainly never expected to make a living out of it). While its scary as hell I’m ready for one last throw-down – one last year of living and racing beyond my means so I can look back and know that I gave myself every chance to do something extraordinary. No, I won’t retire from the sport, but doing races for fun and experience will feature more than chasing points or fulfilling selection criteria.
Coach Donna of PCS and I have been working on a slightly different approach to training, fine tuning after a few months of seeing what works for me and what doesn’t. I’m definitely doing less overall time on the bike than with previous coaches but at times have never been so smashed. What it lacks in volume the program sure makes up for in intensity. There are so many schools of thought when it comes to training and I look forward to delving in deeper now that I am coaching a bit myself. My tendency to do too much is apparent and something I need to get a grip on. Having to report on each session, how hard I felt it was, did I enjoy it, what did I think about while I was in the pain cave – these all make training conscious and purpose driven which I think is important.
The excitement of a countdown is also a new thing and also a way to stop the time sneaking away from me. This time in 10 weeks I will be in Adelaide racing the National Champs – 10 weeks to do everything I can to be standing on the top step of the podium. Strangely that is only the start of craziness which then rolls on to Rotorua, South Africa and Belgium. But that is all still a bit daunting for me to think about this weekend! I’ll be blogging more frequently about training which I hope some of you will find interesting and helpful. Its time for me to start planning another adventure – ride week in Mount Beauty. It will be my first time and am looking forward to some crazy climbs and new trails. Say ‘hi’ if you’re down there.