It is interesting sitting on the plane writing this blog piece and reflecting back over the world championships campaign and determining what to ‘pen to paper’. I think this is because it has been the first time in a long time that sailing has been smoother than usual. I have mainly stayed on bike; there was a small kerfuffle related to being stopped at the lights, dropping my drink bottle and going base over apex while still attached, but lets not rehash small trivial matter. I have stayed relatively injury and illness free since April. I have done a shite load of training – my neighbours think I am crazy doing the ergo on the small patio in the depths of winter. As a guide, my weekly schedule looked like:
I started the year out with the principles of ‘simplicity, sustainability, and lagom (Swedish for not too little, not too much)’. I have looked to use these principles when making decisions on a daily basis – from the small stuff to the big stuff. However, as the year progressed, I seem to have slipped back into old habits and gotten myself into ‘the red’ a bit too much i.e. taking on more than I can chew. And so it was that before I left I had to cancel and reschedule a lot of things. To my friends and family – I want to say thank you. Thank you for you understanding when I have said ‘I am in the red zone and would love to see you when I get back’. Thank you for helping me pack my bikes. Thank you for helping feed me. Thank you for the shoulder to cry on. Thank you for coming out on a ride with me to say hi. Thank you for you generosity and flexibility. BIG BIG HUGS!!!
I am bloody proud of my racing in Italy and Canada. To cross the finish line, and know that you have given it absolutely everything is extremely satisfying. I think I have grown as an athlete over the past few years – and the recent trip solidified:
- I can go with the flow a bit more. If my garmin doesn’t work, so what. If my warm-up isn’t the usual, this is okay. I can handle different mechanicals. Just as long as I have a toilet near the start line, I am okay…
- That you can overcook yourself in the few days prior, but it really doesn’t matter too much if you have a rest day 2 days out or 3 days out. It doesn’t matter if you do a set of 40/20’s as activation or you do a race warm up with extras. You have already done the work; the pencil is sharp. You just need to get the heart rate up and don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Positioning is critical. I know this but the lesson was cemented like a tonne of bricks during the road race in Italy. On the first lap, I found myself at the back going into a descent and then up a climb. As such, I had to produce my best ever 1 minute power, maxed out my heart rate, just get back onto the leading bunch.
- The current Aussie Para Cycle team is the best yet – it is a TEAM, there is respect, there is laughter, there is professionalism, there is unity. It is awesome to be a part of.
- Nature is critical for my happiness and well-being, it is quite eerie when there is no bird song or trees or grass.
- That an anti-residue diet works well for me, despite my requirement of needing a toilet close to the start line. If anyone has any connections with ‘who gives a crap’, let me know.
- 10, 871km of riding
- 478hrs of riding
- 61, 090m of vertical climbing
- 210 rides
- 23 races
- 124hrs of gym
- 56 hours of formal mindfulness meditation
- 87 turmeric lattes
I am now finishing this blog sitting at home. It was unreal to hear so many Aussie accents when we landed in Sydney – imbued with warmth and true blue fair dinkum care. My heart swelled with love when I reached Melbourne and my family welcomed me with a dozen yellow (!) roses and balloons.
I am looking forward to having some non-athlete time for a week or two, do some social riding, and catching up with people I love.
Until next time,
Ride with a smile, ride with a purpose, ride in the moment,