i've known the day was coming for some time now. i wouldn't say i've been putting it off, just simply getting mentally prepared for the inevitable. i ran myself a little ragged this year and was a bit burnt out by the end of the season so i took some time off the bike and have since focused on riding when and where i want with no intentions of truly training. all of this has gotten me back into the right mindset of truly enjoying my riding and starting to really look forward to next year's events...especially the big one. and then a few things all sort of happened together and i knew it was time. a very long weekend of work with far too little sleep led to sleeping for a solid 11 hours monday night. waking up tuesday morning knowing i had to be extremely productive to not be disappointed in myself i also came across this blog post from charlie farrow.
so, tuesday became my first big day in a while. a couple hours of gravels in the morning to avoid the frost/thaw of the trails, followed by getting back into my workout routine, a whole lot of lasagna, and an hour and a half on the trails. considering i still had to shower and get to work i was a bit shot by the end of the night but felt good to really work hard again. point being...the "offseason" is far from what its name implies. the next six months will be a collection of "this could be our last trail ride of the season" rides, thousands of miles of snow covered and well below-freezing gravel rides, lots of riding in the dark, working out to improve lacking core and upper body strength, and regularly pushing myself to the brink of failure in an attempt to remind myself how truly difficult and painful rides like transiowa can be. having finished it last year and planning to run it with a freewheel this year has left me fearful of becoming complacent and possibly arrogant about the ease of finishing it. so the plan is to return to my training plan from the past 2 years. ride, ride, ride, ride. ride because i want to. ride because i need to. ride when its nice out, ride when it flat out sucks. ride until it hurts, then ride until i'm delirious. ride until i know i'm stronger than i was last year. wake up everyday with such an intense fear of failing again that i continue to bury myself on the bike. should be a fun offseason. and i guess its officially started.