...so it must have been fun!
WHY DO YOU RACE A BIKE? Let's get into some Michael Jackson Man in the Mirror stuff here for a minute. Someone commented on why I would refer to one set of wheels as "training wheels" and my new Stans ZTR Race 1210 gram wheels as "race wheels." The problem was he couldn't understand why I would refer to my bike riding as "training" because, to him, that implies that it's not fun.
Well let me explain a few things. I LOVE to race my bike. I LOVE to train. I LOVE doing well in races. I LOVE talking about nutrition, training plans and equipment. This stuff truly makes me happy. Before I started racing bikes I was unhealthy. Not really in a bad way, it's almost socially acceptable, I just spent a lot of time in bars and not treating my body right. It affected my whole outlook on things. I was always feeling tired, a little paranoid about friendships and what people thought of me, and basically somewhat depressed.
After a couple years of racing bikes I slowly started to see that I was making decisions that were based on "racing" but truly contributed to my overall sense of well being. I began to drink less, eat better, and slowly started to notice how much better I felt living this way. Sure, I miss going to shows and having crazy all night dance parties, but I've grown up a little and don't miss the 3 days it would take me to feel normal again one bit. It didn't happen overnight but 5 years later I can say that I am way more confident, healthy, motivated in all regards and very happy with where I am at.
I love setting goals for myself. I really enjoy the feeling of having really good fitness and learning how to control it better. I like to wake up in the morning, take my resting heart rate and plan my day. It adds structure to my life and I enjoy it. Most of my friends and family are unbelievably supportive of me, regardless if it's a Missouri State Championship or World Cup race, they are happy for me that I am happy and healthy. They definitely don't remind me that "it's only local racing" when they see how exited I am about it.
Today was one of those days that reminded me of how much I really like training and racing. I headed out to Lost Valley exited to do some LT intervals up the long double track climb I found while warming up last weekend and get a feel for my new equipment. I can't speak highly enough about all of it, but I'm going to do 3 separate reviews on that later. Today the legs were there, the body was responding and I was riding as well as I ever have. I felt like I was floating through the single track today and kept asking myself what would happen if I went down going this fast... It was sick. The senses were on fire and I was loving it. I did a warm up lap, took a couple minutes to dial in that last 2 mm of seat height, did my workout, and then did another lap and a half which was pure bliss. I shut myself off after 2:45, leaving some in the tank. What a perfect day.
So while I sit here writing this, after the endorphin rush has worn off a little and I'm feeling tired, it's not easy for me to tell you that my training today was "fun." It was so much more than that. Hopefully you can be as exited about something in your life as I am about this, because it feels that good and I want you to feel good too.