Friday 18 May 2007

Half time - Time for a Breather

We're almost mid-way through the year. What have I done so far ?
I have done 3 cyclosportives (Flanders, Amalfi Coast, and Fred Whitton), a couple of road races, plus the cyclo cross races at the start of this year.

It's true that I could have done more in the way of road races by now. In previous years I would have done 5 or 6 races by now.

But really, I think that this year has been a little strange, especially on the road racing front. I'd had hopes of doing more races, being part of a women's team and doing the Women's Team series. I had even ear-marked doing the National Series races.

But none of that has happened. Somewhere I seem to have lost my way, and have been hauling myself through the season while not feeling any pzazz or freshness about my cycling.

I believe it boils down to a combination of factors - a) the lack of freshness comes from me trying to jump straight into the road season without resting after the cyclo cross season finished in February. b) the new cycling club that I joined, which appeared to have promise has proven not to be what I thought it was. There are practically no other girls racing, so I have felt isolated from peers and anyone to bounce ideas and motivation off. Also this "team" did not have any women's sessions laid on during the winter months.

Consequently, going into the women's road racing season has made me feel like I don't have my "mojo" for mixing it with the fast girls - or even racing with anyone, for that matter.

I would love to get properly back on the road racing scene and mix with the girls I was with during last year. There are lots of races on at the moment, and it's great to turn up at them and meet the regular racers, get involved in the scrum of the race, and socialise afterwards. I miss that. But I don't want to go back there when I'm not physically or mentally ready.

What I realise I need is a breather from sharp end competitive cycling - time to just ride my bike, time to get in the miles and train progressively, time to not feel I have to show up at the races every week.

Doing the Fred Whitton at the weekend was like a breath of fresh air. I did quality miles (112 of them !) while not feeling that I had to race, and this would still have benefited my training. I need more rides like this.

I also think that changing club will not be a bad idea - probably going somewhere that I can meet friendly cyclists regularly - hopefully a few women racers - and do decent quality, enjoyable club runs.

Sounds simple and reasonable, but I haven't achieved it yet. Hopefully I can turn things around after half time.

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