Racing

It's addictive - racing. The competition, the thrill and the desire for more. It's so easy to spend the entire year racing - just traveling from place to place toeing the line and battling it out with like minded competitors. I know, I've had years like that where it seemed I was on the road more days then I was at home, that I was racing more then I was training. I'd get home, unpack and do chores. Then it would be time to repack and hit the road. I'd either be tapering or recovering and never improving. Truthfully, it got frustrating and I was losing the desire to travel for races. I was missing out on all kinds of things because I was spending all my time and money racing. At the same point, having so many races in a season was nice. It was easier to accept an off day knowing the next race was just in few weeks. But it also diminished the meaning of each race and the importance of preparation and doing well.

In 2013, I really cut back on the amount of races I did. One per month, max. Train for the races, recover right from the races. Make each one count - and acknowledge the bad days when they happened. The races I did well at also meant more since there weren't as many. It made the year much smoother. Less stress, less worry about travel and money and more time where it mattered. At home, on my bike, riding with Nick (or with friends when he had epic plans and I wasn't invited. It happens and it's good we both need our space and our training. He doesn't get either riding with me all the time.) I was able to string together some solid training blocks and finally started seeing some good progress and solid numbers on the bike. I was also able to spend more time working on skills - mountain biking isn't just riding at high watts in straight lines! It's been a lot of fun and more rewarding then just racing, racing, racing.

So looking towards 2014. Am I ready to further decrease the amount of times I race? To throw my hat in the ring saying "this is it - only this. One chance, one ride?" I've thrived with racing in the past, so the thought of so few events kinda scares me. Am I ready to commit that deeply, focus that intensely on one day, one moment in time? There will be second chances, no do-overs. What if I go all in and don't achieve my goals? Would I be a failure for putting all my eggs in one basket or an inspiration for having the guts to try? Either way, the choice is mine.

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