Well, this post will be a bit of explaining about my upcoming year and about the last couple of rides I've done......
Many who read this blog know that I was injured back in December and that injury took me out of cycling till January 20th or so. I had planned on starting back to riding, training for Mitchell and doing a couple of organized rides prior to AoMM for training rides. But, even the best laid plans can fail for one reason or another. My plans fell through when the weather turned cold & nasty the last week of January and didn't let up till sometime this month.
During this time (January, February & part of March), I tried to get on the trainer to ride, but I hate that thing and just ignored it. I felt discouraged, disappointed, and depressed about cycling. I even had thoughts of selling every single bike I own and quitting cycling. But, I knew deep down, that I would regret those sales so, I held on to the bikes. I hated the fact that I had lost all of my cycling fitness, knowing how strong I was prior to Nov/Dec 2009, and that it was going to be a long hard road to get back to my fitness level of June 2009.
That road is a discouraging road. You go out to ride, thinking you can ride 50-60 miles and ride as hard/fast as you could 6 months ago. Wrong. I figured that out quickly when I went to G'ville, SC to "try" and do a 40-60 mile ride the first weekend of March. I even had these grandour thoughts that I could still climb. I set out to climb up/down/up/down Paris Mtn and then ride elsewhere to get in that mileage. Uh huh. I made it to the 0.75mi point on Paris Mtn, where the road takes a left and goes UP. I couldn't do it. Not at 3-4 mph. I turned tail and ended up riding around Paris Mtn area for 2 hours. A hilly 2 hour ride for my first ride in 2 months. I had a pathetic 25 miles. Yes, that's 25 miles in 2 hours. You can figure out the pace. :(
So discouraged after that - I didn't ride again until March 15 (I think) and I did a quick 16 miles or so after work one day. I rode again that week on Sunday, March 21 for 2hr. I did manage to do a little further distance, 30 miles. But, my butt hurt like the dickens! And, I had to fight the wind. Anyhow...My last 2 rides have been of the "It-was-just-tooling/putzing-around" variety. 23 miles last Thursday, the Sunday ride, and a 15mi ride with my buddy Dallas (who hasn't ridden in 2+ months either). And, you guys know what?? I actually enjoyed those last 2 rides. You should have heard Dallas moaning & whining about the pace at times, but I had to remind him to forget about it right now. Time in the saddle is what counts for both of us now.
What's my point to all the above? I'm taking the season off. I'm not going to do Assault on Mt Mitchell (sold the pass) nor will I be doing any organized training rides prior to that ride. I'm going to ride, try to get back on a Tu/Thur schedule with Dallas and some of the other guys, but I'm not going to be concerned with how fast we go (like I was last year) or I'll try not to. :) I want to finally enjoy cycling after 2.5 hard years of cycling without "seeing the roses or even smelling them". I'm sure Dallas and I will get back to form and be able go knock out 60mi rides in 3-3.5 hours, but it's not all about that this year. I think being burnt out and having close to 3000 miles by the end of May the last 2 yrs has taken it's toll on me. I'm ready for something different with cycling. :)
That's about it. I do want to do other activities this year, things that I used to enjoy but lost due to cycling every bit of spare time I had. I'm going to work on getting fit enough to hike the Foothills Trail in SC/NC sometime this summer. I'd like to take a week off from work and hike the whole thing (77mi). I think it will be some awesome fun! Who knows what else I might try....maybe a BRP tour? We'll see....
Right now, I do feel much better, knowing I'm not doing any rides up to AoMM nor AoMM. It's like the monkey is off my back now. :)