Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Colorado Springs, CO

Well updating this is going downhill really quickly. It's not like I am even that busy but more so just wrecked from training at night and don't have the energy to think clearly enough to process my thoughts and type them out. Which is kind of funny that I am updating this now because I just got done with one of the hardest weeks of training. I could easily do this tomorrow on my recovery day where I am mentally fresher but what fun would that be?

Well that first paragraph was when I started updating this about a week and a half ago and ended up passing out. Now that it's been three weeks I don't think I can properly condense all that has happened into a format that will make it interesting to read without typing half a book. So maybe I will just touch on some things that have been going on in my head and see how that goes.

First I do wanna touch on training. For the most part it has been going really well. Working with Simon is very confidence inspiring and he is very adaptable to what needs I have. The past couple weeks the load has increased I felt pretty significantly and I started to notice a decrease in performance and mental clarity. We took a couple days easy and jumped back on track this Tuesday. The first day back after a little recovery always seems to be a little difficult for me. It didn't help that yesterday I spent two sessions on the track mixed with a lifting session in between. It was a pretty big wake up for the legs. It didn't help that I raced the Tuesday night racing at the velodrome last night. I was expecting to jump into the B race due to it being really my first experience doing able bodied track racing let alone just track racing in general. No, that was not meant to be. Simon graciously signed me up to do the A race where I managed to get my teeth kicked in. Realistically I am glad he did that. It was better training and really helped me learn how to race on the track very quickly.

After that my night didn't go so hot. I couldn't fall asleep and was having a lot of anxiety. It had been pretty bad throughout the day and even today was always lingering. Laying in bed last night it drove me to the point of wanting to start to take medication for it. I have always been against medicating but it's to the point where it is really impacting everyday life and my ability to function. I can feel all the tension in my muscles and it is hard to just relax and calm down. In my head I have this idea that something is wrong physically even though I know it's all in my head. Last night pushed me over the edge and I am starting to look into what my options are.

Why don't we end this on more of a happy note. I brought my mountain bike out here with the intention of getting some good riding in on it out here every once in a while. Fortunately/unfortunately there is so many trails out here I didn't know which trails to go to let alone where to go once I got there. Nothing seems to be very marked and unless you have a tour guide you seem to be S O L. Thankfully Mike Durner took me and another resident athlete out. All I can say is WOW! The trails were amazing and didn't seem to end. I can't wait to get more miles out there this summer and explore more. The views were amazing and it just reminded me how grateful I am to be here with this opportunity.

I promise I will really try to update this more often just to keep it a little shorter and more detailed. Hopefully more interesting as well.

Mandy says hi, no, not that Mandy..... and LOL means something else now.

Almost forgot to thank Timmer at HED for getting these wheels out so quickly. Best company ever and seriously have the best customer support. 11 out of 10 would recommend!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Colorado Springs, CO

Wow, either I am really bad at tracking how many days it has been since I updated this or time keeps going by quicker as I get older. It's mildly ironic I say as I get older, today in the recovery center I was told I look 15. Jokes on them, when I am 40 I will still look 30. I think I get that from my mom. She looks really young for her age and I must get that too. The lack of facial hair probably doesn't help my case.

I am trying to figure out where to start this post at. I don't really remember where I left off. Let's start with the anxiety. I don't remember if I said I had an impromptu meeting with the psychologist. Before she left to be with the cycling team to go to the World Championships she offered to meet with me on a Sunday night at the training center to help address the problems I had been having. The fact she went above and beyond to help me out on such a short notice and on a weekend night meant a lot. We went over some things and have another meeting tomorrow. Hopefully it goes well, I have been doing a lot of thinking and have some things I want to address. Once it is out of the way I will feel a lot better.

Training has been going very well, the weather the previous week was less than ideal and we were forced inside a couple days and I ventured out on some chillier days to escape the OTC. One day I gave myself a little treat, I had been out riding and it was colder than I would of like and the motivation was low. I knew of a coffee shop down by Cheyenne Canyon and wanted to visit it. I told myself if I kept riding I could head over there and get a cup of coffee and a brownie. It doesn't really sound that exciting but at the time it was such perfect pick me up for the overcast day.

This weekend mark the start of road season here in Colorado. I ventured up to Fort Collins for a time trial and then on Sunday I jumped into my first crit of the year in Denver. Up till the day I left to go race I had already been regretting my decision to go race. I don't know why I get that way but I always seem to do that in the beginning of the year. Now that the weekend is over I have reflected on the experience, mistakes, and what I have learn and am content with the outcome. There were plenty of foolish mistakes that were had in the TT. From rushing my warm up, starting in too easy of a gear, and going out way to hot these are things easily remedied and next time I hope for a much better result. Not to say I did bad, I managed 2nd in the CAT 2s and am very happy with my set up. Saturday was the first time of the year putting on my race wheels. A HED Jet 6 front and a Jet Disc rear was my weapons of choice for the day. By the time I went off the wind had picked up and those wheels felt stable and fast. I couldn't be happier with the set up. I really need to thank Tim Mulrooney at HED cycling for always helping me out. He has done more than he needs to and I am in debt to him. Besides being happy with the equipment I was happy with my personal performance, the power is really coming along nicely and by the time it's nationals I think I will be going the fastest I have ever gone.

Sunday was crit day and I was ungodly nervous. I had already been second guessing myself and questioning how much faster the 1/2s were in Colorado than back home. It got even worse once I saw the handful of pros that showed up. I went from not wanting to get dropped to not wanting to get dropped in the first 5 minutes. Against better judgement I still lined up. The course was one of the more technical I have ever done. It was a little bit longer course with fast turns through roundabouts and hairpin turns out of them. The pavement made you second guess you were on a road bike in places and brought the idea that a mountain bike would of been a better choice. Once the race took off I just went into race mode and I did what I had to do. To say it was a confidence booster would be an understatement. On paper I didn't put up a result but the fact I was able to be playful, go with a couple moves, out handle most of the other racers in the corners, and still be there in the end really was a personal win and I can take that into the next race.

Looking forward to getting back to training these upcoming weeks. Today my Garmin battery died and I wasn't able to see the power I was putting out. Luckily Anthony joined us and him and I were able to stomp up Gold Camp next to each other and really made the most of the workout. It was a little colder but the rest of the week should be nice and warm here.

One thing I wanted to add before I wrap this up, I am super excited for my friend Chris Murphy. He is the guy I traveled to LA with. Yesterday he just got back from the 2017 Track Cycling World Championships and he took home the Rainbow Strips in both the 1k TT and in the Team Sprint. Those titles couldn't go to a more deserving guy and I am really happy for him. He has put in more work than anyone I have ever seen and I am excited to train with him this summer and to see how well he does.

Hopefully I update sooner next time so these aren't chapters in a book each time I post. Off to bed soon.