A Reflection on Longest Offseason Ever and a 2019 Plan

Finally… I can’t go on without some structure and goals.

My year-long Longest Offseason Ever break has evolved (devolved?) in to feeling uncomfortably unstructured in my everyday life (other than work). As of late, I’ve literally felt envious when I’ve seen other athletes talk anything training related. I can’t stand it much longer. I’d wanted to do a better job at making the break something fun and exciting to follow along with, but it turns out, I needed a break from that as well. I’m all breaked out now, though.

The hard truth is, I take shit care of myself when I don’t feel the need to recover and maximize my training efforts. It’s like, “well, my body is useless now, so why bother?” I eat too much junk food, I stay up looking at dumb memes on the internet instead of reading a book so that I sleep better, I drink too much alcohol, I don’t exercise very often, and I haven’t done yoga more than a handful of times for a long time. My body feels like a tent rather than a temple.
It’s a hard thing to accept because bike racing doesn’t always make me happy (I wouldn’t have taken a year off if it did). However, it feels like having that external motivation is the only way I can be motivated to not treat myself like a garbage dump. When “normal” people look at an athlete and wonder, “what internal demons is he/she running from?” well… there you go. Future me will have to face this demon again at some point, but for now, I’m going to keep running.

So, its time to come up with a plan for next year. When I lived in Denver, it was easy to hop over to Winter Park on a Saturday and bang out a 2 hour race, then come home in time to have a beer and relax for the afternoon. I love that about cross country, but since I don’t have that within a reasonable distance of my house any more, I’ve got to look elsewhere.

This is where y’all come in. I don’t have many good ideas for races that are new and exciting (to me) other than The Lake City Alpine 50 (a new event for 2019 that looks absolutely gorgeous), and whatever Vapor Trail 125 evolves into. Both of those are late-ish in the season, so I’m looking to add to the front end. There’s always the early June Vail GoPro games as well… as much as I hate Vail, it’s got a wicked singlespeed payout.

Once I’ve got a season plan, I’ve been toying with the idea of a coach. For me, having someone to be accountable to is a huge motivation. I don’t know if it’s in my budget, though. If I can’t figure that part out, I have TrainerRoad, which is a great training program that I’ve experienced good results with. It’s a great “plan B,” but it’s just not the same as having a live human put forth the effort to hand over a program and me dutifully destroy it (in a good way).