Just what I needed

All of this mountain biking and offroad running has, unintentionally, done just what it needed for me.  Through all the boo boos and stumbles, it has re-lit my fire.  I WANT to work out now.  This summer I got to a point where “work out” had somehow turned into a four letter word…  It was the classic definition of futility… Doing the exact same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

I have no visions of dropping everything and running (or riding) off into the woods.  But I needed to be reminded about the whole “exercise is fun” thing.  It got too serious.  I think I put too much pressure on myself after I bought the million dollar bicycle to try to perform at that level, which was stupid.  I got frustrated and almost gave up completely.  Mountain biking and trail running, although I have a goal of eventually running some adventure/Xterra type races, is really pure fun for me.  I can’t go fast, so I don’t try.  Finishing a ride or run upright and not bleeding (OK… a little blood is cool) is the main goal.  And in between, there are those sections I could ride better or run faster.  But nothing humbles you like a trail.  I have fallen for no apparent reason and gone back to areas I rode cleanly and had no idea how I did it.

I think the extra focus you have to have when on the trails is a very helpful mental exercise.  Most ride/runs on the road I would just set my body at a pace and then mentally check out.  You are not allowed to do this on the trail and pay a dear price for inattention.  This type of negative feedback ups your mental game… painfully…!

Although I love the isolation that trails provide, I find I’m a better rider or runner when I go out with a group.  Maybe watching everybody elses’ line helps.  And seeing them clear things I didn’t think were possible gives me confidence that it can be done (even if I can’t do it yet).

In those brief moments between oxygen debt, sheer terror and exhilaration on the trail when my mind does wander, it always goes back to triathlons though so I think that is still my first love.  I need to get back in the pool and get my bike on the trainer.  I also need to plan next year’s schedule as soon as the dates are available.  I need to research some race wheels.  There is a lot to do.  I do know that I want to do at least one off road triathlon and other than that I’m just doing sprint distance next year.  It’s fast, fun and doesn’t take forever to train for.  I think that’s just what I need, too!


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