Over the past few weeks I have contemplated whether or not I should race in December or take some time out. I have found that since parting ways with my coach and with some personal struggles I wasn't really putting in. I was still training but nothing felt positive, everything felt hard especially when it came to my bike and my power output.
I would do everything I could to avoid people yet company was what I really needed. I would ride on my new Wahoo Kickr to be by myself and get very despondent at the numbers that would appear on the screen. I really love my data and when things are not where they should be I really start questioning myself and to be truthful I am pretty hard on myself.
Being the guy that I am people started to notice that I wasn't around, wasn't my usual chirpy self and started asking questions. I am pretty lucky to have a good circle of friends that are also athletes and also know what it feels like to be not firing on all cylinders.
A few people got in my ear about doing the Calga TT and when I mean got in my ear they told me in no uncertain terms that I was doing it. The Calga TT is one event that I have always wanted to do but work, training and life always seem to get in the way.
For those of you that do not know the Calga TT it is a 43km (there is also a 25km option) all out race from Calga to Somersby return. You are racing the clock and your team mates and are encouraged to bling your bike out and have a crack.
Banter was is full swing but secretly I was absolutely shitting my pants. I was scared of what I could do and I was scared of the ribbing that may accompany a poor showing.
I arrived super early to register and get my number. I was starting at 8:39 so I had plenty of time to do a little course recon. This was my opportunity to warm myself up and try and push my watts a little. During the warm up I noticed I was pushing some great numbers and it really gave me confidence.
After the warm up I met a few of the crew, got some timely advise from the veterans and made my way to the starting platform. I remember saying to the starting guy I was really nervous and his words were "that means you are in for a good day" and a good day I had.
8:39 came and I took off, I looked down at my garmin and saw I was pushing some big numbers, bigger than I could sustain so I changed my focus to catching those that were in front of me and keeping a nice and steady power output. I knew there was a chance I could blow up but I focused and kept my nutrition up and pedalling. I managed to pass several riders and as I approached the turn around I saw my mate Jason. A quick wave to him and I put my head down, made the turn, pressed my lap button and said to myself it is all or nothing now.
I really felt I had something in reserve for the return leg but there were also some nice hills to contend with as well. I made the deal with myself to push higher watts than the first half but ride the hills in a easier gear to save the legs for the last big push over the last 5km. The end result was 1:12:24 and 16secs over my mate Jason who was a good sport about it too but I know he was secretly gutted.
I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome and it really put a spring back in my step and I am thinking very positive for the week ahead
I learnt a few lessons this week:
Don't overthink things
Take the numbers on the screen at face value
I am fitter than I thought I was
Being around friends often makes everything better
The weeks stats:
Run: 23.5 km
Training Time: 19.3 hours
Next week will be a great week for me, I simply feel alive.