I started training a little late because I had a goal of competing in Brazilian Jiujitsu in early winter. I consciously decided to follow through with that goal even though it meant pushing back the start of my season a few weeks.
But once things got rolling in mid-January, well, they never really got rolling. I had knee issues that got pretty bad before I was through my 2nd week of training. It was very touch-and-go and it took a few weeks for me to narrow down my symptoms and figure out the causes. Yoga, Ibuprofen, stretching, research, cleat and position adjustments, ice; I was trying everything. In the end I required some professional attention to my fit from Gehling to (mostly) address the problem.
But just as I was starting to get back into the swing of training again I tried to address some of the mechanical issues I was having on my road bike. As I investigated I realized something was seriously wrong. I took it in to my local bike shop and found out that I had cracked a lock ring on my bottom bracket. It was a Specialized brand part that needed to be shipped in from California.
Between me trying to figure out the problem, taking it to the shop, them figuring out the problem, sending for the part, it arriving, installing it, and me driving down to North Carolina for my annual spring training camp I had lost another 2 weeks of training.
Coming off that (abbreviated) trip I've taken stock of where things stand.
It's almost the end of March. Road racing has already started last weekend. I've had about 4 good weeks of training all winter with no workouts. My knee is ridable but still only feels 80-90% on longer rides. I'm far from the shape I need to be in to finish, let alone be competitive, in Cat3 races. I would guess that I would not be in shape to race on the road till early June and the season ends in late July.
In short, I'm honestly not motivated right now.
My season thus far has zapped a lot of my enthusiasm. Instead of putting energy into things like gut-busting workouts and tuning up my bikes, I've just been trying to ride for a week without interruption while everyone around me is getting stronger. While riding is still fun, putting it in the context of training to race has just been a source of frustration this year.
Racing, especially on the road, is unforgivingly competitive. More than any other racing discipline I've done, including all other forms of running, triathlons, and other kinds of bike racing, road riding is all-or-nothing. There are no finishers' medals, there are no T-shirts. You put you money down and if you're not with the winners they will pull you off the course.
So for me personally, I think I'm reaching a critical point of diminishing returns on my 2011 road season. I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. But, unlike years past, this hasn't made me a crabby bitch and I can at least say I'm happy with that.