So I took a bit of a break. I deleted my training plan, cancelled my races and just did what I wanted, which was ride my bike. As you may have gathered from my last post, (I Can’t) things were getting to me a bit.
I needed to take a step back and remember why I am doing this and why I am on this journey. I am here to ride my mountain bike. It’s what I love doing and it was a big factor in moving to NZ. I started going to the gym back in 2017 to get fitter to ride my bike, as I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, struggling to keep up with my mates and get to the top of the climbs. This lead to me taking up running in 2018, to keep my fitness up over the winter/spring months when I couldn’t get out on to the trails as much.
Between October 2017, when I joined the gym and October 2018, when I did my second first half marathon my bike fitness improved heaps. We did some enduro races together, which involved pedalling uphill and around the forest for about 4.5hrs. We rode different spots in NZ and even took our bikes over to UK and had a big biking holiday. This was why I was training hard, so I could ride hard too and enjoy being on the bike again and not feel like I was dying!
Being a biker who takes up running and also enjoys swimming, means that its not long before Triathlon gets thrown on the table. All it took was a friendly nudge from a stranger on the internet and a convincing podcast, next minute I was looking at triathlons and joining the MX Endurance crew. Tauranga Half was suggested as a good first 70.3 distance event, as its flat and fast. So I got a coach, a training plan and tried my best. A running injury put a stop to entering in 2019, but I was determined to make 2020 my year for Tauranga.
But was Tauranga really my goal to chase? I had looked at doing triathlons before, specifically Xterra back in 2016 but after a week of training and getting pretty sick decided it wasn’t for me, it was too hard and I wasn’t ready. In 2019 I was ready and did my first triathlon at Xterra Rotorua. I crossed the line so emotional that I had actually done something I didn’t think I could do. I only entered the week before as I still didn’t think I could actually complete it. But I did. 2020 I’ll be back, fitter and stronger.
The story of Tauranga 2020 is similar to the 2019 version. A running injury (the same one) flared up and I stopped running. I was struggling to keep up with my training and it was all just wearing me down. I was over stressing about the race, the times, the expectation. Truthfully I was dreading the bike course; 90km of flat roads, laps, drafting rules. It sounds so, so boring. But Xterra is off-road and I get to ride my mountain bike and get dirty and be in the forest, with hills to tear up and rip down. It feels more like an adventure and its just more my thing and I can’t wait.
I’m excited to get back into training with a lot more focus on my own chosen goal. I have analysed last years race and figured out what I need to improve on and have worked backwards with my goals to do this, setting mini targets each week and each day that build towards the bigger picture. If I have to ‘sacrifice’ a race weekend or training session for a bike date with my better half, then thats fine with me.
Its a new year. Go do what YOU want. Go ride your f**king bike!!