Saturday, March 24, 2007

Riding, resting and racing?

Spent a few quality hours at Lambert Park Saturday riding the trails. I started riding with Cami, then went solo for a while, and finished up with Kris and Jolene. Unfortunately I pushed it a bit hard for the first ride after being sick and suffered a slight relapse Saturday night and into Sunday. Today I'm faced with the same decision I had last Friday: Ride or rest? I hate trying to make that decision as it always seems that everybody else is pounding out the miles while I sit on the couch. This leads me to worry that I'll lose whatever fitness I've managed to gain thus far and, to make matters worse, I'll find myself a few pounds heavier when I do get back on the bike. At times like this I find myself questioning my desire to race as I already have enough stress in my life between family and work responsibilities. Worrying about a hobby seems so silly, yet I'm constantly questioning my training, diet, recovery, equipment, etc. What's the point? I guess I just need to give racing a shot and see what I think. The problem is, what if I like it? That's the question I'm afraid to answer... When did riding a bike become so complicated?!

3 comments:

J. Toth said...

UTRider --

I'm in the same boat you are and I've thought the same things. I've got 3 kids (little ones) and a career (and those things do come first). I still love being on the bike, though. And, I'd go crazy if I wasn't riding.

Getting sick sucks -- especially when you've got all the other things to juggle. You can get back on the bike, but you MUST go easy. I can usually do my base aerobic ride (65-70% max) while I've got a cold or some bug and feel just fine afterward. If I push it at all, I'm doomed for a relapse (apparently, anaerobic workouts temporarily suppress the immune system -- or so I've read).

I think we all feel the same way about sitting out while everyone else is training. Just go easy for a few days. It won't hurt you at all and you may end up getting some much needed recovery/rest so you can go harder when you're 100%.
You've gained your fitness over months and months or work. You're not going to lose it in a few days of rest/sickness. To the contrary, it may give your body so much-needed catch-up time.

Get well soon!

JT

Kris said...

You bring up a real concern about racing: will it suck the fun out of riding or add to it? I had these thoughts last year when I started mountain bike racing (Intermountain Cup). At first I really enjoyed the newness, the excitement of racing and pushing myself harder than I ever had. But slowly the races wore on me and I found myself missing riding sweet single-track just for the fun of it. This year I'm still racing, but only about half of them. For me it's a fun addition to cycling, when taking in the right dose. Some people really catch the racing bug, but not me.

Still, you should try it. The experience is worth it. And you won't get sucked in unless you want to.

This also reminds me of an article in Cycling Utah (of course I can't find it now!) where a cyclist tells his story of really enjoying climbing the local canyons on his road bike. He is gratified to see his performance improve and decides to give racing a try. He gets into it and has some fun and success but finds his performance and enjoyment diminishing. So he quits racing and finds his love of climbing returns. I can identify with this story and find I just cycle for fun. While I admire those who push themselves to amazing levels of fitness, I'm content to just ride for the sake of riding.

I am Matt said...

Id have to agree with Kris. Last year I started riding again on and off and wanted to be where i was 10 years ago. Didn't work but the thought process was there. Then I hooked up with some guys that do "recreational riding" and it gave me a whole new perspective of riding. For me before it was go fast and hard. Now I see both worlds, fast and hard gotta be first vs killer fun times and just out to be on the bike. I think if you have a bit of both and just on the bike then it works for me.