A new challenge…

I’ve been restless lately. Not that I’m bored with biking, but I really haven’t felt motivated ever since I got back from France. For almost 8 months I had L’Etape du Tour to shoot for, and it turned into an experience of a lifetime. Coming back, though, I found it hard to get excited about the local race scene and all of our little 4-corner crits. The one thing I was excited about was the chance to enjoy the fall riding season – strong and injury-free – for the first time in 2 years, but my little wheel tangle with Justin on the very first BugMan ride of the off-season took care of that. Since recovering, I’ve gotten back into a reasonable groove, but something has been missing. Of course, the weather has sucked, but that doesn’t really bother me. The BugMan rides have been so-so – I miss the regulars, who apparently found other things to do with their Sundays while I was out with the broken rib, but probably more so because I haven’t been able to kill the hills like I’m used to being able to. With the past two consective Sundays completely cancelled due to ice and snow, I fear the BugMan ride is effectively dead – in my experience once the bad weather hits people pretty much stop coming for the rest of the winter. I guess indoor trainers don’t bother them as much as they do me – I just cannot resort to that thing no matter how bad it gets outside. I’d rather deal with the cold and yuck and actually move forward on my bike and see things outdoors.

What it really boils down to is I don’t have any goals. I’ve realized for some time now that I need something to shoot for or I get bored, and for the first time since I started racing bikes I don’t really have that big goal to shoot for. When I first tried racing, it was to prove I could do it, then it was to prove I could succeed, then it was to prove I could succeed in a higher category, and then last year L’Etape du Tour. I know I’ve maxed out category-wise, going to Cat2 is not in the cards for me, nor would I want to. I certainly want to win another state championship, but even if I do it wouldn’t be anything I’ve haven’t already done before. Going for MOBAR in the 50+ would certainly be a choice goal, but c’mon – I’m talking realistic goals! Even if I had the sprint to challenge guys like Lonnie and Mark, I just don’t have the time to go to every race hunting for points.

I was thinking about this the other day when I happened to see a flyer at the YMCA during my daughter’s basketball game (she scored two goals!) advertising a training clinic for the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon. They were having an informational meeting the next day, and almost immediately I decided to go for it. Truth be told, I was actually considering going for the full marathon, but a cooler head prevailed after the informational meeting when I realized the event was exactly 15 weeks away – and that it had been about 6 months since I last ran. I could probably train for a marathon, but it would be ‘just to finish’ – and I’m not a just-to-finish kind of guy. I decided for this first time it would be better to train for the half, but with a time goal. I don’t know what that will be just yet, but part of me would love to turn in a sub-8 min pace. So I did my first run on Monday – an easy 3 miles at a 10 min pace, just to get reacquainted with my legs. It felt good, and I’m excited to start running with my training group on Dec 30th. Tomorrow I’ll to go to a track and get my best mile-time so my trainer can design some speed work for me. I’m going to do a 3-run per week program (tempo, speed, and long) and continue cycling (or other cross training if the weather doesn’t cooperate) on the other days. I may not be in super bike racing form during the early season, but it shouldn’t take too long to tune myself back up once I get past the half marathon on April 6th. I may even just keep running so I can do the biathlons again – just for the thrill of whomping it on my TT bike 😉

One bad thing – our long training runs are on Sundays, so that puts the final nail in the coffin for the BugMan rides this year (at least the Sunday version – I might try to gauge interest in a Saturday ride, and if it doesn’t look like it’s there I’ll just do them on my own).

I’m not restless anymore!

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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2 Responses to A new challenge…

  1. Bobber says:

    A Bugman Saturday Ride? That might even prompt me to come along.

  2. cploch says:

    you always have that mt. bike that need an upgrade

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