It's the off season...
whatever that means in cycling, right? I'm sure those of us that have been racing the extended cross season feel like the gap has been shortened a bit and the off season seems a little less this year. For me, I think this gap seems a little shorter personally since it's the first winter in 6 years that I haven't had some sort of surgery (everyone knock on wood now!) I'm super excited and feeling very blessed and thankful to say my health is doing well these days and that I'm am very much looking forward to seeing what my body and fitness can do while training without an illness or major setback every few months or so. I can honestly say I don't really know what it's like to not have any major setbacks, so the hope of the new year has got me ready to rock!
(Enjoying some off-season/base training/ coffee shop rides. Aaron's Kermit and my Dirty Harry taking a break while we enjoy some great coffee in the Louisville area)
I had a fabulous time the last several months representing Bob's Red Mill during the cyclocross season, but now it's onto the road and mountain bike season and I will be back riding with my team, Men of Steel, again this year. I've only really been back on the bike training again for the last 3 weeks after needing some time to recover from my arm injury at CX World's and to finally get 100% from the flu that has been going around and has been lingering with me since cyclocross nationals.
I have high hopes for a good showing at Barry Roubaix (BR) in Michigan in a few weeks, so Coach Mark Faz and I have put the training routine in high gear to get me back up to speed from the time I had off the bike. I had done BR a couple years back and can honestly say it was one of the hardest races I had ever done- so I'm clearly nuts since I have signed up again. The race has grown in popularity and seems a lot more quality women have signed up so that's great! I'm taking my experiences from the previous year and my set-up from my Gravel Grovel success to hope for a higher placing than 4th from the last time I did it.
Of course, the ultimate prep for BR this year will be taking part in Sub 9 productions Death March on 3/10. My sherpa Aaron and I will team up and have a fun day in the hills of southern Indiana. The idea of me taking part in a race call a "death march" seems a bit odd since I was on my own personal death march not so long ago... but this time I won't be trying to avoid the grave, we will actually be seeking them out... but only to visit!
(Bring on the Perk! Thankfully too... saved me from a bonk!)
Aside from that, I have been enjoying some relaxing days at home with some good books (The Hunger Games trilogy) sprinkled with an occasional road training trip here and there before the travel and days away from home become more and more as the summer approaches. Aside from BR, I haven't really set my sights on many major goals for the year aside from the cross season, but I'm sure I'll come up with a few before cross is here. I do plan on a full summer of mtb races and an occasional road race or crit, but at this point I'm just being thankful for the healthy time I am having on the bike at the moment!
I know racing is just around the corner and everyone is itching to showcase the fitness they have gained after a mild winter we have all had. This should make for some swift racing right from the get go...
just don't forget to save some legs and heart for cross!