I have a vision on how this summer is supposed to go. It has me being uber ready for the Wilmington Whiteface 100k in June. I obliterate the time I put down last year by at least 45 minutes. In the process I move up two starting corrals in Leadville. I then build endurance up to the point where I can do 103.7 miles, at 10,000 ft elevation, with 12,000 ft of vertical climbing on my terms. I finish that race in a fast 10:20 time.
The great thing about plans is it allows you to visualize how how things will proceed. It allows you to plan how to approach what it is you want to do. The bad thing about plans is that sh!t happens and events rarely follow the script. Plans have to be adjusted and you have to do the best you can with the cards you are dealt.
I’ve been thinking a lot about training, and trajectories, and expectations, and suffering. I see similarities between training and racing. The difference is in the time scale. You start the process with great fan fair and excitement. In Leadville they start you out with this as the fan fair. You start and your legs are strong. Then life happens. You might walk some of St. Kevan’s because of the people in front of you, you might flat going down the Power Line, then of course you are going to have to go up Columbine. At some point you are going to experience adversity. Its pretty much guaranteed. Whatever plan you have is going to have to be adjusted, or abandoned. But you are going to have to face and overcome the adversity. You are going to have to be mentally tough. Then you grind. And finally, if things go good enough, you cross the finish line.
Training is kind of like that, only in slow motion. It starts out with some great excitement. Its fun and challenging for a while. Then it kind of becomes routine work. You have to stay focused. Something might happen. I don’t know, you might hurt a knee, or you might get really sick, or maybe you crash and break something, maybe you have a bad result in a race. The plan or vision might need to be modified. How you deal with that sets the tone for the rest of training. Its determines how you finish.
So here I am working the recovery plan. Today’s ride was a little rough mentally. I felt good, got into the riding, rode kind of hard (“moderate” is what Coach Drew would call it) and then I had some pain/soreness in my knee. Urrg. I did the smart thing and shut down the ride. I didn’t push it. It was smart, but it was frustrating. When I got home, I iced my knee. The steady diet of RICE continue.
Tomorrow I see the PT to see if they have anything they can do to help me. That’s part of the (now revised) plan. I don’t know what is going to happen with my knee. That unknown is uncomfortable. Whiteface is coming up quickly. I may have to adjust my expectations for that race. It might be a long training ride in which I go as hard as I can, for as long as I can, and see what happens. I might get better quicker and be able to peak for that event. I don’t know. Regardless, eye on the real prize. Whiteface will be there to crush next year if I need.
Drew’s advice: stay positive and take care of what you can now (i.e. heal up), don’t worry about the other stuff. I’m learning to stay focused and tough. I’m learning to not look to far down the road, but take things and deal with them as they come.
Right now its time to focus on what I can do that is positive: rest, some work from the PT (and maybe some tape :)), and ice. It’s not what I was expecting to be working hard at. But its what I HAVE to overcome right now.