Now that racing season is over, it's time to take time away from cycling, recover and re-energize for next year.
My plan is to pretty much avoid riding for the next 3 weeks. I'll do a little swimming, some weight lifting, maybe even some yoga. The goal is to remain active, while giving my body and mind a chance to get away from biking.
The MS 150 ride is coming up on the October 11/12 weekend. My original plan was to ride the 108 mile option the first day; however, I've since dropped that idea. A couple Sundays ago I began my plan to start ramping up my mileage and riding time to prepare for the 108 mile first day. That day I rode 67 miles around my old Sunday route. The goal being to do that ride, then add 10 miles or so per week until I got up to 85 or 90 miles. Following the 67 mile ride I realized that riding long distances like this isn't in my best interests. It took a few days for my hip to recover from the ride, and maybe a week to feel completely better. The bottom line here is that there's nothing to be gained from beating myself up over a 108 mile ride, while at the same time, there's plenty to be lost.
So rather than riding the 108 miles on day one, I'm instead going to ride the new tandem with Carol both days. 50 miles on day 1, another 50 miles on day 2. 50 miles on the tandem is no big deal and isn't something that I need to really train for. We can do the odd long ride here and there and show up on the 11th and know that we'll be able to get through the ride with no problems.
One thing I'm really looking forward to is the fitness opportunity I never got to experience last season, namely being able to train for an entire year and then put another year of training on top of that year's fitness. Two years ago I of course ended my season with a major crash that kept me off a bike and out of any sort of serious training for 8 months or so. Prior to hurting myself I was really looking forward to the following season where I'd be able to build an even bigger aerobic and anaerobic base on top of the work that I'd already done. This coming season I finally get to do that. They say that the first 3 or 4 seasons you race you should be able to see some genuine improvements year to year. I'm hoping to see this first hand next year.