Good Days, bad days....

Its Thursday 1st July and since Monday this week, I have been chilling mostly at home, resting up (sort of) and getting bits and pieces of work done that have been on the "to do" pile for ages and ages.

I knew I would need to do a bit of chillaxing this week, for it has been about a 6 week race block of hard core work with loads of personal stresses added in.  I was coping well, racing with passion and fighting my way to the end no matter what.  Day after day was just plain hard yakka and I was feeling fairly lack lustre all last week.  I was planning the day when I could rest my eyes, turn off my computer, and say nothing, do nothing, have nothing expected of me.  I am sure every one of you knows what its like to feel a tad overwhelmed.

With Norm doing a bit of work in Melbourne for the next 6 mths, Saskia being a busy and highly motivated 16 year old daughter and with myself trying to reach for my own selfish goals, as well as run a household, be an athlete, run a business, be a mum, wife, all came to a head on Friday last week.

Plan was to go to Albury for the Vic enduro series Rd #5 and race on a great course for 6hrs. No stress, just race to my plan and do what I have been doing all year, and the result will be what it is at the end of 6hrs. 
Silly me had even booked in to do the Preston Mountain Classic on the Sunday...however prior discussion with coach told me that YES, this was a stupid idea and to bail out of that one.

So after a highly stressful week, off I went to Albury and my goodness it was pretty wet the entire way up the Hume, rain that was sitting on all the paddocks along the way with the stock sloshing through mud and massive puddles.  Great for the "drought", great for water reserves, not good for mind set to ride 6hrs tomorrow when I really did not want to.

Anyhow, I kept going, I always tell myself, just wake up, go through the motions that you know you need to, dont avoid the inevitable and just go with the flow.  The hours will tick by, you better use them wisely or another day is gone without any investment or growth.  I pretty much never let myself quit or accept defeat unless I am sick or something else is stopping me.

Met Brad along the way and we got to Albury with low lying clouds and drizzle.  The race course was still open and we had just enough time to do a practice lap.  Great great course, so excited now to be racing, but still feeling apprehensive about having to work hard for 6hrs, wishing I was just doing some social riding or in a team.

Race Day.
Tired, unenthusastic, a little bit lost but still I turn up on the start line. 
Lap 1, 2, 3 all good, then somewhere towards the end of lap 3 I just switched off and started to hurt all over, my mind went from happy thoughts to cant I just go to bed please?  I have only ever felt this way once before in a race, but this time I thought, dont let it overrule you, go and do another lap and see if you change your mind.  I had minor support but not the kind of mental stimulation I get from Norm, so I knew I had to be strong.  So I proceeded to do the next lap and go through moments of joy, moments of crankiness.  By the end of the lap I was sold on stopping.  I was hating being out there, loving the course but no way did I want to race or ride for that matter for another 4hrs.  I was having thoughts of quitting racing altogether and knew it was just because I was so so tired and a better word would be exhausted.

So I stopped after 4 laps, chatted a bit to a few suprised people, went back and had a shower and a half hour nana nap, felt sick, tired and sore all over.

You know what though...the only regret I have is turning up to Albury when I knew I really did not want to race.  6hrs travel time, was enough in itself!

So this week, I have done easy rides on the rollers indoors, gone to the gym for a spin class, done a bit of core work in front of channel V on Foxtel, worked in front of my wood fire, and I think I have for the first time in a long time felt mildy relaxed.

After all that money spent, time used up and energy exerted, I did come away with a win, with 15 weeks to go until the World 24hr solo mtb championships I know what I need to do to have my best chance and that is to take my recovery and down time seriously.  Dont think I will start Yoga anytime soon, but I am slowing down - a bit...

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