Failure is an option…

I learned a valuable lesson on Tuesday.  I do not say this lightly because sometimes I can tend to be a little stubborn and dense, so learning lessons is not always the easiest experience.  In order to learn a lesson, you must first admit you were wrong, or that you do not, in fact, know everything.  I thought I could do this, but apparently I had too high of expectations for myself. 

It was a beautiful, yet slightly windy Tuesday afternoon and I set out to do some time trial efforts in West Marin.  On the schedule was a 3 hour ride with a a good warmup and a solid 30 minute TT followed by a fluid cooldown.  I mapped out my route, knew the mileage and the approximate time it should take me to accomplish my goal.  I grabbed the Look 496, a good playlist on the iPod and started my mission.  I thought about those time trials I did in France with Chris…and I thought of my lofty ambitions in the TT.  Nothing could stop me.  I want to be fast, I need to train the TT, and today was the day to do it.

iPod in place.  I gave myself a countdown.  Literally.  5…4…3…2…1 GO!  I started off on my TT.  Who put this nasty hill in this course?  This turn is a little technical for a TT bike.  This hurts.  This isn’t fun.  I can’t get my HR up.  It is really windy.  Really windy.  I wonder what power I am even doing.  I am probably in Z1 yet I can’t push myself at all.  My negative talk increased until finally it was too much.  7 minutes into my 30 minute TT I could not do it anymore.  I stopped on the side of Hicks Valley Road, sat on the top tube of my bike and contemplated how I could fail such an important training assignment.  As the the couple cars that were out there passed me, they looked at me curiously….was I okay?  Yes, I am FINE.  I am just sitting on my bike pouting.  Feel free to keep moving along. 

Am I not extremely motivated?  Aren’t I still running on a major post-European racing high?  Don’t I know my goals and what they require?  How could I fail?  Failure has never been an option, but on Tuesday, it was inevitable.  And honestly, this suprised me.  I love to ride my bike.  When I get on her, the birds start chriping and the air is a little warmer and brighter.  Is it possible for me to have a bad day on the bike?  I guess so. 

As I sat there on the side of the road, I pulled out my phone and started trying to look for some sympathy for my failed training.  I called my dad, I called Z…I called whoever I though would answer… it was too windy, I am tired…I couldn’t push myself…I need some supervision out here…I need accountability…I need competition…I need someone timing me (but not you)…. However, the sympathy was limited due to the fact it was 4:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon and I was “unfortunate” enough to find myself out in West Marin attempting to do some TT work.  Rough life, I know. 

As I humbly headed home, I tried to think of the positives I could take out of this situation.  I could stay in my aero position.  I could work on my pedalling, I could work on my form…I could work on so many things, but the only fault I could keep magnifying was my lack of focus. I should be working on my focus. How could I not have the focus to complete this workout?  It all sounds dramatic, and in reality it it shouldn’t be.  I should take this lesson, and know that not every day is going to be perfect on the bike.  Not every day can we set out and accomplish our goals and our plans, even if we have the best of intentions.  We are only human, and need to build on what we can…focus on what we will…and gain a positive lesson from whatever that situation is.

Therefore, things I learned:

1) Focus is key.

2) Failure is an option.

3) I may need some supervision during TT intervals.

4) I would love an SRM for my TT bike…


In order to search for a little motivation, I found this picture of me doing the TT at Madera….I bet I could have gone faster if I had a powermeter on that bike…any takers?

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