My last race

Last night was my last race of the season — there are others I could do, but I feel as though I’ve done enough, and I have no desire to do any more.  It was a fine race.  It went as it usually did — I rode hard, stayed with the pack the entire way, and finished near the back, trying to stay out of people’s way.  Since I have no hope of winning these things, I don’t even try.  I’m there for the workout and the fun.

It’s been an odd year for riding.  I started out the year hoping that I might do a triathlon, but I had to give up that plan when I injured my foot.  My continuing desire to do a triathlon, though, meant that I became very aware of all the things I don’t like about bike racing.  I allowed myself to feel dissatisfied in a way I hadn’t before.  So even though I rode in lots of bike races, I was always thinking that I really wanted to do something else and that my focus would soon be elsewhere.  This is not a great mindset to have when competing in races, and I never did all that well (although I didn’t embarrass myself either — I did respectably).

Now my foot is all healed and I’m running and swimming as well as riding, and I still feel odd because I’m training in all these sports, but the first triathlon I’ll do won’t be until late spring next year, and it feels so far off and not at all real.

But at least at this point I can concentrate on one thing instead of feeling all scattered — or rather I can concentrate on three things, the three triathlon sports.  In running, I simply need to keep from injuring myself, first, and also work on endurance.  I can add in some speed work later on when my endurance has improved.  In swimming, I need to work on technique and endurance.  It looks like I may be able to attend a master’s swim class at least once a week this fall, and that should help tremendously.

In cycling I feel a little more uncertain at the moment, as my basic skills and endurance are there already, and the triathlons I’ll be competing in aren’t long, but it’s too early to be working on speed.  I suppose I just need to maintain my cycling fitness for now, and keep from getting burnt out on the sport.

After the race last night we had a little end-of-season party, and the race organizer gave out awards for the top 10 finishers in the series competition.  Hobgoblin got first place!


Filed under Cycling, Triathlon

9 responses to “My last race

  1. Yes – and you know what you might do, is find a convenient half-iron race that accepts relay teams and team up with a couple other people, you do the bike and they do swim and run (or you could even do swim and bike, eh? and just leave the run leg to someone else?). It would be a nice addition to your next year’s training but you wouldn’t have to worry about building up your run to such a long distance…


  2. Congrats on a respectable finish to the season! Perhaps being able to focus on swimming and running for awhile will help your enjoyment of cycling return. And congrats to Hobgoblin too!


  3. I agree with Jenny. Triathlon relays are fun and a great way to have the experience without feeling the pressure of performing in all three sports.


  4. Congrats to Hobgoblin!! He deserves first place after the cycling mishaps he’s had this summer! And congrats on finishing another racing season and enjoying it. That’s so cool that are training for a triathlon–it would be nice to work on different skills–to keep things interesting. I can’t believe this summer went so fast (though am happy that fall is so near) since it feels like you just mentioned starting racing. Are you doing any century rides still, or are you finished for the year?


  5. I was really struck by what you said about allowing yourself to feel dissatisfied. I feel like I’ve done that lately with academia. It’s so very strange, that process of committing mentally and emotionally to something. You hardly notice it because you’re fixed on a goal and then when the goal changes all kinds of feelings assail you. I was really fascinated by the transition you described here between racing and the triathalon and it’s given me a lot to think about. Thank you for sharing this and writing so very eloquently about it!


  6. Thanks for sharing your experiences over the course of the summer. I’ve always been fascinated by triathlons and tempted to try one but for the biking…but you have me thinking maybe I should reconsider. Anyway, here comes fall…looking forward to reading about yours.


  7. Congratulations to you and Hobgoblin both for a great season, despite everything! I can relate a little to what you are saying about dissatisfaction. I was supposed to train for a century this fall, and got so burned out that I rode hardly at all. Riding became a chore and not fun. I hope that with some time away from the bike this winter that I will enjoy it again. I’m glad that your foot is better so you feel like you have choices in your training. That will help a lot!

    I love your list of books from the library sale! I’m looking forward to your reviews of them. Barbara Pym has always been on my to-read list too.


  8. Jenny — that’s a great idea. Some people have suggested it, but they are always talking about some friend of theirs, and I don’t find out details. If you’re ever interested in doing a relay, let me know!

    Stefanie — thanks! I’m happy to be in the quiet part of the season; I want to do lots of working out, but the pressure is off, so I can back off a bit if I want.

    Leah — good to know — I’ll have to follow up when people suggest it to me then …

    Danielle — now is the time I usually work on centuries, but I just don’t have the time or motivation. If I were doing “only” cycling, I think I’d want to do long rides, but with the running and swimming, it’s all too much. That’s fine, though — all my races next year will be relatively short, so I don’t need to worry about long-distances at all.

    Litlove — thanks, and I’m pleased there’s a connection here between athletics and academia. I’m so aware these days of my very changeable feelings — I love something one day and hate it the next, or sometimes it’s a matter of hours. So if circumstances are leading me to feel one way or the other, I’m very susceptible to that influence. If cycling were all I could do, I’d come to love it; since it’s not, I have room to focus on the negative. Isn’t it strange that one person’s feelings can be so inconsistent? I mean, I AM the same person, right? Right?? 🙂

    Courtney — oh, you can pick up the biking! I’m certain you can. I’m so curious to see what it will be like to compete in a triathlon — I’m looking forward to having a more concrete idea instead of all this vague anticipation.

    Debby — thank you! I can certainly relate to the burnout, whether it has to do with racing or not. Training for a century is hard, and if you’re not into it, it becomes unpleasant work very fast. I’m sure you’ll get your motivation back.

    And Pym is excellent! 🙂


  9. Endurance in every area would be my biggest challenge as well. That’s because I wouldn’t even consider thinking about speed. Good luck with all your training!


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