Sunday, April 27, 2008


Sitting in my car, drinking a Dr. Pepper (guilty pleasure) and eating a soft pretzel, the word is kind of slinking around in my head: burnout...burnout...burnout... There was something different about this ride and this feeling & I suspect it has been creeping up on me for a while... and today, it sort of struck me in the tired, aching gut... burnout. Not like, "Oh, I've been training and racing and riding so hard blah blah blah..." (cause I haven't...I mean, I ride every chance I get without much regard to my mood or how I am's always, "Can I go? Okay, then I am going...Goodbye..." ) The only "structure" I follow is a long-ish ride midweek, a recovery ride (which I usually end up pushing harder than intended) on Thursday, a race or hard ride on the weekend, maybe commute to work...whatever I can, however, with whomever. No, it's more like, "Oh, I've been in constant motion and spreading myself thin and losing patience rapidly with pretty much everything and everyone around me..." That kind of burnout. So, I am thinking about the morning & the it unfolded. Woke up in my son's bed (well, he wormed his way into mine sometime during the night...and the bed became infinitely smaller, so I was like, "Fuck it, that kid has the comfiest bed in the house in the quietest room in the house...Nitey nite folks...")... Ate some cereal (I have not been treating my own nutrition with the respect it deserves). Gathered gear, loaded bikes, cut my hand in the process...scrambled to get my act together. Drove to French Creek, alone with my thoughts and senseless...despair??? Wow, what is this gloom hanging over me? Ewww, get me to the trails, motherfucker! In the parking lot, all my friends were excited to ride & get the adventure started. In spite of smiles and Max Brenner chocolate bestowed upon me by ever-thoughtful Cati, my lofty aspirations of two laps began to sink. And sink. Everyone was chirpy and talkative...I struggled to warm up, adjust, acclimate. My riding? Fine. Adequate. Strong enough. After one lap, a hapless attempt to locate Cati's family (who struck out to mine the beginner course for Emily & Becky), we tooled around trying to stay warm...debating lap two. Mentally, I was cooked. I have never know myself to sort of roll over, admit defeat...especially in the company of friends enthusiastic to hit it hard, play some more...soak up the trails, enjoy the day... Nothing could rally me. No amount of sincere encouragement or smartass ribbing could spark me... Done. Sorry guys. Done. And that I is how I ended up, in the warmth of my FJ Cocoon, drinking Dr. Pepper, reflecting on carefully chosen words of insight about anxiety and pressure and stress... Which led to me to the best solution I could manage for the day... Get in bed, still grimy and salty, not yet showered (gross, indeed...I mean, if you're going for low, may as well go for broke). After 90 solid minutes of anxious, crappy nap dreams, I woke up disoriented and even less rested. Hungry. Testy. Showered, stripped my bed, headed to the Perna's for chicken soup. I have a simple plan for the week (or however long it takes to crawl out of my little slump): Ride how I want, if I even want to. Maybe even bag Wawayanda. Doesn't my eye on cross. Even now. Especially now.

1 comment:

rsdmag said...


I'm with ya- had some long conversations with some good friends only to learn the 'resting' part is more important than the 'training' part! Bring on cross, but in the meantime use the MTB to stay sharp for it. If you cant get 'em in the straights, get 'em in the corners and slop ;)

Keep fighting but know you have kindred spirits all around who have similar feelings.