Having too much deadfall in a forest prevents new growth. Mother Nature has her own way of dealing with this and that's by setting it all ablaze. With the burning of the deadfall comes the room and fertilization needed for new growth to begin.
When I got back home in August after racing the RAAM Challenge Minnesota 400, I felt I needed to do the same. However instead of setting myself on fire in the middle of the National Mall, I just took a little break from any structured training and focused on the clearing of deadfall.
The original plan was to take a couple of weeks to recharge the battery. It was time to sleep in until at least 5:30, focus on spending time with my loved ones and maybe do a few things around the house that had been getting pushed to the side. Although I was still getting out on the bike for a spin at least once a week, the more time that passed the less motivation I had to do any more.
After almost two months of dodging the questions of "What is next?" and "Will this be the year for the big one?" I am beginning to finally feel like the battery is almost fully charged. Although this coming year will not be the year of the big one, I have started to look at the race calendar for next year. Now instead of it feeling like a chore, I am getting excited about what is to come.
Some people train so they can race. I race so I can train. Truth be told, I don't usually remember too much of race day because they come and go so quickly. The early mornings with David, Quinoa, Thin Mint and Michael. The long nights of riding by myself to be joined by Jenn, Betsy Crocker (Not Betty Crocker) and all my other teammates in the morning. Those are the times I look back on. Those are the times I fall back on during long efforts. Those are the times I remember the most. They are the only reason I get excited at the beginning of a new season.