training plans and tots just don’t always mix all that well, at least if you are easily thrown by disruptions to your schedule –like i can be. missed a ride last night to help care for our 6-month-old on his fourth day with a fever. it doesn’t help motivation when the feverish tot deprives the rest of the household of precious sleep, everyone’s cranky, the chores are piling up, and … did i mention that everyone’s cranky?
but that’s just the backdrop to today’s topic: a glimpse (not pretty) into the mind of the cyclist who feels like missing a ride is a very bad thing. see, when it comes to riding your bike in preparation for something — even, as in my case, racing at a very low, and local, level — there’s the big picture, and there’s the little pictures that make up that big picture. and the trick is to keep the big picture in sight while keeping in perspective all the little pictures.
big picture: fitness in june & july, with a return to form come fall. maybe upgrade on the road. lose a few pounds.
little pictures: four-five rides a week, with two of them offering some challenge: intervals, hills, even some sprints now that racing season is coming up. one or two of the rides should be moderate, with one genuinely easy. there’s more detail, but that’s essentially the series of little pictures that make up a week. and to me, this seems eminently reasonable to expect even with two little ones in the house and a job and other responsibilities. heh.
but when monday’s an off day, and tuesday’s supposed to be one of those challenges and i miss it, and suddenly it’s wednesday and i haven’t ridden at all, and it’s raining so if i ride i have to go back down to the trainer (ugh), and a couple of the little pictures crack, and suddenly (in my mind) the whole big picture’s in jeopardy, and i start wondering whether these pants make my ass look big, or whether i’ll be able to hang next time i ride with the gang — after all, i’m losing training this week, and this isn’t the first week that’s happened. as bill the cat would say: aack!
the truth is that these little ebbs and flows happen all the time: i just have to work hard to remember that a lost ride doesn’t damn me to getting shelled off the back of all my races, and that i don’t have to be in top form for the first race of the year (good thing), and once thinking about riding my bike starts stressing me out, it’s not as much fun, and well, this is something i do for fun. right?
(now, how can i maximize my time on the trainer this evening to make up for missing yesterday? hmmm…)