Okay, I’ll try to get the ball rolling with my story. I have been active in the ultracycling world for the last five years, finding what I think is my niche after several years of doing “okay” in triathlons (mostly IM distance). I had some awesome races early on, winning the 24 hour solo female division of the World TT Championships in Borrego Springs, CA in 2018 and taking the overall win at Race Across the West in 2019. I was hoping to finish solo RAAM in 2020, but COVID happened. Since then it seems like it has been one setback after another putting off the solo RAAM bid. I was able to successfully manage knee injuries last year to come back and attempt RAW again just to DNF for no great reason other than lack of confidence and motivation. A lot of this I attribute to still carrying some extra weight that I’ve had a hard time losing, as well as a relationship with my long-time coach that had grown strained over the last two years.
I started working with Coach Pav in the last month and am feeling very hopeful that the pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction. I’ve put solo racing on hold for now and plan to participate in the Borrego Springs 24 hour TT as part of a two-person mixed relay and have some fun with it. I’m hope that by November I’ll have an idea of what my goals will be for next year. I’d still really like to go after that solo RAAM finish, but I feel like I’m better off keeping that as a goal for the indefinite future and focus on some shorter events and races to build back the fitness and confidence.
Although I have some ideas for next year, I’m open to recommendations. I’m based in Southern California and have kept most of my races fairly local, at least not requiring air travel and I haven’t quite figured out the art of transporting a bike and all the gear. I’ll try to post some updates as I progress and look forward to reading some other stories.
Fantastic!! Thank you so much for sharing this. I might suggest that you just consider what your dream goal might be and what events would lead to that. For example, if RAAM is the ultimate dream, but maybe too soon next year, what could you do that would be a strong motivator and confidence builder, and stepping stone into RAAM.
For travelling with a bike, yes, it can be a pain! A good bike box makes things much easier. I got my local bike shop to help me with learning to take apart and rebuild my bike. Other than that, not sure if Bike Flights is still around, but you could ship it.
I look forward to hearing more about your journey! Thanks again
This is great - thank you for sharing this!!
Obviously, we will work together on some of this, but I really look forward to hearing what others say too
There’s some great advice here.
For me, having gone through similar (but very different!) challenges, I can vouch for how powerful starting mental fitness practises such as meditation and gratitude can be.
It totally changed my perspective on “why” doing something, and I started to appreciate the journey and detach my ego from the outcome.
Thanks for the encouragement! I have a few ideas for events to use as stepping stones, but none of them really stand out for me at the moment. I’m hoping I’ll feel inspired soon. I do have a great bike shop and will probably be asking them to help with the shipping process if I do decide to do a travel event.
Thanks @Billyboy , that’s definitely some good advice, and exactly what I’ve been trying to work on. Mental fitness and ego have definitely been a catching point for me in the last year or so.
I’ve done a bit of travelling with my bike this year and have ended up getting myself one of these. The quality is absolutely superb and can’t recommend it highly enough:
Thanks for the tip! I’ll check it out.
Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear of your challenges. I sometimes struggle with similar things that you describe. I have got big with gratitude and meditation / yoga etc. I can honestly say that I haven’t found my “why” yet and it feels like I am building an arch without a key stone. I guess I have just been lucky in life up to now.
This is awesome - kudos to you on this. I look forward to following your journey
I kind of know the feeling. Just trying to step back for a bit and figure all that out. Good to know I’m not the only one.