Mid month and 110 days to go!
Training into February has come with its surprises and mental fatigue, or would it rather be psychological fatigue? In a small way it seemed to have found a way and crept into my alarm clock tune early morning. Getting up was not the burden but yet still a slight effort with my mind almost asking my body for permission to get up and not the other way around.
When I started my 40 day cycle odyssey back in mid October 2015 and ultimately laid down the foundation of my best base training for Freedom Challenge race across South Africa yet, it became the best four months of regaining my passion, my focus as well as my strength.
With all the on off training in the past year but mainly with bearing in mind that out of the 125 days to date from October to now, including rest days and at 102 days of training I did 98% on my own, training solo. Some have asked how the hell I do it! I guess having hearing loss all my life might be part of enduring it. Bearing in mind my world is a little quieter than most and spending long hours on the bike alone might have something to do with my ability to endure the silence while I spend time in my own head fighting demons and slaying dragons when those moments arise. The ability to hang in there also stems partly that we all have a story. It is our own story that many know nothing of. It can provide the will when you most need it, if you allow it to.
Having ruled out over training, I have pinned it at a slight case of boredom. The solution was to look at mixing things up. This I have done and it worked!
The past weekend, I took on some pretty decent climbs and two totally new routes opting to also ride along with 2 other mountain bikers on one of the training rides. Yes! It really helps to have a break from riding those long training rides on your own and popping the interval training like you chasing a ghost.
To top it all, for the first time I have felt I have chipped through the wall and I can move onto the next level. My weight loss has really instilled a better mindset and belief in one’s ability, especially ascents on the bike. Remembering, I have always detested the climbing part of bike riding. Now, I seem to sadistically enjoy them! However, some of the longer climbs I have started to learn that the key is all about patience along with the right tempo and cadence, especially with a backpack on your back. Patience is the key to keeping it all together. After all, you don’t have to be the fastest; you just need to move on up those climbs. With 32000m of total ascent on the Freedom Trail to gain over the 2300km in June, it is not a debatable discussion, your mind more than anything has to be strong….No negotiations!
The early mornings staying darker for longer may also have resulted in pulling triggers on the biological pattern of how your body functions. This will start becoming beneficial when getting closer to June and the long nights and short days of winter start pushing in, the cold and darkness will emulate the conditions of Freedom Challenge racing.
I have started small but never the less started on a nutrition plan mainly concentrating on my recovery after each training session, especially intervals and long distances. It’s kicking in and starting to work. My fitness seems well balanced and seeing the quick recovery of my heart rate after a heavy extended exertion session is motivating!
My other focused passion……..Would still love more people to consider supporting my cause and help support Carel du Toit Centre – Cape Town – Deaf school where kids are taught to speak and ready them for mainstream schooling. Donations! Anything goes! Whatever can be afforded, no matter how big or small….