My lungs burn with each inhalation of cold, crisp air. My legs turn over slowly in recovery from an effort that took some mental toughness to get through. It is November, there is snow in the mountains, Mt. Bachelor is opening for winter operations tomorrow, and I won’t let myself wax my skis, lace up my skate boots or pull out my climbing skins.
I am still on my bike; protected from the elements in my Ibex wool knickers and windproof gloves. This time last year my cyclocross season was over, ending with the finale of Cross Crusade. But this year is different.
This year I am racing A’s.
This year I learned about intervals and power zones, and training.
This year I became a cyclist.
This year is one of transition.
Transition from the B’s to the A’s.
Transition from runner to cyclist.
Transition from “I might do okay” to “I want to do my best”.
I have a long way to go to if I want race with the big girls. I have a lot of work to do if I want to challenge Wendy and Emily and Alice. Katie and Georgia and Amy and Sue still remain magazine cut-outs pasted inside of my training journal.
But this year I have learned that it is possible. I have learned that with patience and time and dedication and determination and focus, UCI points are within reach. With rest and recovery and repetition, my legs will become more powerful, my lungs stronger, my mind sharper. This year is different.
This year Cyclocross Nationals are in Bend.
This year my season ends on December 13th, 2009.
This year is different……. because I am already making plans and setting goals for December 2010.