more than just another bike blog

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

who needs goals?!?

Well, shoot! My brain's all a-tizzy tonight and I didn't want to go there yet. I realize I have no goals!

I was at my favorite neighborhood bike shop this afternoon. Now that I don't work at a bike shop, I have to get my fix, so I stop by to chat once in a while. Today was actually supposed to be a meeting, but the owner was busy-busy with customers so I found myself chatting with one of the staff members. He's a racer and we had an interesting conversation about coaching, fitness, racing, and goals.

Well, it's abundantly clear that I don't have any goals for myself right now. And it didn't bother me until today.

I guess I've been floating on the post-illness excuse for a while now. After my second surgery in 2005, I decided not to put pressure on myself. No formal training plan, no coach (for the first time in my cycling career) and no goals. I rationalized that it was impossible to set goals because I had no idea what the body could do anymore. So, I made my coaching business my priority and just got out there and raced whatever I felt like racing. I think I've done 35 or 40 races so far this year, including cross, mountain bike, road, and crits. But still no goals.

I had structure in my training. There were intervals, and threshold efforts, and tempo rides, and sprint training. There were weights and running and skills. And there was fun, too. But I never wrote it down as a training plan. I knew what I needed to do and I did it. Most of the time.

I guess if I don't have goals I can't fail, right? If it's all about fun, how can I go wrong? But if I decide I want to be competitive there's a HUGE chance I'll fail. Do I want to go there? Am I mentally strong enough to survive the let-down of failure? I couldn't handle it in 2004 when I was so sick. What makes me think I could handle it better now?

So, now I have to decide if I want to be coached. Do I want to be serious about this again? Can I make myself a priority? Do I have the emotional bandwidth to really train and keep my nutrition in check (ie no beer, no ice cream, no pizza, no cheating). Do I want to be accountable to a coach? And myself?

And who the heck would I hire to coach me anyways? Because I know my stuff, I'm picky as hell. There are two coaches I might consider based on their repuations. But I don't really know either of them well enough to know if our personalities will jive. Can I be the supplicant again?


At 11/14/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger trac said...

maybe if you got a coach he/she could fill more of a support and exercise psycholoy role as well as giving you structure, so that you are setting the kind of goals you will not fail at and will still have fun! Either way you are a huge influence on women's cycling :-)

At 11/14/2006 8:23 PM, Blogger velogirl said...

Tanks for the compliment (and the advice), Tracie. Yeah, I get a lot of satisfaction living/racing vicariously through the women I work with.

So, are you telling me what I really need is a shrink?

At 11/14/2006 9:41 PM, Blogger Velo Bella said...


At 11/14/2006 11:02 PM, Blogger X Bunny said...

goals shmoals

no, seriously:


and pizza

At 11/15/2006 10:28 AM, Blogger lauren said...

fun is important. pizza is semi- important.

if you're a goal oriented person, goals are important.

beer is nice.

i wish i had boobs like that. mine are so deflated after having kids - like little balloons.

thank god for push-up bras.

i'm no help am i.

At 11/15/2006 1:11 PM, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Sorry, you lost me right below "Goals"...

I was just thinking about this the other day, because this year seems pretty free-form for me, too. Since I feel like it's going to be a whole new animal this year, what with the tougher fields and the higher number of races, I've decided to just go with it, try to feel out what my body needs and how it works, maybe have a little bit of a schedule but no real plan to speak of.

I will probably set goals but mostly focus on learning and not put too much pressure on myself, since that was a big downfall for me last year. There are a lot of different ways to be successful as a racer; I'd say you're way ahead of most people in a lot of them, but I definitely understand the frustration.

Gotta go before this turns into a post-within-the-comments...

At 11/15/2006 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

those boobs are humungus! dang...

it doesn't look fake...

At 11/15/2006 6:31 PM, Blogger velogirl said...

Maybe I should retire from bike racing and just get some boobs. I bet I'd meet a lot more men than I do at the races. Or, get the boobs and keep racing. Forget hillclimbs (since the boobs will weigh so much). Just give me a skinsuit a size too small, a lace bra, and a zipper that works.

At 11/21/2006 11:48 PM, Blogger velogirl said...

Okay, goals! Personal goals. I plan to win at least one crit this season. I have the fitness to do it. I just need to believe, to want, to crave it. And I plan to be skinny enough to be able to help my teammates in the hilly road races. There you have it.


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