Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

The Year of the Bike, Revisited

We’re currently up in Amherst, Massachusetts, celebrating a belated Christmas with Brent’s family.  In the past two days, we’ve dragged our dogs up two snowy state peaks, bringing our total to a whopping four states on our quest for fifty.

But Brent’s decided that he wants to write the report of state #2, which we hit on a short road trip from NOLA last week.  And until he does that, I can’t share our experiences of peaks #3 and 4.

So, instead, race goals!

In two days it will be January 1, which means that my self-imposed off-season is coming to an end.  Finally!  I’m glad that I took five weeks off from any deliberate training, but man, I’m excited to get back into the swing of things.

A year ago, I conspired with Angela to declare 2010 The Year of the Bike.  Angela had some big goals in her life as a triathlete, and I wanted to work on speed and endurance and technical prowess in preparation for the Untamed New England, a 72-hour adventure race that took place in August in the northern New England wilderness.

I’ll let Angela evaluate how the YOTB went from her end (though I’d say that it was a smashing success, given that she qualified for Kona!).

From my vantage point?  I’d give myself roughly a B- grade.  

Yes, it was an amazing year of racing…

We started off the season with a divisional win while chasing alligators in the South Carolina swamps.  

After two false starts over the past couple years, I finally conquered the 24-hour adventure race – with an overall win and a nationals jacket, to boot!

We tackled The Wall – over and over and over again.

And embarked on an epic ride to Reading.

I successfully completed my first multi-day race, and discovered the wonders of canned artichokes.

And I finally found my footing on more technical terrain.

But there were also some setbacks…

I broke my tailbone trying to navigate the twisty trails of Belmont Plateau.

And my lungs met their match on a western Pennsylvania mountain top.

Looking back on the year, I’m proud of what I accomplished, both personally and as part of a team.  But it was a year of instability and unsettledness, as I finished grad school and went on the harrowing academic job market, and I never felt like I found a rhythm, particularly with the Year of the Bike.  I reached new levels of speed and endurance, even getting to a point where a century ride felt ‘normal’.  But I didn’t spend enough time on technical terrain, and in every race, I struggled to find my comfort zone on the trails.

So, there’s my B-.  Not bad.  A little above average.  But not quite where I wanted to be.  

For 2011?  I’m aiming for an A.



3 responses to “The Year of the Bike, Revisited

  1. Mallory December 31, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I think you had a great year, Abby! 2011 will be even better for you though!

  2. Kari w/ Jogging with Fiction December 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    holy cow, I’d say if you battled through a broken tailbone, that deserves an A all on it’s own!

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