|Photo (c) Greyson Quarles|
As with any visit to a vacation destination, I try to bring a piece of the experience back home so I can savor the trip a little longer. Having an altered perspective is what makes travel so necessary, in my opinion.
This time, though, I left something behind in Death Valley. I left my mojo.
I didn't realize it was missing until I got back home and met a teammate/friend for a ride. I figured that, with all those hundreds of training miles and thousands of feet of climbing, I would be more than ready to jump right in to the new season.
I was wrong. We rode the bike course for an upcoming local duathlon, a race I had competed in for years, and have always placed high. Now I was struggling to hang on to my friend's wheel, gasping like an asthmatic up an insignificant climb. My riding partner was encouraging and patient, noting that I was probably tired from last week, not used to the cold weather, blah blah blah.
Honestly, I was caught off guard. What the hell had I been doing all off-season if not suffering in the Pain Cave?
So now I'm back to what feels like square one. And the first thing that I need to figure out is this: what do I plan to do this year that warrants the suffering?
Of course, I've been thinking about this a LOT, but those thoughts will be fodder for later posts. One thing for sure, though, is this: this will not be more of the same as last year, or the year before that. I have precious little motivation for goals I have already attained and races that I've never been too fond of in the first place. And don't get me started - at least not yet - about the change in racer attitude I've noticed over the years.
For now, it's back on the trainer while I unfold a new map, the one that will take me to where I need to be right now.