August 5, 2013

Personal Challenges

It’s a new week and that old hum is back in my bones. I can feel it in the fatigue that is present in my legs and my mind which is a little all over the place. My reference points are giving me all the signals that indeed, I am running the razors edge.

I have one more massive week of training volume to get in before I head overseas for a month where the focus is to be relaxed heading into Cent Cols Challenge. All seems to be 100% heading into it as I managed to climb 4300m quite comfortably on the weekend. The other piece of the puzzle is putting together the form to race the Otter just after Cent Cols.

Last year I had a great race at Otter and this year I wanted to prep a little more specifically for it. I did loads of long, open climbs in prep last year and this year I wanted to work on the really tough rock hiking / stair walking that is such a big part of the race. This is a big challenge for me, as I am a rhythm guy and Otter requires something totally different.

The personal challenges to get this right in a short space of time is something I am truly enjoying getting my mind and body around this winter. I have ridden more than previous years, with very specific focus on riding uphill and downhill rather than being able to pedal at 40km/h on a flat road for hours on end. In addition to that I have run 2 x 4hr races in the big mountains and done a lot more rock scrambling in training for my running.

There is no perfect science here to get it right for both in such a short period of time, but there is a way to get close quite reliably and that is my goal. That is a big life lesson. Reliable ways to get really close to your goals exist. How you take it from that safe zone to success or failure is totally up to you, but getting close is reliable and safe. Hitting it out the park is risky and takes a “fair set of swingers”.

This learning curve is tough because it requires failure as well as success, possibly in that order.

Personal challenges are only as life changing as the risk you allow into them. Playing it safe all the time only leads to reasonably great performances. Above average for sure, but not great. Not awesome. Playing with risk is a tricky game when others are invested in your success and when you become a miserable sod after a failure, it means these vested interested parties won’t buy into your future risks. Hence – communication as to how you are racing, what you are trying to achieve and what to do when failure does happen is hugely important.

It’s the start of another week. Are all your vested parties informed on your risks for the week and what happens when they go your way or if they result in failure? Do you have a plan for both occurrences?

Play hard.

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