What a difference a year makes!
One year ago I was defending World and US Overall XTERRA Champion. This year I am first princess to both titles. It is a pretty motivating place to be. I have never been so excited for another race season and that is saying a lot because there have been a number of them, oh man time is flying by….
I think the most important aspect of my time off was the opportunity to reflect. I compared my thoughts this year to a year ago (the post is here). In comparison to last year, there are some similarities and some big differences. I think the flavor of motivation changes when you are hunting versus being the hunted. All I know is I have four major titles that I would like to attach my name to by the end of 2008…
Resolution #7: Fill our new storage room (saving versus drinking is good for racing )
The first difference is I went back to training with the cyclists and my old cycling coach Houshang Amiri. Although my program is still written and planned by me, I feel it is so beneficial to have someone like Houshang leading rides like the ones I participate in at the Pacificsport Cycling center. I have 100% confidence that training with Houshang and my super road racing phenom girl training partners, Erinne Willock and Alex Wrubelski, is going to get my cycling fitness back to where it was. It is so great having such strong women to train with.
I also spent a lot of the winter working on my mountain biking. I have been having a super fun time schooling the boys on my Fourstroke 02 in the gnarly, wet singletrack here on the coast. This offseason mountain biking has been definitely been improving my skills and each year I am getting better and better. My swimming has also been a priority and despite missing lots of time for the Xmas Flu, I will again be cranking hard mileage this winter to get closer to a front pack swim split with the National Triathlon Training Center here in Victoria. Sucky as swimming may be to me, it is a necessary evil and I appreciate all of the hard work that Patrick and Neil put into making the program work.
I also have many returning sponsors, who I will highlight in another post.
So while I ring in the new year, I am reflecting on how much training ends up being trial and error. I tried something in error last year and will try something new this year. I think for all of us, we learn from the past and as long as we don’t repeat our mistakes, we should end up on the right track.
Besides the obvious resolution to be more competitive, I have compiled a list of other things that would make 2008 a resounding success for me. Happy New Year!
10. To enjoy each and every race and venue even more than the last. This enjoyment will be totally seperate and unrelated to the outcome of the race.
9. To personally help one other person perform better at every event I go to. Which means in some cases I will need to go out of my way to try to help someone so if you need something and I am at a race, come find me. I will need to get this done.
8. To rest more. Unless I really feel like doing more will help me in which case I will ask Ross what he thinks and then probably end up resting more.
7. To add an unbelievable bottle of wine to my collection worth saving every month. Also, do a course to develop some skills as a sommelier. If you feel you have some good suggestions, fire away!
6. To take more pictures. I always have my camera and forget to use it.
5. To do 10 % less than 2006. Which will mean I am going to train 20% less than last year. I was a bit cooked and given my 2008 schedule… I will need to be more careful with how much stress I am putting on my body. Also, I have built the last three years with increasing volume so, just as a long term athlete development plan would work towards an Olympic quadrennial, cutting the volume in a key year can lead to very, very good performances. I am planning to put last year’s overtraining to good use.
4. To host a training clinic for athletes wanting to race XTERRA better. A "hands on" clinic where I actually ride, swim and run with a group… more than the "how to" at XTERRA University.
3. Volunteer more. Not just volunteer with young athletes but also for social causes (Xmas time is what comes to mind since I am gone nearly the entire year).
2. Appreciate one positive thing about everyone I meet and tell them that I appreciate that about them.
1. To donate money to www.planetair.ca to offset some of the carbon emissions I am responsible for by doing what I do. This is significant given the amount of air travel I am planning in 2008. I think everyone needs to start becoming more aware of their habits and lifestyle and how that is affecting the earth that we all live on. I am by no means the picture of environmental sustainability but I am trying to work harder on my impact and I encourage all of us to do more. Even without buying carbon credits for flights, turning off lights, using LED lights, and RIDING YOUR BIKE more can make a positive impact.