It's a recurring theme in my training posts - the quest for consistency.
When cycling for training & racing is a relatively lower priority - chiefly behind family time, especially making sure I am as involved as possible in all of my kids' extra-curricular activity - then maintaining consistency is always going to be the key obstacle to building quality training.
At the start of this year, I identified two key races as my main goals - the MAP Financials Metropolitan Championships road race (in two weeks), and the Lifecycle Classic 80km handicap road race (about a month away, in mid-June). Where I had planned my training and fitness to be, and where they actually are, are unfortunately poles apart.
Over the last few weeks, trying to find time to squeeze in some decent training mileage on the bike, and failing, has been causing me some stress. I really wanted to do these races - but to actually race them, not just 'complete' them. And my inability to find enough time to consistently train was driving me a little crazy!!
So after much consideration, I have decided to remove the cause of this stress - I'm scrapping my Open racing plans for now. These two races are off my calendar. I train and race because, above all, its fun - and if the stress of going into a race under-prepared is taking away that enjoyment, then its not worth it!
A New Goal
I'm certainly not swearing off Open racing, that's for sure. I'm simply resetting to aim at a goal that I have a much more realistic chance of reaching in the sort of racing shape I'd like to be in.
So here we go - everything is aiming towards the Upperlimb.com Cunningham Classic, a 96km road race from Gatton to Warwick on the 3rd August. It includes a very long climb up the Main Range, which you reach the top of at the 40km-ish mark of the race.
The Cunningham Classic is 12 weeks away (from the start of this week), which is a perfect length of time for a solid build into form. Plenty of time, if I'm consistent, to develop into good racing fitness, plus get lots of time in the hills.
Hopefully the 'stars will align' in terms of work travel commitments and kids' sport, and I'll have no dramas reaching the start line that weekend. Even if it ends up being logistically problematic though, the solid 12 weeks of training will have me in great shape for the back half of the year.
I'm actually feeling excited at the prospect of doing this iconic Queensland race for the first time. This will be the 31st running of this race, and with some luck and dedication I can't wait to be there in Gatton for the start.