Comparisonitis - comparing yourself to your (former) self

I don't know about you, but my thoughts on life are that you use it to learn lessons, and build on those lessons to create a bigger, bolder, better self.  Except when life itself gets in the way, and you find that even though you have climbed the ladders in many ways, the snakes pop up without warning, and you seem back at the bottom of the board.

So after spending the better part of a year off the bike, I have been coached by Jess for 7 weeks now.  Of that 7 weeks, I've had a week off for mental health, and a week off being sick.  I've ridden my bike 27 times, for a total of 434.6kms.  That's an average of 5 rides per week.  And don't get me wrong, I'm feeling the improvement, I'm getting stronger, a bit faster, and building stamina (and butt robustness!).  But I can't help but compare myself to where I have been in the past.

In 2010 I rode 210kms non stop Around the Bay, as part of my triathlon training.  

In 2012 I rode 1,230m of ascent over 40kms up Mt Buffalo.  

And in 2015 I rode nearly 5,000kms in 4 months, with over 45,000m of ascent, most of it off-road, on a fully loaded touring bike.

Today I struggled to get 30km with 500m of ascent at the You Yangs,  my local MTB park, when my training plan actually said 50kms and 1,000m of ascent. What the actual fuck!  I should be doing this shit in my sleep.  But instead, I'm battling to turn the pedals like someone who has never been on the bike before.

This time last year I could ride almost all the way up vomit hill.  Today I made it a quarter before the legs (or head!??) gave up.  This time last year I could run a couple of kms (rather badly), today I got excited cause my ankle let me run 10 metres.  This time last year I did Epic at Mt Buller, and right now I'm crapping myself about being able to do it when I'm up there in a few weeks.  And this time last year I had a single chin, today it seems to have multiplied!  Arrrgh!

Right, refocus Richelle.  Its so easy to focus on the failures, the "I was so much better back then's".  So, SO easy.

But this time last year I was working in a corporate job that sapped my soul.  Today I'm working for myself, taking women hiking, on my own terms.  This time last year I was in a relationship that I now know wasn't working, and today I am accountable only to myself.  This time last year I had a shitty relationship with food, today I eat what I need, without the mental war that has been waged since I was a teenager.  

So I might not be able to run right now, and I might be a long long way from where I have been, and want to be on the bike, but hey, I'm a helluva lot closer than 7 weeks ago.  I must remind myself of that, so hopefully this little ranty mcrant will do that!

And as Jess continuously repeats...its the 1% improvements that count, and I just need to trust the process, and work on my patience!!

The rollercoaster of the first week

So its begun....more training that I have done since my triathlon days probably over 8 years ago!  Its been fun, and painful, and oddly satisfying.  I'm 4 days in, 4 days of riding, body weight excercises, and PLENTY of stretching.  I won't deny that Im looking forward to tomorrow's day off the bike though, im a tad tired!

These are the actual messages I left for my coach, Jess after each session..

"DAY 1 - 1hr Change of Pace Session.  Got lost, couple of map check stops, havent set my HR up yet.  Learnt that riding the MTB on the bitumen is painful, both in ride and on the butt.  Wore old shoes, hot spots on balls of feet.  Legs felt good, capable."

"DAY 2 - 30min time trial.  Should have done it when I was up at 7 instead of going back to bed till 9 and doing it in the heat!  HR sensor needs new battery, but I feel like I'm working at 80% of my legs, not my heart.  Heart could work harder, legs not so much.  Good sweat session, off to pool to cool off!"

"Day 3 - 60min Endurance.  Holy shitballs!  Best ride ever!  Or best ever I can remember!  Went MTB with mate at youies kurrajong.  Wasfeeling v flat before I started (prob due to shit nutrition today) and Ended up on trails I've not done before.  Amazing!!  So fast, so flowy, and throwing in the 6 test spots made it even faster and more fun!  Absolutely buzzing.  Legs are pretty tired now though, and that ride plus an easy hike afterwards has made the ankle pretty unhappy.  At one point I yelled at the top of my lungs "this is living"!! u realise I had fun?  Body Weight excercises.  Did 2 reps again.  Replaced lunges with more squats.  Did bicycle sit-ups properly this time.  This tiny amount of body weight excercises makes me wanna puke!  Think I need to get these and the stretches done first up in the morning, gets them outta way, no excuses and no food in ma belly."

"Day 4 - Hour of Power.  Arrrgh.  Must learn to like discomfort.  This was just uncomfortable keeping at that level +  wind.  It's this kind of riding that makes me want to cry, it gets me emotional.  Combo of 1. This is uncomfortable 2. God I need to keep this up for a long time and 3. I have the tools to feel different about it, but bugger it in just gonna wallow!   So yeah didn't like it much, though a tailwind for part of wY home changed my mood a bit (tho I was fatigued and slower, but that comes with pacing experience I reckon).  After ride feeling...buggered and starving.  Not sure bout awesome, but hey the instructions say awesome, so I'm awesome!  Stretch felt good though."

Dont worry Im not going to just post reports on my training, thats boring...but I would like to read this myself when I'm a gun and I look back to where I started!