Way back in September I completed my last race, and my 2014 season was a wrap. Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my previous season and to be quite honest, I consider it a complete failure. Looking at the results, I wasn’t even hitting top marks in expert class, let alone pro. All season I felt over trained, overweight and just plain out of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun, but my goals were not even close to being achieved.
It Ain’t Over
With my first child due in January and a season that was A COMPLETE FAILURE (yep, I said it again), it would be really easy to just walk away and be done with racing. For a couple of milliseconds I considered it, but then I remembered just how hard I have worked to get to this point. Anyway, what example would I be leading to my newborn son if I just quit when things didn’t pan out exactly how I wanted the first time around.
Albert Einstein was often quoted saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Therefore, after of a season of disaster, some big changes needed to happen.
First thing that had to go was my diet. My good friend and mentor, Wes Felteau, helped me discovery how badly I was doing things wrong in my diet. Quite frankly, being a vegetarian was just stupid. I’m not saying it’s stupid for everybody since we all react differently to diets, but it was the wrong diet for me. I was consuming way too much sugar and carbs from all the fruit, and not enough protein to every recovery properly. Even with all the nuts, greek yogurt, beans, and being conscious of protein intact it wasn’t enough. The solution? I went from vegetarian to a mass murderer! First to go was high sugar content fruits, and to only eat one portion of fruit a day. Next was increasing the protein by eating a diet mainly of animal protein, and getting rid of beans. I mostly eat chicken, eggs, and fish. I also continue to eat nuts; mostly almonds. High sugar content veggies like carrots took a hike too. Now I eat mostly broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach. For all of you that just went “Uh huh! Paleo!”; not quite. I eat dairy every day. Carbs aren’t completely out of the picture, but are reserved for only when I truly need them for hard training/racing efforts. Oh, and I also upped my butter content…. Mmmm, butter. After switching to this diet cold turkey (which I now eat) a month ago, I’m at my proposed race weight of last year (which I never met last year by the way) and am still losing. My body is also a lot happier with me. I’ll spare you the details, but you know what I mean (hint: grumbles in the tum tum). The best part is I’ve been off the bike and not exercising this whole time, and still losing weight. Pretty sure this is going to work A LOT better for 2015. Oh, and if this is the 100th time you’ve read about my dieting habits from the beginning of this blog, I hope this will be the last time I write about it as well.
Recover, Recover, and Recover some more
The second step was to take a nice long break from riding so I could completely recharge my battery. I hadn’t done this in two years. I took a month off the bike and focused my energy on remodeling a bathroom. Okay, maybe remodeling a bathroom isn't the best way to recover, but even pro mountain bikers have to deal with real life sometimes. With a baby on the way, and no bathtub in our upstairs bathroom, I did what needed to be done. I am taking an additional couple of days off after the project is done to “truly” recover.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize
I competed in several enduro races last year. As fun as they were, I feel they are just too much of a distraction to my primary goal of being the fastest endurance racer I can be. For 2015, no more enduro races. Okay, maybe one, but that’s it!
I considered competing in all 100 milers for next year to change things up, but with a newborn coming and most of the races out of state, reality finally kicked in. I will continue with the same training plan that has shown yearly improvements for me with the exception of last year. With the help of my mentor, Wes, I will now have an extra voice of reason to help me make decisions about training and recovery that's a little more unbias. Between changing my diet and taking time to recover, I’m confident I got this nipped in the bud. Only time will tell though. One thing I can guarantee is if it doesn’t work, I’ll keep on working to find what will be a success. There is no such thing as quitting to me. I will have one more huge advantage on my side for 2015. My new 2015 Scott Spark 900 Premium. My carbon baby is due about a month later then my human baby which is January 9th. Can't wait for both! Happy trails!