Im learning what a long season really feels like. Since I last checked in, after my National Championships win, I have been through an emotional gammut. I put a lot into that race. More than I could know at the time. I've put a lot into this season... more than I knew I had. There isn't really a soft way the universe teaches these lessons. I learn on the side of the road when I'm dehydrated, hungry, my legs are sore and I can't complete an interval set. I learn this stuff when I'm racing, my legs wont turn over, and my stomach is turning into knots. I learn this stuff when my SRM says I've been on my bike for over 5 hrs, my feet hurt and there are dead bugs stuck in my helmet.I guess I started really training in the middle of January... I think the 72 hrsI took off the bike last week after my Missoula Pro XCT flop is the longest consecutive stint I have had off since then. No wonder I am sitting in this coffee shop wearing recovery tights. Your legs would be tired too. I just wish they made some recovery tights for my head. Its tired too I think.
But there is nothing to get me excited to race bikes again like a good family reunion and some good ol' house hunting. It makes me love the time I get to train and travel...
No, in all seriousness, I loved having the Ettinger Family Reunion here in Bozeman. It was an awesome excuse to sit on the porch in the evening, drink beer, eat good food and laugh. I spent some time looking at dinosaur bones here at the Museum of the Rockies, with my grandparents, aunt and uncle. Although I wasn't riding, I got to point everyone in the right directions, show them why I've chosen to spend some serious time in this town. Its pretty spectacular here when the mountains come out of their snowy fortress. We always have fun, and it was good to spend some more time hanging out with my parents. I'm excited to see them again soon, come Champery.
I was simultaneously trying to track down a place to call home for the next year. I think I've gotten it figured out now... but what a stressful few days. Knowing I need to be out of my current situation this weekend, so I can comfortably pack for the next month of European racing early next week. I got pretty OCD about it at times too, which doesn't help the situation. I stressed over irrelevant details, and almost created a mess for myself. I've checked a lot of little details off my bucket list. Stuff I hadn't gotten to because of days and months of being on the road.
Since most of the above happens via computer, I'll have had a couple solid weeks of hard hard training and good recovery before this final trip. I think, if all the moving goes smoothly this weekend, I should show up in Europe as fast as I've been all season. And its given me some time to rest mentally. To just sit on the back porch, read and recharge the batteries some. That hasn't happened in months. It feels good. I'm excited... and I think I am more ready for these World Cups than I was for the North American races in July. Last year I was cooked by this time, but right now I am fit and ready to do some serious World Cup racing. Ill keep you updated.
Oh and all these photos are from Nationals, courtesy of Daimo and Annette.