Wednesday, March 19, 2008

sometimes you just have to coast

a number of years ago, my dear friend Teresa Callen, shared some sage advice with me. as two small businesswomen, we were talking about the demands of the business cycle and the need to always be pushing forward or risk falling back. now Teresa has been in business for herself a long time. she's seen ups and downs and in-betweens. and she told me that even though it feels like you're always working hard, sometimes you just have to coast.

how fitting, given I work in the bike industry, no?

I think about that analogy often.

there are times in life when we have to pedal hard and we're huffing and puffing and sweating to make it up that hill.

there are times when we let the group pull us along.

there are times when we get to enjoy a nice tailwind on our own.

and there are times when we can just coast.

the past two months have been trying for me. I've been sick and feel that I've lost fitness. I feel this has compromised my ability to do my job. we've suffered great tragedy in the cycling community, which also made me question my career choice. and I've had some personal challenges to contend with as well.

but rather than stress about all of this, I'm trying to remember Teresa's advice: sometimes you just have to coast.

I'm allowing myself to mentally coast right now -- not to over-think life or love or career.

I hope you can allow yourself to coast when needed from time to time as well.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

that's going to leave a mark

the first mountain bike race of the season is in the books and it wasn't pretty. actually it's the third race in the Central Coast series, but I missed races one and two due to illness (flu and strep throat), so today marked my CCCX debut.

I upgraded to sport this season, after racing beginner for two seasons. those sport girls are fast and they have mad dirt skills (something this roadie can only aspire to). that extra lap was pretty brutal for early-season, but I survived to finish 3rd in my age group and got a pretty medal to add to my collection.

I did some things really well: rode all the sand without touching my brakes (I can be a chicken), my nutrition and hydration were good, my pacing was good, and I smiled when I saw photographers (silly goal, but I'm trying to look happy).

I definitely had a few rookie mistakes: I've only had two rides on my new shifting system and I mis-shifted at the beginning and spun out at about 140rpms as the fast girls left me in their dust -- oops!

and there are lots of lessons learned and things I can improve, but I won't bore the world with them now.

I love mountain bike racing - the atmosphere is so inviting, especially for newbies. as a roadie, I remember saying I would never ride a mountain bike. when I stared riding a mountain bike, I swore it was only to improve my skills for cyclocross. and now, it's one of my favorite things to do. if you haven't tried it, I hope you'll consider getting a little dirty sometime. and if you'd like to race, let me know and I'll help you get started.

btw, our Monday night mountain bike rides begin on March 10th @ Arastradero in Palo Alto. details on the calendar.