Time for some musings:
It's a huge challenge to balance a "real job" and professional level racing. I work as a high school educator, so I can't just call in sick on days I need to get in a long ride or leave early for a race. Often it means my preparation is less that ideal. Most importantly, I think, is that it sometimes makes recovery hard. I teach outside; we're always moving i.e not resting or recovering.
Part of my hope with this blog is to articulate my fumbling attempts to balance these two parts of my life. How do they compliment each other? Because in reality they have to. It's not totally clear how many mountain bike pros make a living by racing their bikes in the US. Suffice it to say it's not many. A dozen maybe? Less? For the rest of us, there is a balance to be had somewhere.
This week, it worked out just fine. It's definitely time to start the long process of working towards race fitness once again. But, I live in Vermont and it's snowy. So I'm skiing - which is a great sport and a good workout. What makes it better from a training standpoint? A little competition. This week my competition was the sunset. Powder showed up in Vermont, literally 18-24 inches worth in a two day period. We don't get this kind of snow too often, so I've been super motivated to get out and sneak some turns in. The only problem is that it gets dark at 4:30, I have to work until close to that, and the lack of a base (and therefor the abundance of rocks) makes skiing by headlamp sketchy. So it's been a good game. Sneak out of work as early as I can, and sprint up the mountain to try to get some descent turns in before dark. I've been cutting it close but it's been working out, and I'm breathing hard doing something that doesn't feel like training.
So, for one week at least, work and training are complimenting themselves quite nicely.