But the story doesn’t end with the title, happily. I actually started three different blog articles yesterday, with various headings, but all equally gloomy. Let me explain. I knew this was going to happen to some degree, but I couldn’t tell when and I couldn’t tell how badly. You might be able to relate, I hope.
Last year I was consumed by one big BHAG (more on this from Rob, who is experiencing the same thing) – Haute Route. All my time training, of course, was devoted to transforming myself into a rider who could get over 20 or so Alpine cols in a week. It worked. Then came the glorious off-season, when nothing mattered and I could eat and drink whatever I wanted. Then came January.
You know January, dear reader. It’s the month where your training program doesn’t have the word ‘maintenance’ in it anymore, no matter how hard you look. January means business. Thing is, I just haven’t had the ‘umph’ this January. Starting the year with a cold, an ear infection and a continuing problem with me knee didn’t help, but it was more in the noggin then the knee, if you follow. There just isn’t much I can do to one-up Haute Route, other than doing two Haute Routes, I guess. I have signed up for the Etape du Tour (profile to the left) this July, it’s true, but this’ll be my 4th go at this event and, although it is still ‘epic’ personified, it doesn’t do it for me like in the ‘old days’ (before 2013).
But, as Rob points out in his article, fear is a great motivator. And I have just now signed up for the Amstel Gold sportive in southeast Holland (the hilly part), after receiving the good news that I won their little lottery. This tough, lumpy event, is only a week after my now-yearly drive down to St. Tropez for the Gran Fondo there. They are April 13th and 19th, respectively, which is only 3 months away. I’m petrified, in a good way.
A bonus of doing a Classics sportive, by the way, is that they are always a day before or after the pro version. Here is a video of last year’s event, if you are also still searching for your 2014 mojo.