Back in the Saddle

For those of you who know me well and have known me for years you have seen that the past several years I have not been very driven to train or race my bike.  After Race Across America in 2012 we celebrated the birth of our second child Grayson which added quite a bit to our plate and then 11 months later he was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Talk about a tailspin…

With all of this going on I lost my enjoyment in riding. It became a chore and something I had to do.  In November my wife asked me to run the Tallahassee Half Marathon as a Brady_Irwin_running_cycling_triathlon_coachfundraiser for The Hang Tough Foundation. With some hesitation, it had been 12 years since I had seriously run, I got back into a bit of a training routine. I struggled with stupidity (ran at night without my headlamp and severely rolled my ankle) but the more I ran the more I fell in love with it again. The ability to push the pace came back the mental focus came back and I found a bit of a routine.

Day of race was no different. The gun sounding and off we went.  The adrenaline rush was back and come mile 10 going uphill the intense burn set into my legs and my mind shifted back to that driven state. I WAS BACK!  At the finish line I had turned out a 1:33.08, what I would consider a respectable time, especially for my first half marathon!

Since then, I have made the time to get back on the bike, test out my legs, and realize I am not in bike shape right now. 4x10min Threshold Intervals have been the norm for the past several weeks and the legs are slowing making their way back under me. I am by no means back to where I was for RAAM 4 years ago, in fact I am down about 20% at threshold but I do know from my personal experiences and working with many athletes that this will come back quickly to a respectable level and then it will be the fine tuning to get it up to full speed.