Monday, July 1, 2019

Halftime 2019

Sunday provided a fitting end to the first half of 2019. I had to be very patient and let the day evolve. Intermittent rain kept me inside until late afternoon, then I went out for 30 solo miles on the road. It proved to be my fastest ride this year, so it looks like my fitness is coming around. Maybe my entire season is coming around, despite a slow start … and despite an overabundance of rain.

In the week that ended on Sunday, I logged 10.5 hours of saddle time and 178 miles on roads and rec trails. Those are my highest totals this year. June was easily my busiest month so far, and my three biggest weeks have come from the last four. Suddenly, instead of being embarrassingly behind last year’s pace, I’m respectably close. My year-to-date mileage total on June 30, 2018, was 2,228. This year it was 1,909, a deficit of 319 miles.

But I never intended 2019 to be as big a year as 2018, and I’m likely to fall farther behind. I had a big July last year: 852 miles. I don’t think I’ll be riding 1,171 miles this July to catch up! The only 1,000-mile month in my career was July 2011, when I rode 1,020 miles and finished the month almost completely burned out. I can’t afford that this year. July should be a big month for sure, but it won’t be purely about the miles. With cyclocross season starting in August instead of the customary September, this July will feature a mix of long endurance rides and shorter, more intense efforts.

And with a modest goal of 3,087 miles for the year—the number I need to reach 70,000 all-time—I don’t need to be a slave to the odometer. Even an average effort in July and August would get me to 3,087 before cyclocross season begins. No, the best number for me to work on is my body weight. Today the scale said 193, down 4 pounds from the beginning of June and 10 pounds from my off-season peak in February. That’s also 3 pounds less than I weighed last year on this date. Getting my weight down even further will be the best preparation for racing. Bring on the intervals!

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