Thursday, February 18, 2010
I've been meaning to post race reports all winter long but just haven't had the time. I'll try to recap them as I find the time since each race has taught me something. My main goals for this year were to feel good and have fun and not worry about how fast I was going. I've been having a great season in stark contrast to last year and have accomplished all those goals. I've felt great, been having a great time, and the less I worry about results they better they are. I think several things have helped me have a better season this year. Last year was a difficult year for me personally and I wasn't sleeping well because I was stressed. I think I just tried to push myself harder than my body could recover properly from with the other stresses and lack of sleep. I just got more and more worn down and felt worse and worse. This year I've managed my stress levels much better and have made sure that I didn't continue to push myself if I was tired or feeling overwhelmed by life. I've really tried to monitor my sleep, which is a good barometer of my stress levels, and take it easy if I needed to. This made my hard workouts more productive and I was able to slowly get stronger and faster. It really drove home that feeling like an easy workout really was easy, too easy even, was a good thing and that allowed hard workouts to feel good too as a result. In essence I relearned to pace my workouts appropriately. I used to be really good at pacing in races and I think I've relearned that as well. I've stopped worrying about how fast my competitors were going and just skied my own race. I can only ski how fast I can ski, so pushing myself too hard to keep up with others is counter-productive. If I can keep up with them I can, and if I can't I can't. It really is that simple. So I've just listened to my body, focused on what I could do that particular day, not worried about what I can't do, and enjoyed being out there. And what a difference it's made.