Week 2 Finished

It could have gone differently Sunday. After a late night getting back from the Utah State game, I slept in until 8am and decided I had to tick off some chaos in both the ski room (the bedroom that, as of yet, no one has claimed and I use to store most of my ski and bike clothing/equipment) and the garage. So unlike I had for most of the week, today's scheduled, two and a half hour aerobic endurance ride would start in the afternoon.

That is always a risky proposition for me. The later in the day I leave the ride, the more I fear I won't get it in. I may get caught up in another project and decide to blow it off. Or I end up having a beer, which almost always leads to me calling it a day. But NO, here I am at 8:45 pm encapsulating my full and complete 2nd week of BaseCamp training after getting on the trainer around 3:00 pm after getting the chaos in order. There is now open space on the floor of the ski room, with some quick rearrangement of my bikes, I now can park the 4Runner in the garage if need be, and my week in TrainingPeaks is all green (meaning that I met my training obligations for the week).

It's a great start to this 16-week program, and I'm hopeful that I'll see the same results I had last year when I did it, but I also have to remember that this will be a different year. Last year I was still operating under a pretty cautious, self-imposed "lockdown" protocol for the winter: very little skiing, no eating out, and no travel out of state. Between February 2020 and March 2021, Lexi and I never left our house. For a childless couple, that's an eternity, but it did afford me the luxury of focusing on my training in the basement.

By contrast, we have been traveling quite frequently (and cautiously) of late. During Thanksgiving week, the week prior to the start of the program, we were in Springdale, UT, outside of Zion National Park. And next week, we'll be traveling to Boise; a city we love and would live in if it weren't for the fact that everyone else seems to want to live there too now. So that means my fidelity to my training schedule will be challenged. Skis will be brought to Boise, but I'm also thinking the gravel bike will come along as well. I may not be able to get the full workout in on Sunday, but I'd like to at least try.

One of the luxuries of this past summer's 4Runner purchase is the ability to travel comfortably with space to stow a bike inside the vehicle. I'd regret not bringing my Checkpoint along on a winter trip, even though it seems irrational; there is a good chance I may not ride at all, especially if the skiing is good up at Bogus Basin.

And this is my strange behavioral quirk that is illuminated by BaseCamp: the most consistent motivator for me is not necessarily weight loss or preparing for another ride in Rebecca's Private Idaho—it's COMPLETION. Checking things off a list, following a task through to the end, completing an assignment, and seeing all my workouts highlighted in green on my TrainingPeaks calendar—that's often the difference between me settling into the saddle for another painfully numb, uneventful, and monotonous virtual ride past animated bears and dinosaurs and me using "I really need to work on my resume and advance my career" as an excuse to avoid riding.

As I type that, it seems really sad. Do I even enjoy what I'm doing? (Oh shit, I just did a rhetorical self question, and I hate that gimmick in my journals. It sounds like manufactured introspection or a script for Sex and the City.) Here's the thing, going through the motions and struggling to maintain interest while I pedal my bike...in my basement... at a heart rate barely above, "Hey, there's just enough yogurt left for my breakfast, all right,"... as I did this morning seems like a piss poor way to spend a Sunday when it very well might have been the first reasonable day for me to go up to Solitude and ski, but I can't get past the fact that cycling has always been there for me. This activity doesn't let me down... EVER! Over the past three years, I have been in a constant state of debate about what skiing means to me. I don't doubt for one second that it has had more influence over my life's trajectory than any other factor than my family, but at the same time, it has become a source of pain and struggle. Cycling, on the other hand, keeps me moving forward. And even though there has been no forward progress in my basement over the past two weeks, I still feel as though I'm progressing.


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