From time to time a plan comes together and it's a great feeling. Amateur road cycling has become more that just a hobby for me. I've been racing competitively for the past 3 seasons. When I started I had a far reaching goal to move up through the categories and one day make it to the top tier of amateur racing - Category 2. A number of years ago I watched the Gastown Grand Prix road bike race and thought to myself wouldn't it be cool to be there racing...you had to be a minimum Category 2 racer to participate.
Since I tend to be a goal oriented person I decided three years ago that I'd set the goal of racing in the Gastown Grand Prix. I didn't tell anyone at first, as I really wasn't sure if I could get there. The funny thing about setting a goal and having something tangible to shoot for is the focus it gives you. Having something I desired to achieve allowed my to commit to training and putting in the long hours necessary to improve.
For two years I followed my own training plan with some decent success, but the past year after hiring a cycling coach my racing has really taken on new level. I made it to Category 2 not too long ago and will be racing in the Gastown Grand Prix this Wednesday evening, July 9th. Now this race is full of professional road racers and the level will be extremely high. There is a good chance I won't even be able to finish, but who cares. I'm going to line up at the start line and give it everything I've got for as long as I can...
Looking back the things that have helped me the most were having the following:
- Setting a goal, originally seemed only marginally achievable
- Having small goals to reach for along the way: Move up from Category 5, to 4, to 3, finally reaching Cat 2.
- Hiring a coach and being accountable to my weekly training
- Starting a race team (Fulgas) with some like-minded friends made racing and training so much more fun
The hardest part of this process was simply getting started. Once you commit to the path and put the necessary pieces in place (achievable, step wise, accountability to someone other than yourself, fun and rewarding), there really won't be anything that can stop you.