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Where did the passion go?

Old 06-03-08, 07:05 AM
  #1  
MDcatV
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Where did the passion go?

I'm not going to use that acronym that CSC uses, it's overplayed. But it's applicable to me right now. I'm not feeling the love for riding, training, or racing.

The past 2 seasons have been tough on my mediocre racing career: last year, I was a new dad, baby had some medical problems, left me fitting in training wherever I could and racing without alot of form. This year, started promising, then my wife's job got very demanding leaving me fitting in training whenever I could, and then lady luck started dealing against me. I've had crashes, mechanicals, races cancelled due to lightning, and my bike just doesnt feel right to me. I've raced all of 8 times this year, and havent finished my last 3 for the above-mentioned reasons. None of my crashes have been bad like those others have endured or are recovering from, but they're sticking with me and making me tentative. Being tentative makes me ride squirelly, which of course would lead to more pavement surfing.

Usually, I'm the energizer bunny about training and racing, love it, and ride confidently. But right now, I'm frustrated and not getting along with bicycling very well ... blathering on BF is cheaper than a shrink and prozac. Maybe I should just buy a new bike, or HTF*
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Old 06-03-08, 07:19 AM
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Why did you start riding in the first place? Why did you start racing? Serious questions here. Sometimes when we lose passion for something, whether it be a job, a hobby, or a loved one, it's helpful to meditate on the origins of the missing feelings.
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Old 06-03-08, 07:26 AM
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That's how I fell out of racing for 12 years. I don't regret missing those seasons at all. I needed the time away. I just did odd events, like 2-man TTTs, and the occasional Cat 5 circuit race. I coached, mentored, and took on new hobbies.

I've been back racing for a year now, and I'm really enjoying myself. I'm keeping the calendar really light though. I don't think I'll hit 10 races this year. No leg shaving, no TT bike, etc...

It sounds like you either need to try something different on the bike, or maybe a different bike (MTB), or just get some time off and let it go for a while. It's probably only taken me 18 months to go from Cat 5 fitness to beating 2s in races, so it will come back, and the rise through fitness is fun.
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Old 06-03-08, 07:31 AM
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Passion schmassion. Just go out and drope the friggin hamer.
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Old 06-03-08, 07:43 AM
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i dont know if its the same for you but for me when I start having these problems its usually because my routine has been broken more than anything.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:02 AM
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i'm with you. though i still ride between 250 and 400 a week i have only done a few races this year. i think part of it, for me, is that i really don't want to ever be a 2 so there's no real drive to go out and try to get an upgrade. i'm looking forward to track championships in august and cyclocross season starting shortly thereafter. i've been riding my track bike alot as well as my old steel battaglin... the "race" bike isn't even built up right now and that's fine with me.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:03 AM
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jeez, 250 to 400 miles a week? insane... i can only dream of that kind of mileage!
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Old 06-03-08, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
jeez, 250 to 400 miles a week? insane... i can only dream of that kind of mileage!
I was 250-400 miles weekly for the past two seasons, tapered down to 220-280 weekly these days. Can't race on 250+ miles per week, not enough rest days.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:09 AM
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I think this sport is mentally about as hard as any out there. I've done 40+ races this year counting track stuff and I can tell I'm sliding off the peak in a number of ways. Prior years I would start having DNF's but just kept going at it, I learned last year that a complete break is a good thing.

My suggestion would be to park the bike in the corner, and go live. Do whatever. Eat whatever. Hang with the wife and baby.

At some point you'll hear this little voice..."nice day out...a ride might be fun". Then you'll start riding a little more. Pretty soon on a ride you'll start thinking about some race where things went well and feel the tug. When you find yourself checking the racing schedule you'll know.

And I'd suggest start now. The longer you wait, the longer the burnout lasts.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:14 AM
  #10  
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Around the time I had my first kid (4.5 years ago), I stopped riding for a while. I was never a serious racer, though I did race and officiate, but was pretty dedicated to getting on the bike. Fast forward to last year; I got a new bike on December 30, 2006 as a collective gift from my whole family for finally finishing my Ph.D. (in 2005 -- a little lag on the gift). My youngest was then 1.5, and I got back into riding and rediscovered the love.

The point? You aren't alone. If riding has become a chore, find something else to take up your time. When it is time to get back on the bike, you will know.

And, if all else fails, just get a new a bike and you'll want to ride it again .
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Old 06-03-08, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
jeez, 250 to 400 miles a week? insane... i can only dream of that kind of mileage!
my commute is 50 miles r/t these days so 250 is easy. i've only done 400 a few times and that meant riding 7 days a week... tough for anyone. my GF is training for a hilly century so we've been riding more on the weekends lately so i'm averaging 325 or so last few months.

sorry for the hijack.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:41 AM
  #12  
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Time to read the book:



Don't like that story? Find another that you can relate to.

Yeah, life gets in the way at times, time to re-evaluate, perhaps take some time off.

How long? That's up to you, but you've got good company out there also struggling at times.

Either that or HTFU and get 'er done!
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Old 06-03-08, 10:11 AM
  #13  
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Hey, we all burn out, doesn't matter what we do. It's a very rare % of the population that can simply fixate themselves forever on one thing. In the end, yes, they may become ridiculously successful in that narrow interest; but at the same time, I believe they alienate themselves from others; they become savants, in a way. Especially in cycling, the self-obsession is intense, it's incredible. I've never participated in anything quite like it in that regard.

I would say, don't despair, wh at you're experiencing is not only normal, it is validating your humanity. I'm taking this year off cycling competition altogether, with one or two L3/L4 sessions a week, and the rest exploring other ways to be healthy, gym, yoga, swimming, running, etc. I do miss the intensity of competition, but having taken a year off, I'm reconnecting with old friends, strengthening the bonds with family, and enjoying the rediscovery of old interests.

And, on top of it all, as waterrockets has mentioned, believe it or n ot, sometimes you come back after burnout stronger than you were before, not only because your motivation is increased, but because you've got things in better perspective, and this will make your training more focussed.

Whatever happens, good luck with it. In the end, if you're not having fun, why are you doing it if you're not a pro?
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Old 06-03-08, 10:35 AM
  #14  
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Oh, it's in my pants. Sorry about that.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:53 AM
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I can relate, 8 month old at home, she's been sick for a 3 months and finally getting better, demanding 5yo at home too. My season has been disappointing, I had 1 good finish, 2 mechanicals including one saturday with 100m to go and I was sitting in 4th just ready to sprint, and several bone headed mistakes. I've been feeling really good in my training and training races but like all the Philly teams I blow it when it counts. I'm starting to question if it's worth all the time and dedication. Between work and house chores and training I have little free time. I still have the drive hoping a podium is in the near future.

Take some time off and see if you start missing the bike. Maybe you will rekindle the love of racing and come back strong the 2nd half of the season.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:21 AM
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Stallionforce, a very insightful post. I'm going to reiterate a few of your snippets:

Especially in cycling, the self-obsession is intense, it's incredible. I've never participated in anything quite like it in that regard.

- definitely, I think this borders on the not-normal, and is something I'm constantly aware of.


I would say, don't despair, what you're experiencing is not only normal, it is validating your humanity.

There's a few reasons we ride our bikes so much - health, the joy of intensity, competition, self-motivation, et cetera. These are all great things. However, cycling isn't the only way to accomplish them, so I advocate adding some other things in the mix as well.

-bullseye
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Old 06-03-08, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
Oh, it's in my pants. Sorry about that.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:45 AM
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one thing that has worked for me is realizing how much I enjoy riding with the people on the group rides I do. That helped me realize that it wasnt all about the actual races and I got out of my funk.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
Usually, I'm the energizer bunny about training and racing, love it, and ride confidently. But right now, I'm frustrated and not getting along with bicycling very well ... blathering on BF is cheaper than a shrink and prozac. Maybe I should just buy a new bike, or HTF*
I went through the same ordeal. Last season, I put cycling, family, job, in order of importance. Then I got all stressed out because I wan't putting in the miles, no more fun, always stressed out and grumpy, but afterwards, I realized I had the order mixed up. Now, it's family, job, cycling. I realized it was okay to miss a ride or two and enjoy a weekend with my kids. This year is better than last but I've been considering taking next year off from racing. You know you're burned out when the feeling of butterflies in your stomach jbefore a race are gone.

MD, take a step back and regroup. Sounds like you need some time off. Best of luck.
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Old 06-03-08, 01:30 PM
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Hi MD - I don't have much new to add to the thread, but I'll second the posts that suggest a little time off the bike. A family vaction would do wonders if that is possible. Maybe dabble in another sport to stay healthy - paddling, rock climbing, running?
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Old 06-03-08, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
one thing that has worked for me is realizing how much I enjoy riding with the people on the group rides I do. That helped me realize that it wasnt all about the actual races and I got out of my funk.
I've hit a funk because a lot of my usual riding buddies are busier, have busted bikes, are out of town a lot, or whatever. I lack the motivation to trudge up MacArthur or to make myself dizzy at Hains solo most days, particularly now that it's hot out. After a sloth-like week, I will probably force myself out more next week, and then reward that effort with a change of scenery and some fun rides full of self-loathing in Charlottesville.
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Old 06-03-08, 02:54 PM
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Remove bike computer, remove powertap, erase Chipcom and PCAD from your memory. Now go ride the bike and repeat as you feel like it. You can always next season.

Oh and most importantly. check out the ladies on the MUP .
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Old 06-03-08, 03:00 PM
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commence passionating.
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Old 06-03-08, 03:06 PM
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Do you do a regular small group ride that is competitive? For the next couple of rides do the exact opposite of what you normally do. Instead of being the guy that tries to win the sprint, be the guy that leads someone out. Instead of being the guy that attacks, be the guy that brings everyone else up. It is fun to do this and it gives you a deep appreciation for your teammates that do these things for you. Because it is "fresh" it will help work through your current "blahs" and not be a negative on your fitness.
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Old 06-03-08, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post



commence passionating.

This is perfect for my response for the OP...

Yesterday I was scheduled to ride a 20 mile recovery ride... Haven't been feeling it lately, didn't want to ride. But wait, there are other options. What did I do? Put my board shorts on, pulled out my teal beach cruiser and went for a 10 mile cruiser ride along the beach path. Got the blood flowing (I was spinning out all over the place), looked cool, stalked chicks on the beach path, and laughed at the Freds rocking full kit in TT positions on the beach path.

Not sure if you have another bike, mtn. bike, cruiser, townie, but when I mix a ride on one of my other bikes it helps. If you're really burned out, do what Racer Ex suggested.
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