Year in Review.

This hasn't been the easiest year for me.
I rolled into the riding season carrying more weight than I have in years. I wrecked more than I have in a long, long time, and the consequences have been more severe. I went down four minutes into the Tour of Fairbanks, killing any GC aspirations I may have held at the time. I didn't race as much as I wanted to, and usually when I did race I lacked the fitness or motivation to do anything with the opportunity- I was mentally burned out. I started building towards the Tour of Anchorage, only to break my collarbone in a fall two weeks before the first stage. The last couple months of the Anchorage road riding season I spent on a trainer in the garage, downing pain pills and wincing as the bones ground together. I capped off the season in a part of the country I really dislike.
Then again, I can flip a lot of that. Despite the extra weight, I beat my personal best on Moose Run at the first time trial of the season. I probably would've topped that at later, warmer races. I was on the podium at the Spring Stage Race, a result I likely didn't deserve. After falling during the Fairbanks prologue, I managed to recover enough to win the crit. Just before breaking my collarbone, I was really enjoying riding again and making good fitness gains. Although I'm still not a fan of Biloxi, it did provide the opportunity to extend my road season a couple months and added 3500 miles to my annual total. Sure, I peaked in November and all of that fitness was wasted, but that's better than ending a season with injury and disgust.
If I really want to grade this year, maybe the best way to look at it is how it ended. I'm 15 pounds lighter than I was this time last year, and 10 pounds lighter than I was in Fairbanks. I'm starting to think about short and long-term goals again instead of dreading them. After a couple years of plugging away in hopes that something would turn around, this year was a reboot, and that's probably what I needed most.
I just wish it hadn't involved so much falling down.


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