This really is a great topic for all of us to keep in mind at all times. Some of you have heard me say it before, but there is one area that I am very, very concerned about with my own training, and at this point I don't really know what to do besides doing my best to be aware of my surroundings, wear bright colors, and anticipate bad things so that I can act. Let me explain...<br><br>
Toward the end of last season, as I was approaching my second A-race of the year in Clearwater, a race where I rose the bar for myself and would accept nothing less than giving it all with every fiber of my soul, I noticed right away an increased danger in my bike training. I had gotten myself pretty fast compared to where I was a year earlier, and I was noticing things I never did before, like more wind in the face, as if every ride was a windy ride (of course, stoopid, it's because you're now going faster!), and not only that but I also noticed that as I pushed harder and harder on the bike, the number of close calls went up exponentially. No kidding. And it's all because I was much faster than I had been used to. Whereas before I cruised at top speed doing, maybe, 20 mph through intersections, I was hauling ass at 24 to 26, and if I was on a downhill, even a slight one, those speeds were up closer to or even above 30. I wasn't used to the speed. I had stretches of roadway where I'd rally up the hammer meter and fly down a 2-4 mile stretch doing no less than 25 mph.<br><br>
Not only was I not used to the new speed and was coming close to near accidents much more often, but I was also now even more focused in my training and motivated to get even faster. I would push myself extremely hard on these rides; you may remember them. I called them my Super Secret Clearwater Revival jam sessions. And in each, I found myself often with my head down and me hammering away on yet another interval, all the while I was flying through intersections at speeds even more than I was used to.<br><br>
Speed is relative. What might be fast for me may not be for you. But truth is, I was in so many more near close call accidents with that new speed coupled with the precise focus to hold it all together and do myself proud with a kick ass showing at truly a World Championship event.<br><br>
This year I have something that will take me to the next level. I went to Clearwater and averaged 23.24 mph on the bike leg. That number blows me away. But what I have is confidence that I will get stronger and fast, regardless of what that number is, and so the part that scares me is that I will have to be even more focused to achieve my goals and push myself even harder. And I will. I'll do it all in efforts to grasp the dream. But I will also be putting myself in those same close call situations, and when I get faster, their numbers will increase. I try to pick open roads, even two lane highways, to do my quality hammerfests, as those seem to yeild much fewer close calls. But still, I know it will happen again. And again.<br><br>
I've finally come to realize that with speed comes more wind in your face. Now, after a full season, I am used to always having an unbearable wind in my face. But I am not yet used to all of those near misses. Those are for life. My life. They are scary. But I will live life. And try to stay focused but also acutely aware, and I will also try to anticipate the worst. But lapses occur. That's the part that's scary.