I’ve always been a girl with routine. Branching out wasn’t really my thing. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for lunch from 1st grade through my senior year. Subway order used to be 6″ ham and cheese on white, nothing else on it. I got really good at going down and back in a pool for countless hours. But they weren’t countless to me. I’d count every lap and make sure I was hitting the wall at the time I was supposed to and leaving on the proper interval. I used to live by the ROYGBIV organizational method {rainbow order}. Okay, I still do. I followed my first Ironman training plan/coach to a T, missing maybe 3 workouts in the 6 months leading up to the race. But since then, things have gone a little less orderly. Maybe because I married a {VERY} disorganized {artistically minded} man {whom I love dearly}, maybe because I moved to So Cal and learned to branch out a bit {I’m a much more adventurous eater}, and maybe my mind needed the freedom from structure.

Alas, life is cyclical, especially life with a bike. This season my goal is consistency. To follow the plan. To adapt to situations, plan for changes, but keep a central path that helps me stay on track. And yeah it’s only mid-February, but I feel like I’m creating a routine that is sustainable. I’m not hunting for big miles, and then taking long breaks. I’m trying not to blow up my legs on any workout (unless the plan calls for that), so I can wake up and do the next.

I’ve never really given road cycling a fair chance. I’ve always just shown up and raced. Preparation has varied from my first crit which was 1 week post-Ironman, to midweek Palomar/GWL rides before big events, to traveling across the country and showing up hoping my legs remember how to race. I’ve never had a coach or a plan. And with the little success I’ve been able to achieve, I’m proud of that.

But this year I want to take it up a notch. I want to be able to contend in a P/1/2 race. I want to be able to do more than just sit in and pray that I hang on until the end. I know it won’t come easy, and I know there will be a lot of learning along the way, but I’m stoked for the plan in place. I know for me, consistency is key. It’s not about the instant results, but the ones that come with time on the bike. Miles in the legs. Week after week.

And so far, I have the most miles YTD than I’ve had since I started riding. That’s including my time Ironman training in sunny San Diego. {Well that winter wasn’t so sunny, but it wasn’t Chicago!} I’m not sick of the trainer yet, and we can thank global warming, new {much warmer} cycling clothing, and my ride partners for getting me outside! {Let’s not forget my two trips back west, where I racked up some miles.} And beyond Garmin/ Strava/ TrainingPeaks I’ve started to journal and I’m enjoying the process! It isn’t just about the mileage and the “cups,” but how I’m feeling, mentally and physically.


I’m excited. I have a renewed energy for riding. And although I still have a bit to go, I’m eager to test my legs {and mind} in a race soon. Because what else would I be doing this training for?!

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