Upon reflection, if I were to be honest with myself, I would say that 2012 was less than ideal from a program and training standpoint.
From the injury I sustained in June, then the multiple colds/virus that hit one after another, I found my motivation and drive lacking. The result was probably an 8 lb winter/holiday increase from my low, and likely one of the largest threats to my progress, to date.
I've been mulling over what to do, this year, and the thought process went like this.
Will likely do the metric century I've done for the past couple of years, just because it supports our local cycling advocacy organization and it's fun, but it's not a major challenge that can motivate me to train hard.
I may shoot for my first century, but to be honest, it doesn't seem ambitious enough because it's only 30 or so more miles than my long ride.
I found myself watching this:
The Dirty Dozen is around a 60 mile ride, that said, it seems like a challenge. I'm reflecting on it, and I think that fear and apprehension is an element and motivating factor that I can harness to train hard. I have to have at least a slight fear that I may not be able to accomplish my goal without putting in the training. This event has that element, not sure that I can complete it.
Still in the consideration stage of planning, but I'm thinking that I'd like to attempt it with the urban utility bike with the mountain gearing. I just received a cyclocross rig, but want to get the miles in on it to "learn" it, prior to attempting something serious on that specific ride.
Over the weekend, the DW and I took the boys to a multi-week fitness program at a local university. They get swim instruction for an hour and an hour of fitness/sports instruction. An interesting element is that for interested parents, they also provide a fitness test and training sessions in the fitness center. We were all over that.
They measured us using a Tanita Body Composition Analyzer (TBF-300A) and I have to say, it was a good wake up call to see what it measured my body fat at (about 4% pts off of my caliper measurements) and a general test. Gave me an idea of what I'd have to do to at least have the possibility of finishing the Dirty Dozen.
After the test, I weight trained, which was a good thing because I've been woefully lax in my strength training element of my program, of late. I'm looking forward to getting to work out there and add a bit of novelty to what admittedly has been a program that's ossified a bit. This should be a good opportunity to shake things up.
Hope that you're finding great new elements to add to your program so that you can see the progress you desire!
Read about athlete Mohamed Lahna in Men's Health. This guy does tris, mountain bikes, and swam across the Gibraltar Strait. Did I mention that he competes with the aid of a running prosthesis? Won't take no for an answer.
A very good opportunity for me to ask myself, "So, what's your excuse?"
Don't let your challenges limit your will to pursue and achieve great things!