I want to post each day while I’m riding in France and I thought my first one would be an unsolicited gloat of the majesty, beauty, history and mystique of our location and our legendary rides. I mean we are staying but ~2km from Alpe d’Huez. And this is our view!
Make no mistake, today was fantastic. We did 7400 feet of climbing, some gnarly descents, a few tunnels so black I could not even see Jimmy two feet in front of me, and even some gravel road. Today was an easy day. And I loved every second, although I spent the majority of the time pinching myself because I still can’t believe that I’m here.
But I, hands down, probably learned some of my biggest lessons in training today. Most of you that visit my blog know that I am coached by Jimmy Riccitello. Jimmy is located in Tucson, so we only see each other once or twice a year and rarely do we actually get to train together. So aside from the fact that I’m in France, well, I get to ride with my coach. He sees and learns a lot about my style of riding (for better or for worse) and it didn’t take long down the first descent (Alpe d’Huez) for him to show me a few invaluable tips. My descending improved drastically in the span of one day. But more than that, the first climb may as well have had 200 desks in a rising half-circle because that hill was just one big lecture hall. He’s not stern with me often. He doesn’t have to be. I don’t always fill out my log perfectly but he knows that I’m doing the work and following directions (for the most part). We are lucky that we’ve been working together long enough that he just sort of knows me. But this particular lecture (which admittedly resurfaced later in a more heated fashion) turned Jenny, a normally nonplussed cyclist (note I said cyclist, not person) into an absolute pissy pants. And poor Jimmy had an eye opening experience. The lecture in four words or less? SLOW THE FRICK DOWN. Seemingly simple advice and advice I am constantly giving my own athletes. But I have large quantities of ego on the bike and the demons came out swinging. He’s right and I know it. I destroy every long distance triathlon run simply because I go too hard on the bike…at some point during the race. I may have to write this on the blackboard over and over and over … and over.
Its obvious this has made a huge impression on me when I choose to write about it rather than the details of glorious France. But despite the ego, the other things I am are: smart, attentive and determined.
This is why we hire coaches. Thanks Jimmy.