This blog frequently features tips for racers and cyclists that are inspired by my racing and training. I am a cerebral person and tend to focus on facts, figures, and race reports. I’m also an optimist and I think that also shows in my blog. However, a few recent tweets by Joe Friel, and particularly my recent injury, got me thinking about the subject of sacrifice.
Last season I was quite successful and met all my goals. I was also willing to make significant sacrifices.
I trained 8-10 hours per week, and 12-14 hours on a few occasions in the spring. There is a constant effort to find times during the week that I can ride my bike with minimal impact on my family. Since training is a regular occurrence, it has less impact than racing.
I had just over 40 days of racing in 2011! This was a huge time commitment but allowed me to gain a lot of experience. Some races required minimal sacrifice (a small criterium a mile from my house) and others were multi-day stage races and/or out of state.
Also, don’t forget this blog itself. I have written over 100,000 words over two years, which is enough to fill an entire book! Most of my posts take an hour or two to draft, although I usually sneak them in during downtime at work.
My wife will kill me if I itemize everything from this season, but I can give some rough numbers. I skimmed through our 2011 bank statements and here is a quick look:
Training Tires (Specialized Armadillo Elite) x2: $120
Race Tires (Continental Sprinter Tubular) x3: $180
Cyclocross Tires (Dugast Typhoon Tubular) x2: $240
SRAM Red partial group: $600
Odds and ends (Stems, bartape, tubes, chains, etc): $280
Laramie, Wy: $150
Silver City, NM: $800
Boise, ID: $300
Las Vegas, NV: $400
Race Entry estimate: $30 per racing day for 40 races: $1200
I will admit that a portion of these expenses were covered for me through various avenues, but I had to pay for all of these things up front. Not included are 2010′s major expenses, $1600 in wheels, and a top of the line cyclocross bike.
Injury: My broken collarbone has thus far cost me $4000 in insured medical bills (much lower than the $15,000 surgery cost), and six weeks out of work.
I’ve been feeling sheepish about being injured, especially among my healthy colleagues. However, I went to work for a meeting and was surprised at their attitude about it. I was happy to be appreciated for being ‘hard core’ and as my boss put it, “Suffering for my art”.
I don’t mean for this post to be a ‘downer’, but more to detail my specific sacrifices required for a successful season at my level. I am in the early stages of planning for 2012 and I am looking for high level goals, but also choosing goals that are attainable within the level of effort and sacrifice that I am comfortable with for the coming year.