It’s pretty easy to find reasons not to do things. If you’ve ever trained for a bike race, century, time trial, triathlon, marathon, 5K, or any other event, you know how easy it is to fill your day with other important things and not have time to train for your event. Sometimes you can get by with experience or settle for less than your best, but even then it is easier to just skip it and think about a different goal.
For me, just racing this year has been a challenge. I had knee surgery at the end of February that did not go as planned and left me off the bike until May. I am still dealing w/ swelling and some unresolved trauma. Living in Minnesota, I hadn’t gotten much structured training in since last fall before my knee injury. With only 6 weeks of riding (not hard training), and only one other race, I was nowhere near my best.
I run my own business, where as usual, the more I work the more I get paid so the incentive is there to stay busy. There is never enough time in the day and providing for my family has definitely become the priority.
I’ve also got a one year old running around. Thor loves to play and doesn’t see much use for sleep. So we’ve both been getting used to our new normal. Spare time isn’t always spent on the bike, it’s spent playing with him and Brooke and finding more creative ways to get some training in. For any parent, you know it’s not a drag having them around, you truly want to spend your free time with them. I’m lucky to ride 8 hours a week, compared to the 15+ many of the other guys in the race regularly ride.
If that wasn’t enough, after the increase in training , and the germ factory that is Thor’s life, I caught a cold a week before the race. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem but of course I couldn’t shake it and by the time the North Star Grand Prix began, I was dealing with a full on sinus infection with bright yellow mucus and little recourse for treatment in time. Antibiotics wouldn’t kill everything in time and I always feel weak on them. Advil Cold and Sinus or any similar product that would help relieve the symptoms is on the anti-doping list of banned products due to the stimulant effects of pseudoephedrine. USADA tested a couple members of our team and a little sinus relief isn’t worth 2 years of not racing!
With all that, starting the 6 stage race might not have been the best idea but after finishing and having one of our most successful as a team, I’m glad I started and helped out as best I can. There is much more fulfillment in helping a teammate achieve success then there even is in doing well yourself. My recommendation for everyone I give advice to is sign up for the event, don’t worry about results, enjoy the experience and challenge yourself. Excuses are just lies we spin so we don’t feel bad for not trying harder!
Written by Jon Toftoy, 35 years old, DL racer. father, husband.