Thursday, December 10, 2015

A year in review

It feels like the entire year has flown by in overdrive. As we start closing in on the last few days of 2015, a little reflection is in order.

2015 started in a pretty dark place. I was still in the midst of trying to recover from my OTS, hoping that I would be able to compete again. I knew that my goals for the year would have to be modified and brought back to things more attainable for someone basically starting over. (maybe that's a bit melodramatic and exaggerated, but bear with me) so for starters, just getting some time in the saddle was enough to make me happy.

My first "race" was a small Time Trial. I finished at the bottom of my category, and struggled to stay down in the aero position for even a decent portion of it. Man, to think I used to ride like that for hours, right? Nonetheless, it went about as well as I could hope, and gave me some faith that I was making a move in the right direction.

Hanging out after the return to TTing with my moppy hair

I stayed pretty secluded through the first and middle of the year, logging almost all of my miles on the trainer. It is here that Zwift really saved my sanity. Grinding with people I had never met in real life, even at embarrassingly low watts somehow felt a  little easier than with those who know me.

I went back and forth on whether or not to do a triathlon in 2015. In the end I decided I did not want to miss the West Side YMCA Tri, which I've done every year since starting triathlon. I had been biking an adequate amount at that point and figured the swim and the run were both short enough I could kind of "fake it" through them. It turned out to be a so-so choice... I actually had a better than expected swim considering my 2015 total of yards is, as of Dec. 9th, 200 yards. (All from that race) My run was painful however, and I payed for not running over a couple of miles before race day. For some reason, deep down I had kind of harbored hope that I was somehow going to be "pretty fit" still, despite training logs pointing to the obvious. In the end, I am glad I did it but not overly excited with it.

hoping not to drown

Redoubling my focus on cycling I actually ended up in fair shape by the time the Oak Ridge Velo omnium rolled around. I didn't quite have the motor built to stay with "the move" in the road race and ended up finishing with the pack a couple of minutes down. I managed to reclaim some of my TT'ing ability and finished 3rd, giving me a chance at scoring on the omnium podium. I gambled pretty hard in the crit, hoping that an early attack might give me an edge, or at least break the pack. It didn't and I very nearly payed for the effort when I dropped back and nearly fell off the group. I recovered and managed to put myself in the third spot by the bell lap. An attack by Matt on the last U turn won him the race as he was just stronger than everyone else in the field, but I managed to stay tucked and sprint my way to silver on the final straightaway. 2nd in the State Championship (even Cat5) is not the worst result for a comeback.

Trying to look pro. "trying"

Since then I've been mostly low key. Doing a couple of training rides out in the public again, not quite so embarrassed to show my face. While 2015 was not my ideal year, it has been a year that I feel I have grown considerably as an athlete. I have a much broader scope of things to help grow as an athlete in the future. I am excited for what next year holds. I plan to be a faster, stronger and most importantly, healthier athlete in the future.

So that's my little recap of the season. Three whole races. Nonetheless, I'd classify it a success.

Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it!

- Christopher Morelock

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