Goal setting, training plans and accepting failure

This month I set a goal to complete the Rapha Festive 500 again (ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve). I didn’t make it public, it was just for me. With guests staying over the Christmas break and three days at work I knew even with perfect weather it would be a tight squeeze.

But I had a solid, well thought out plan. My rides were all laid out in a spreadsheet. With commitments it left very little wiggle room, but it was perfect. Some cracking weekend rides along the coast while the guests were resting, then up early on working days to ride loops of the track, racking up the k’s just that little bit faster.

I was doing well too. All on target. Then came Wednesday morning. I was totally on it. I’d clocked up 60km before 8am and was on the home stretch back to the office when my progress came to a sudden and abrupt halt. An inattentive tourist in a hire car swung across my path.

The dreaded motorist left hook! With hardly a second to react I hit the brakes and swerved. Luckily I managed to avoid contact with the car – missing the rear bumper by inches – but I went over the bars in the process hitting the deck hard. Concrete hurts. Nothing broken thankfully, but my ageing body is a little worse for wear!

I managed to ride (a painful and very stubborn) thirty the following day just to test myself out. It wasn’t good. I’ve now accepted the fact I will not be completing the Festive 500 this time around. It’s been a tough realisation. I hate not finishing what I start, especially on the bike. My plan was perfect, dammit! Sometimes these things are just out of your control.

Best laid plans and all that.

In my mind I’m still heading out for a furious 150km tomorrow morning to get back on track. My body is telling me that’s not going to happen. In fact I’m typing this one handed, the other arm in a sling, yet still thinking of completing that ride!

I say I’m okay with failing, but really I’m seething on the inside…

20 Comments Add yours

  1. bikegoddess says:

    I was going to go for it as well. I planned it out and I was excited. I even scoped out some routes I was excited to try. Then we got snow on Christmas Eve and it stuck around. Lots of snow. I still got out to ride, but just can’t get the miles. I did however get a GPS and I’m loving it. Plus I used the indoor Wahoo/Zwift, so that’s good. Mend up and cheers to 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Going to come back fresh and with a new plan for 2018. I hear you got loads of snow. Great for Christmas, not so good for cycling.


  2. Steve Hellaby says:

    I know the feeling Klem. Been looking forward to getting back on my bike after my hip replacement in November and kicking off Woking CC’s monthly 100k challenge for 2018 with the December ride. I’ve done a couple of short rides recently and have been on Zwift testing myself out and I’m feeling like I might just squeeze a 100k ride in before the end of the month if everything comes together. However the weather has been extremely cold here this week and today it’s raining hard. I know I could ride regardless of the weather but to stand any chance in the circumstances I need a flat 100k route at social pace in good conditions. My best bet will be tomorrow morning (30th) but we have a commitment to see relations later so it’s a tall order.
    Someone asked me why was I doing it? “It’s only a stupid little badge.” It made me think why it was so important to me. It’s not just a badge, it’s what it represents and it might take a bit of determination to achieve it. However realistically I am staring at the prospect of not being able to complete the first of the 12 monthly rides. If I can’t the disappointment will stay with me for the rest of the year. The spirit is willing but the flesh?
    Hope you feel better very soon Klem and good luck.


    1. Thanks Steve. Wise words as always. An extra day and I’m much more relaxed about it now. Spent today tinkering with the bikes and generally just relaxing. I’m cool with it all. I know I could have ridden it, but my body would have been in all kinds of pain during and especially after. No point in that, I ride for enjoyment. My next ride now will be New Years Day. Cheers!


  3. what a bummer. I hope you heal quickly. I haven’t been able to complete 4000miles this year due to my clavicle break and a bladder infection that took weeks to heal. I look on the positive though. I have managed about 3200miles so its all good. look at what you have achieved. I can understand how you feel about the motorist. have a prosperous new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Gonna have a few good days of rest now! :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bgddyjim says:

    That sucks, brother. You’re a lot younger than me and I’d put it down to next year. Better to recover properly than push it and make the injury worse.


    1. Yeah and I certainly don’t recover quite as quickly as I used to! Gonna spend the long weekend relaxing and recovering, plus tinkering with the bikes. Need to plan a few things for 2018 too!


      1. bgddyjim says:

        I’ve been tinkering with mine and the wife’s too. Of course, with our weather, it’s nice to monkey around with the bikes and stay out of the cold!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reminder that we are not always the masters of our destiny. Glad you missed the bumper as hitting the car would have kept you off the roads a lot longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not to mention all the extra paperwork! ;-)


  6. abetterman21 says:

    Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thecheekycyclist says:

    Oh what a drag! I’m so glad it didn’t turn out worse, and good to take a little time to recover. Hope it’s quick and you’re back at it as soon as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Was very lucky. Hand/wrist is still pretty sore but I’m unbroken and in once piece so that’s all that matters!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. alchemyrider says:

    That is a bummer. I hope your hand and wrist heal fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m back riding, but the wrists are still pretty sore and can only take an hour or so at a time (and gotta avoid any big shocks).


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