Bad boys bad boys, watcha gonna do when USADA comes for you!
Nevertheless I set up a training plan that was the most regimented I have ever done in 30 years of riding. I had a personal trainer set up fitness plan for me and he devised a specific gym routine for me to follow with periodical assements. He targeted my weaknesses and had a goal of balancing my body out for optimal cycling.
Along with that I put in a large base in the winter months, and kept in some intensity as well. Most of my training was done alone, which is pretty typical if you want to derive the most out of your body. The diet was good and I also got plenty of rest which is ever important at my age. The only thing missing from my plan was a coach and a power meter, which just isn't financially possible for me.
I came into the season with pretty damn good form, probably my best since my younger years. The legs felt good from the Roubaix race all the way through to mid September when the fatigue was starting to set in.
Despite my good form getting on the podium was no easy task, and it seemed that a 3rd place was gonna be a best case result for me. The state race at chestnut was probably the biggest blow to me. I was riding well and could only muster 4th place that day.
Finally at the Reagan TT I managed a 2nd place, only because Suppan had ridden a hard week in the mountains that had obviously left him very tired. Franek still managed to ride away from me that day on a course that totally suits me, and after that I entirely gave up the idea I would ever win a race again.
My legs were really coming into form in August, and at Royalview I probably had me best legs of the year. It was one of those rare days that pedaling just seemed effortless and there is always gas left in the tank. I had a good battle with Lorson but Suppan literally destroyed the field, beating me by nearly 7 minutes.
The Findlay TT came around and was my only win of the year. Its a course that totally suits me, and with Suppan and Franek not racing I knew it was my only chance of the year. This was the last race I had good legs and the rest of the season spiraled downwards.
I launched myself over the bars at Alum creek. And at the last Knob race I crashed during warm up, then crashed really hard on the big jump during the short track. The next days XC was a disaster. I had no legs at all and even though I took off fast it didnt last long at all. After the race when I got home I was unloading bikes into the basement and literally collapsed. I spent about ten minutes on the concrete floor crying. Not really sure why, but I was just physically and emotionally drained. It was a very long season and I had nothing left. I crawled upstairs and got onto the couch. I was shaking unctrollably from head to toe, even though I was covered up with 4 blankets. The family wanted to call 911. Thinking back I might have had some mild hypothermia, but who knows. At that moment I had resigned to never race again.
Some months later as the darkness of last season has worn off, my attitude is changing a bit. The 2014 series is much more shorter, and it seems the emphasis is even more on fun than ever. And as I think back to 2013 it really was a good season for me. Even though the results showed otherwise, I was stronger and faster than I had been in many years. The only real mistake I made was trying to be on form in April for the Roubaix race, which would be why I was totally fried about a month before the season ended.
So who knows at this point, the first race isn't until July so I've still got time to decide. And maybe the environment I live in will get better and there won't be so many T-storms out there.