There are always set-backs during training. So many things can get in the way and they should. At times family, friends, work, school, illness, or injuries can put a hold on training. When spending as much time training as I do it is a constant juggle.

I have studied the scientific principles of training for quite some time now. The easy part is understanding theories and methods. The hard part is applying it to my own life. Training is more of an art than a science. Every person is different. No two people react the same to a given training regimen.

I get caught up in what my friends are doing much of the time. I love to train with friends. It helps me to motivate and push myself a little harder than if I was solo. So sometimes I may do a little too much since my friends are doing it. I ignore the fact that they are training for something different or that they react differently to training.

This week I think I pushed myself a little past my bodies limits. It started off with a tree getting up close and personal with my shoulder. My friends and I left from Denton on our mountain bikes to ride south towards Lake Grapevine to complete one lap on the Northshore trail and then ride back. The ride south was awesome! We had a nice tailwind that pushed us to my mom’s neighborhood in Highland Village in the same amount of time that it would take to drive there! We all knew that the ride back was going to be brutal, but atleast it would make us stronger.

We arrived at Northshore to take a quick break so that I could eat some skittles, and Lucas (wolf berry) Brusseau could eat some goji (wolf) berries. I made jokes about how Luke turns into a werewolf after eating wolf berries. “That is why you are so fast! It is like that movie where the guy turns into a werewolf and beats everyone in basketball! Except you turn into a gnarly mountain biker!” Well I guess me saying that motivated him, because he took into the trail like a wolf into the night!

We chased him to the best of our abilities through the 12 mile loop. I felt like I was riding better than I had in a long time. Mountain biking always reminds me that I truly enjoy cycling. Sometimes road riding just gets boring. Wolf berry waited for us at a trail crossing. I howled at him as I rolled up to let him know his pack was right behind.

I love riding mountain bike trails with a fast group, because it makes all the people we pass think we are a pro-team. We caught a father and son riding together. The kid could not of been older than 10. He was riding like a beast! It is so cool to see families spending time together on the trail. It is an amazing thing to be able to have fun with your parents doing activities like this. I am blessed to have my mom. When I have kids I will make sure that I spend time playing with them outside.

As we passed the father and son team I miss-judged a turn. The father and son watched me almost eat dirt. Luckily I never actually hit the ground. My wolf pack had gapped me after this little stop so I had to kick it up a gear to try and catch them. The problem was that I had lots of gears to kick up in my legs but no handling skills to accompany the speed. So the father and son got to watch me hit the deck this time. The crash did not hurt so I jumped back on to attempt chasing again. Next thing I know I miss-judged another right hand turn and slammed my shoulder into a tree! It didn’t knock me off my bike. I felt stunned at first with no pain but immediately after followed an intense rush of pain that took the wind out of me. I hopped off my bike and came down to my knees. Jon told me, “Like mother like son! You two love trees don’t you?” My mom face planted into a tree recently in case you were wondering.

After the father and son caught back up and asked if I was alright, I decided to try and keep riding. I don’t think they thought we were a pro-team anymore considering how many times they saw me on the ground! It was very painfull riding out of the trail. Every little bump in the ground killed me.

I decided to get off the trail on to the road so that I could meet my back up with my pack after they got down with the trail. Stopping made the pain worse. I think my adrenaline numbed the pain slightly.

We started the trek back to Denton into a killer head wind. I decided after cringing in pain everytime I tried to put any power into the pedals that I should just go back to my mom’s house. Once I got back we went to the ER to make sure everything was ok. I knew that nothing was broken, but my mom, being a protective mother, wanted to make sure. The X-Rays came back negative. I was diagnosed with an Acute Cervical Strain and Contusion. They put me in a sling and sent me home.

Back to what I originally was talking about. There are always set-backs in training. This time it was an injury. Which probably came at a good time, because I am sick now too. Injured and sick…Hmmmm… If this is my bad injury and illness for the year, then I am lucky.

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