Coreen Mazzocchi: It’s a learning process

It’s been difficult for me to write this month’s blog. In fact I’m a month late in submitting it. At this point in the year I’d hoped to be steadily increasing my hours on the bike in preparation for Tuscany Trail at the end of May. Instead some now persistent knee pain is making it hard to put together long back-to-back days on the bike. 

So while I sit here stuck in off-bike maintenance mode for a while, I’ll share a small but meaningful moment from February. 

At the beginning of the month I’d had a week or so of feeling quite low on energy, struggling through my training rides, and seeing moderately lower than average glucose levels during the day. Instead of stubbornly trying to push myself through feeling bad, I finally paused to really listen to what my body was telling me. I completely backed off any intensity and didn’t worry about hitting training targets. I stopped fighting against my own body and let myself recover.

To quote David Lipman from Supersapiens who has given us so much valuable insight in our Performance Project chat group:

“Remember a few things: 

  • Most of us get paid to work not train (unfortunately) 
  • Stress is from all things not just training 
  • We need to respect recovery in order to get better”

Really listening to my body is possibly the most necessary thing to learn about being a 50 year old woman trying to still be an athlete. I finally understand not to push my body when it absolutely does not want to be pushed. Relaxing with this realisation and being kind to myself about it was also a new thing. I’m not the best at being kind to myself, but it’s clear that piling extra stress on your mental self doesn’t help your physical self one bit. 

Of course the great thing about Supersapiens is actually seeing these periodic dips in my average glucose and noticing if they become an extended pattern. Now I know when I need to back off and chill. 

Just as I was just starting to come out of this little slump and get back to some longer rides, my knee issues crept up. It’s been hard recently to reconcile that I’m part of a performance project but currently not able to actually perform.. but it’s all part of the larger process and continued progress. Everything is a learning opportunity, especially the low moments. 

Thanks for reading


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