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From the desk of João Correia: 

It starts coming back pretty quickly. A lot of it’s got that Déjà vu quality. That first call with your coach, where you start talking about things like goals, timelines, hours for riding, diet. A few “oh yeah” moments that jog your memory and then take you from thinking about it to actually doing it.

On the one hand, I can’t help thinking, “I’m here again, really?” but at the same time, it makes it easier knowing I’ve done all this before. It won’t be easy, but there’s a comfort in knowing what I’ve signed up for – and having experienced just what’s possible with the right attitude.

Last week, I did my first call with Jim Lehman of Carmichael Training Systems, and it took me back. You forget a lot about training, not necessarily the mechanics of it, but the processes you go through both physically and mentally. When Jim started asking me questions about how much riding could I do, what my days were like, what shape and weight I wanted to get to Donkey Week in. It starts to come back. You can taste it.

Then came the reality check. You realize quickly that you are at the bottom of the mountain and it’s a long way up. That progress is made slowly, day by day, by the choices you make. It doesn’t immediately lead to a noticeable effect, but if you commit to less “Mangia” and “Beve”, more “Bici,” you’ll see results.

A few weeks ago in preparation for #fitbyspring I started to prepare myself. I’m not one of those people who can change overnight. It’s more like a progression.

I first cut out the sugar from my coffee, then the milk. It’s actually better black. Your taste buds change and you can taste the real flavor. I slowly take myself off the bread in the morning, and cut out the snacks. Lunches and dinners become more considered decisions.

The riding starts slowly as well. At first I don’t worry about the hours or doing the workout perfectly. I just need to put my shorts on and get on the bike. Only 45 minutes, when I was supposed to do 90? No problem. Tomorrow I’ll be better. You have to keep going. Everyday making it tighter and cutting things out. That’s my process. Slowly but surely.

It’s been raining a lot here and I don’t ride in the wet anymore. But I know that as I keep going down this road, in a few weeks, that’ll be the next change. Time to put those nice Giordana jackets to the test.