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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Rory Sutherland (Healthnet)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Back with a bang: The Rory Sutherland diary 2008

In his first season on the North American circuit, Rory Sutherland swept up the individual NRC title while helping his Health Net presented by Maxxis squad secure the team prize.

Back for another year in his adopted home of Boulder, Colorado, the Aussie will be looking to add a heap more victories this season - and have a good time doing it. Follow all the ups and downs of Rory and his Health Net team right here on Cyclingnews.


Index to all entries

November 11 , 2008

The Offy is over

So the 'offy' has come and gone. It has swept itself through so quickly that five weeks off felt like one. Even thought it feels like it was too short, five weeks away from any form of exercise is definitely noted. My first few rides have showed heart rates that not only brought tears to my eyes, but also worried me! Your form can just disappear in such a short period of time. I've always been a very strong speaker on recovery and rest, and this is no different. You train and race your body all year long and your body needs complete rest to 'forget' what you have done to it all year. In forgetting all the miles and pain, the body bounces back.

Getting momentum back is something that I have always found tough. The first two to three weeks of riding after a substantial time off is tough. In fact, I think it is the hardest training I do all year. Not necessarily physically, but more mentally. Once these days have gone by, which they have (thank God), it becomes a bit easier. A three-hour ride is no longer such an arduous experience of sweat, pain and discomfort. The motivation has started to trickle back in and it is about time! Another week of feeling useless was going to crack me.

I want to make a quick comment on something. I'm a pretty outspoken person on a lot of subjects, but I try to never talk about other people in a negative way. I read something that disturbed me recently. Someone said, "The harder you train, the better you go." I do not agree with this statement. Everyone is different, and everyone needs different things. One needs to train smarter, not harder. We see this first hand as professionals in this sport. We observe our teammates and training partners. I hope this is not what is being taught to those kids trying to become professional athletes.

So... back to a lighter banter. I'm off to Asheville as we speak for the first mini camp of the 2009 season. Only problem is that it is still 2008! No, really this is a fun and bonding time with some of the teammates. We spend time looking and playing with an amazing array of new products, and generally getting some of the guys (myself included) out of the daily rigors of restarting training. There is nothing better than changing your perspective and surroundings to keep the fire alight.

After the camp it will be back to the Fall/Autumn weather of San Diego. I have to tell you that it doesn't really seem much like 'pre winter' to me. I think someone forgot to tell San Diego that it is meant to get colder. However, I did have to ride with an undershirt the other day. It was a shock to the system after the previous five months of shorts, jerseys, and socks only. I also observed rain the other day. Yes, it rained down here... first time I had seen in rain in this part of the world since I arrived mid-June.

Another thing I've thought about and established has to do with my living situation. Again, this is my own personal feeling and conclusion, and is no way meant to be dictating what is right and wrong. I guess I've been searching for that perfect place to live. Perfect as in training, weather, friends, family, airport ease, etc. Honestly, I don't think it exists. My time in Colorado was great and I miss a lot of the people and the ease of some parts of life. There are good and bad aspects of any place and it comes down to deciding what the best place is for you.

I chose high speed, crowded Southern California for many reasons. I love the good weather. It honestly dictates my mood and my job. I do not enjoy riding on a home trainer, or putting on every piece of clothing I own to go out for a ride. Also, with the Tour of California being the most import race of the season, being in good condition at the first race of the season is important. We shall see, but if you don't try, you don't find out!

I love my life, I love the sport, I love the drama, I love the people, and I love the challenges. That all being said, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't consider myself lucky to be able to live where I want to, do what I want to, and basically be my own boss. The roller coaster will go downward at stages in the next few months, but all in all it is a pretty damn good living!