Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blah, blah, blah

I feel like I've been talking to much about getting back into race fitness and not doing enough about it this Spring/Summer. As such I'll keep this post short and to the point so I can prepare for tonight's training session at Anne Springs - it's gonna be a beast! I finally have the itch and have started scratching it by signing up for races and training. I'm going to do a couple xc (meaning shorter distances = roughly 14-18 miles) races in July - first one is next week on July 4th at Anne Springs. The series usually has really good turnouts with a lot of racers.

After a few of the shorter races I'll be looking to do the 50 miler at Uwharrie. It fits right in with my training, which is directed to get me in peak fitness for the 6 Hour Grind race in early October. I have no illusions of winning my class in the Grind as I go up against some monsters. Speaking of monsters, I'll also be doing the Pisgah Monster Cross in September.

Just like the Uwharrie race, it fits in nicely with my training plan to get ready for the Grind. The Monster Cross is 70 miles on gravel and paved roads in Brevard/Asheville with some riding along the blue ridge. Most of the studs will be on cross bikes(road bikes with skinny knobby tires), but I'll be riding my Niner Air 9 carbon mountain bike. Yeah, I'll be at a disadvantage, but the purpose is to get the time in on the bike and have fun doing it - not to challenge for the win. I think this will serve all of those purposes. In October comes the Grind - 6 hours of racing and probably 63 or so miles on technical mountain bike trails. I'm hoping for a top 5 at the Grind. It would be nice if I could scare the leaders for a while too!!!

After the Grind I'll take a week off with no riding. Following that I'll do all speed work to prepare for the Warrior Creek point to point race and then the Swank 65k in Pisgah. I'm setting a goal of podium for the Warrior Creek race and top 5 for the Swank. More on those as the time gets closer. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Worm has begun turning

So I've been very non-committal as it relates to racing my bike this season. With my bad luck over the last year I just haven't gotten my body back in shape enough to handle racing, both mentally and physically. I trained pretty hard in April, but then let things slide in May. I kept riding the bike, but didn't have any structure and certainly didn't ride hard at all. Somewhere along the way my motivation faded too.

I stuck my butt in my whitewater kayak more instead. Which is great - I love paddling and I'm gonna keep doing it quite often as long as my body allows it. Seems my lower back at my "advanced" age doesn't really like the kayaking though. Even with all the strength/core work, yoga, biking, stretching, and prescription medicine I still have to deal with moderate to advanced pain everyday. Oh well, welcome to getting old - won't stop me, might slow me down a little, but not much.

I have finally gotten the itch to get back to racing, which means back to training as well. This is great news as the training is what keeps me managing my weight. When I'm training, I'm also watching what I eat. The added exercise helps too, but I've learned that it's 80% diet. Heck, in May I decided that I wasn't going to worry about what I would eat - 8 pounds later here I am. So the long and short of my return to racing is this: I have decided to race at the Tree Shaker race in 3 weeks. It's a four hour race, and I'll probably do between 36-45 miles on my mountain bike depending on how fast I'm going. My guess is 36 miles as I'm just not gonna be in top shape in only 3 weeks from now. In this race you do as many 9 mile laps on a fairly technical course as you can in 4 hours. At least it's on a course that I ride all the time - I know every single root, rock, and line around that course. You can check out the race flyer here:

So we'll see how it goes. I don't expect to be on any podiums at this race, but I gotta start somehwere. My hope is that by the Fall this year I'll be in good shape and flying - I can worry about podium finishes then.