Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Time to Sack Up

It's been over a month since my last race, and I've decided to head to Windham this weekend.

My training and recovery have been going well...sort of.  My form has been good- I set a new PR up Bolton that was 20 seconds faster than by previous best, and I had the rear brake dragging the whole time.

So what's the problem?  In the meaningless midweek training races I haven't had a good day out in a month.  Part of that is by design to prepare for and recover from Pat's Peak, but some of that is attributed to weather and laziness.

Last week I crashed hard on a slick downhill corner in my warmup, and it shook my confidence enough for me to be completely skittish on all of the wet, grassy turns on the course...which is basically the whole course.  This week I did the App Gap/Bolton double on Monday and was still in recovering on Wednesday.  The weather also sucked, and I didn't get a good start or a good warmup, so when I got tailed off the group at the top of the first climb I decided to pull the plug.

Last night I went with the shop ride and set the pace on the climbs (I know, I never thought I'd say that either) but a mechanical problem forced me to walk out of the woods for the second ride in a row.  I never got to test myself, and my real goal was to rediscover my technical skills by following better riders.  

The hard part is not letting these things get to me when I know that I'm in good shape.  It's the mental game of riding confidently and smoothly, and getting back on the horse when you fall off.  Because you will fall off.

This weekend's event is a combination World Cup and citizens event held on the same course in Windham.  The non-UCI event is called "Race the World" and is part of the well-run Root 66 New England series.  Fortunately I don't have to race the world, just the rest of the dudes in the Mens 30-39 Cat 1 Masters field.  

Many times before I mentioned that I'm an endurance guy, and I haven't done a standard distance XC event in three years.  I really don't have any expectations beyond seeing how I can do with decent preparation, so
I'll take my decent from and questionable skills to the start line at 8 AM on Sunday.

As I'm getting ready I will remember what Myles Rockwell had to say about becoming World Champion:

“Let the auto pilot click on and let the red light flash, that is the only way to describe it. Grit your teeth and pin it."

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