It's been a little while. What was it, May 1st when I stopped riding. Started again on June 3rd. Put in 4 rides, which leaves me at my last post.
Since then, I did a ride a few days later, and my knee was bugging me again. Did a few quick 15-30min feeler rides to see how the knee was feeling. That's 5 rides in 50 days! Didn't really ride again until the day before Lumberjack. Did a quick little pre-ride of the course and thought I was going to die. I felt so out of shape on the climbs and had really tight legs from doing nothing other than standing all day at work and sitting on my ass at home.
DISCLAIMER: I highly recommend training for 100 mile mountain bike races. You might be able to get by without it though.
Photo: Jack Kunnen
So, Lumberjack was just a training ride for me and to see how my knee was feeling. Luckily the rest and exercises had been working and it was feeling good. Hit the rollout in the top 30 and just chilled. I knew I could not hang with the top guys like I was hoping for earlier in the season. Slow and steady.
Lap 1 hurt. My legs had no idea what was going on. Rode the first half with women's winner Betsy Shrogen as she was throwing down a XC pace on the chicks. Spent the rest just enjoying riding my bike in the woods and sweating profusely in the mid-west humidity.
Lap 2 was sweet. I was solo for most of it, but I was having a great time. Sweeping and flowing through the course. I was loving life. This lap was a little quicker than lap 1.
Lap 3 came and I was wondering what the hell I was doing. Why was I racing a hundo off the couch? Hmm, cause I like riding my bike. According to Simonster's high tech and 100% accurate scale, I was in stage three. Wondering why I was out there, what I should do? My body felt great, but it is that step where it gets mental. Luckily I joined up with Scott Cole who was also in the exact same boat I was. His body wasn't up to par on the first lap or 2, but after a few miles, I got my mind back in the game. We rode and chatted together for a while which made the time go by much faster and made the race much more enjoyable. Stopped at the aid station on the outer loop to grab some stuff. I didn't need anything, but I was in no hurry. Goddard came by just as we were leaving, so we tagged along. Fire tower climb my fat and out of shape body couldn't go as fast as the guys. Finished the loop at 6 hours and 2 min. Not too bad considering 2 years ago I finished in 7:55, so not far off of that pace.
My knee was feeling good and I was content with my 6hr training ride. I sat down and chilled out for 1.5 hours until my dad came by for his 4th lap. Grabbed the fly and headed out to finish the race and keep him motivated on his virgin 100 mile race. Pulled in at the 10:15 mark to cap off a good day.
I was so nice to be back out on the racing scene and see all the people I haven't seen since last July. I rode the 29er as well, and it was great. I am really digging the big wheels. can't wait to take it back to Colorado in August to shred on rock.
Since the race, my knee has still felt good. I rode Sunday morning after the race and my legs felt like 1 million bucks. Musta been that long taper!!! Did a good 3+ hour ride with a bit of intensity realizing I have no top end power anymore. Poto in the extreme heat on Wed was fun and the 29er just totally ripped that place apart. Early morning Spiderweb clearing of ILRA yesterday was the extent of my riding. Had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled out this morning, so who knows when I'll get back on the bike. Then it's off to Baltimore to the the bro late next week. Hectic schedule but hopefully I'll be able to get some structured training in sometime in the next few weeks! Maybe I'll be in shape for cross natz in December?