Saturday, January 02, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

It's been some time since I updated this thing. The cool thing about blogs is the memories that are recorded. I enjoy this time of year where I can go back on reflect on my past journeys of the good, the bad, and the ugly. This year there were a lot of fond memories and awesome trips taken. This was also my first year where I did a large amount of racing and learned some valuable lessons.

I spent a large portion of my time in the spring riding on the pavement and racing every weekend on the road. It was a fun time traveling with all my buddies, going to races, hanging out and feeding off others successes. I started off the year with a trip to Arizona, then did the entire collegiate road block as training, and capped it off with a trip to New Mexico. I do not consider myself a road racer and know exactly where my weaknesses lie, but I had some good memories. When on the road, I give myself no expectations. I just show up to ride in a pack with others and get in a good training session. With this mentality, I had a good time no matter how bad my legs felt or what place I got.

After this I had a long break off the bike with my knee injury. I came back and after 7 weeks with only a handful of rides, I jumped head first into the Lumberjack 100. Whether it was stupid or dumb, I have yet to figure out, but I learned a lot. I realized I can get off the couch and ride my bike in the woods for hours on end. I don't have to be competitive to have fun, it is all about the joy of being on two wheels around good people. A four week block of training and I surprisingly nailed down a top 10 at Ore to Shore. I kept thinking how out of shape I was, but it all comes down to the motivation and effort you put in.

It was back to Colorado with strong motivation knowing I was riding well with not many hours in the legs. I kept strictly to the mountain bike whether it was on gravel, pavement, or sweet singletrack. A win, some top 5's, and all around good weekly bike trips with like-minded individuals had me dreaming. I was able to pick up some good results at collegiate nationals in Tahoe and achieved my goals for the year. With good fitness in hand, I got a flight to Iceman to be able to suffer for 28 miles with friends. It capped off an awesome season.

After Iceman were a few cyclocross races and Nationals in Bend, Oregon. I was done. I had raced all spring after putting in long hours, drilled myself into shape all summer and fall and it paid off. I took the last month of the season to just enjoy myself. I always enjoy riding my bike. I make it fun. It is not about racing and getting results, but about being outside, breathing fresh air, living stress free for those few hours in the saddle and shredding trails with friends. I enjoy racing and love the thrill those few weeks a year where you are in prime condition, and just flying. But the last month was nice to get out and ride for the fun of it.

Since May, I did not use a power meter, hardly ever a heart rate monitor, never tracked miles or weight. I just rode. I would climb a mountain a few times to see how fast I could get to the top. I would get the joy of hitting the summit faster every week. I suffered behind a motor a few times, but a good suffering. I always went out on rides with a slight plan, but changed it on how I was feeling. Maybe I wanted to climb to 10,000ft, maybe I wanted to shred flowing sinlgetrack, maybe an easy ride cruising with friends. Whatever it was, I enjoyed it. And it goes to show, cycling is fun for all no matter how fast you got or what your number say.

So after a few weeks off the bike, I am ready to go again. After this summer, I know I can get back in shape fairly quickly depending on what I do. I think I'll take it easy for a while, but looking to be firing late spring and into mid-summer. I'll be doing a little road this year, but focusing mainly on the fat tires.

Here's to a good 2010.

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