Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ride! Ride! Ride!

Recently, there hasn't been much in the way of exercise and training that gives me more joy than riding my bike. I think embracing the "turning of the pedals" has really got my engine going. I've always known that I enjoyed being on two wheels, but being able to explore the different disciplines within cycling has allowed me to see just how awesome and beautiful it ALL is! Mountian biking is of course my favorite, but being on the 'cross bike, the road bike, and even that wonderful and tourturous track bike is just something special. The whrrrr of the tires on the trails and roads, the fluidity of the pedal stroke (and actually having an efficient one!), the wind pushing you (or slowing you down, or making you go sideways:)) all makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Enough with the "romanticism" stuff, but just had to get it out there. Yesterday was one of the best mountain bike rides I've ever had. The only thing that I'd say would beat it was riding in Wales with Anne. Road some pretty techy trails for only 3 hours, but it was pure bliss. Legs felt great, mind was clear, and things just flowed. I found that zone where everything else around you is just like a mist and the only focus in the world you have is on what is coming at you. It's like a heightened sense of awareness that just makes you react. I've never ridden so smoothly and could have just kept going forever.

As far as nutrition was concerned, I think I've finally got a hold on it. It's interesting when your on a mtb, particularly on all these rocky and rooty trails, to get your nutrition right. Obviously, as your skills become more sound and you learn the trails, you know when you can get away with taking a swig from your bottle or a gel from you pocket. Unlike the road, you can't just eat and drink when you need it. I can't tell if this is actual or not, but I'm starting to think that my body is adapting to going a bit longer without nutrition when I'm not able to provide it because of the ride. Whatever the case, I'm feeling more confident in the fact that I'll be ok for the 6 hour race when the time comes. The trails for the race are much less technical, so there will be plenty of opportunity for me to eat and drink.

Today is a road ride and it's coooold out there. I like that my coach has set up this ride the day after the longer mountain bike ride as I really feel like it helps me recover from the trails. No matter how you slice it, you're always gonna be beat up a bit more after a mountain bike ride, so getting out there on the smooth road and only worrying about pedaling and effeciency is a relief. It also serves to keep the trails and the mtb fresh for me. I would hate to be stuck in a burnout-rut because I overdid something that I like so much.

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