Monday, September 3, 2012

Blue Mountain

Each Sunday for the last 3 weeks Anne and I have gone up to ride our bikes at Blue Mountain, a nature reserve that is host to some of the best single track on the Eastern Coast of the US.  It's an awesome trail system with everything from flowy, smooth single track to big rocks, rollers, and trials style obstacles.  It's got something for everyone from the xc racer to the free ride maniac.  I always have a great time when I go alone, but with her it's that much better to share a place that I love with someone I love.

So, yesterday, again, we headed up early in the morning to get a nice start on the day.  Typically we spend about 4-5 hours out on the trails (or whenever I get tired-which once comes first depends usually on my fat ass!).  The previous week had been a bit of a bummer.  Though the ride was good, I was tired and cranky, not riding well, and of course acting like a child for some of the time.  Nevertheless, we got in a decent ride, had some fun, and were excited about going back the next week.

As we rode yesterday, for what wound up being around 4 hours, I couldn't help but marvel at the progress that Anne has made in such a short time.  She's really only been riding seriously for about a month, but she's tackling some obstacles and very technical trail that took me nearly a year to even try.  Sure she's being pushed on by an overzealous boyfriend, but that's beside the point.  She's crashed, been scraped and bloodied, but still, the girl keeps coming back for more.  She's either incredibly determined or stubborn as hell-I think both!

Anyway, we took some pics (which I haven't had the time to upload just yet, but will this afternoon) and we had some fun.  On my side of things the riding is getting back to where it used to be.  I'm clearing the stuff that I always have and even making some things that I wasn't able to before.  I've started lifting and using Kettle Bells in the last month, and I'm seeing some drastic improvements in my strength and power.  My explosiveness is at least 75% better than it has been, and I'm feeling more and more athletic with each workout.  I had neglected this part of training before, what with all the training for endurance that I was doing.  I had really not felt the need to do much weight training.  I was concerned I'd gain too much muscle and slow myself down.  It's nice not to have to worry about being "too heavy" (I'm laying at about 200lbs right now).  I'm more concerned with protecting myself in the even of a crash and being able to power myself up technical sections.  My natural weight seems to be right around where I'm at now, and I haven't felt as good in all aspects of my fitness in a long time.  Riding a bit less and lifting a bit more really makes a big difference.

So today, in addition to uploading pictures of our ride later of course, we haven't got a ton planned.  I've got a client to train early, then we're headed to a cafe for breakfast, then relaxing for the day until we head out to dinner with my folks.  All in all not a bad way to spend a holiday Monday!  Happy Labor Day and welcome to the fall!

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