Thursday, August 1, 2013

So this is what it feels like...

Training hard on the bike(s) for the first time in I can't remember when.  It's not like i've been unfit in my time away from endurance training.  I've done plenty of strength training and trail riding.  I wasn't off the bike for anything more than a few days, but still, it was not focused, "time in the saddle" type training.

It feels good to be back. I'm still a bit hesitant though as I don't want to give up my (to me) much more fun trail riding, full of jumps, drops, and technical sections.  I will say though, there is an aspect to feeling very fit that drives me to push a bit more and scratch the itch of longer distance XC racing.

So the race schedule, even though small, looks right now that it will include 2 Xterra races (the first of which is next weekend), and a 6 hour endurance race in late November.  The Xterra's will be nice little tune ups, nothing overly long, just more for fun, with the 6 hour race being the focus.  The last time I did said race I came in fourth.  With the way things are going, I'll be disappointed with anything less than that.  My technical skills have grown in leaps and bounds, and by the time late November comes around, I'll be just as strong if not stronger from a fitness point of view than I was years ago when I raced.

One of the oddest things, from a training standpoint is how quickly my body has adjusted to riding for extended periods of time.  I've lost a pretty substantial amount of weight in the last few weeks, and I'm looking "skinny" like an endurance racer again.  When I last raced seriously, I was 168lbs.  This past spring I was tipping the scales at about 205lbs.  I'm not about 180lbs 'ish, and feeling faster by the day.   Fun to see that my body is following in line.  Almost as if saying, "Ok, if this is what we're gonna do..."

Equipment wise I'll be rocking a Niner Air 9 29er XC hard tail for my adventures.  It's odd riding such a big bike after being used to the long traveled, 26 inch wheeled variety for the last couple years.  While I enjoy the smaller wheels and the more cushioned ride much more (not to mention I feel like I ride those bikes much better), there is nothing better suited for XC riding and racing that a 29er, hands down.  I'm not going to say I love the big wheels, but it's a necessary evil for what I'm choosing to do.

So that's about it for now.  I've just been stuck into my training, working as much as I can, and trying to keep my wife happy. :-)  Hopefully the future will hold more time for writing and sharing some of my adventures as they happen.  Time to head into work!

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