May came in with a BANG, but went out with a whimper…

Things started out well. With a little over 3 months till the TR, I was feeling good about things overall. I was keeping up with my training and making what felt like moderate but sustained gains. The trails in the valley have been awesome! Though we had a bit rain, and even some snow at the beginning of the month, the valley has been clear of hard pack and ice so I’ve been able to log quite a few miles in on the single-track. This is going to be key for getting ready for the TR because all the hours in the world on a Mag-Trainer can’t get the body ready for pressures and strains of trail riding in the Rockies…

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Some highlights from May were for sure the Gary Fisher ride (you can read all about it in my earlier post). Also, Ken came up from Calgary and we did the first race of the year, the Bacon XC. I can’t say I was thrilled with my performance, coming in 13th out of 29, but it was what it was. I learned something very valuable though about what happens when you BLAST OFF at the start and burn out before the end.

The day after the Bacon XC, Ken and I raced as a team in the Trans-Stony Superhero Challenge. This was an enduro race set for 6 hours. Format was simple – do as many laps as you can. That’s it. Ken and I rode pretty steady all day, managing 8 laps of a punishing 7km loop and ended up at the top of the podium! Have to say, that was pretty cool. We’re planning on racing it again in 2010 to defend the title so contenders, bring it on!

So with two races in the bag, I went back to my normal training and I’d discovered that as fun as racing is, it’s not ideal for training, at least for me – my ego gets in the way. Because I wanted to do well at those races, I took it easy most of the week prior, skipping two scheduled training rides. Not a big deal to do once, but I found I did the same thing again the week leading up to the Pergoy XC. So, that made it essentially 2 weeks of valuable training time lost. I’ve heard the saying, “race yourself into shape” and I can see the logic, but so far it’s not been the best strategy for me personally. Another reason, and I found this interesting, is that because all my training has been geared toward marathon distance racing, I don’t really feel that prepared for the shorter 20 kilometer races like the Bacon, or Perogy XC. I’m not used to going at 85-100% of my max for 90mins – I can’t sustain it, and I burn out hard. That said, the reason I started this post by saying that May went out with a whimper, is I really got sick toward the second half of the month – The Flu… I rarely get sick ever, but this time it was ‘Fo Real, Fo Real”… I felt awful, with a super sore throat, coughing, sneezing and headaches for a solid week. I thought I was almost out of the woods when I raced the Perogy, but 10mins in, I realized I still wasn’t ‘healthy’ and being congested I started to cough and sputter. Good times. My lungs, were not happy with me at all. Needless to say I faded hard toward the end and didn’t finish as well I’d have liked, 16th out of 32. Excuses, excuses, excuses… hahah…

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So, now it’s June 4th, and I’m feeling 90% better and I’ve been back out on valley trails religiously the last bit now that I’m feeling ‘good’. And, even though Ken and I are racing in the Iron Lung this Sunday, I’m not going to let the ego get the way this time. I’m treating the race as one of my 4 scheduled weekly training rides, so I’ll be out on Saturday for my long ride as per usual. Gotta keep the eye on the prize, and that’s the Transrockies. 2 months to go! Yikes…