So this past week was my 2nd official week of training for my mountain bike race. I will admit that I've only been loosely sticking to my LW Coaching training plan because it seems too easy for me (apparently I was in slightly better shape than I thought, slow, but in decent shape) but the next level plans are both 12 weeks and well the race is in 4. Still doing pedaling drills on Tuesdays, 45min rides on Thursdays, but going longer and harder on the weekends. I decided that for my big weekend ride I was going to focus on two things, increasing my distance and going faster on the downhills. Last week sometime I was bored and googled (that's totally a word now, by the way) "How to get faster on your mountain bike". Seriously, yeah I googled that. But I found a couple of good articles:
Top 10 Ways to go Faster on Your Mountain Bike
How to Mountain Bike Downhill and Uphill Like a Badass I mean Confidently and Safely
Part of the second one that really stood out to me was this:
Mountain Biking Pinterest Board if you are interested)
Speed is my friend. Float over the rough. Right. Speed pretty much scares the shit out of me. Fear keeps me from going faster. I've always told Jeremy that the reason I'll never be as good as him at biking and/or snowboarding is fear, well that and testosterone and probably a decent amount of natural athletic ability on his part and not really on mine.
So that was my goal. I decided to double up on the climbing part of the loop to increase distance and climbing and to otherwise take it pretty easy on the flats and uphills in order to save some gas for the increased distance but to try to lay off the brakes as much as possible.
So I picked up the babysitter after the kid's soccer game (required as the husband is working weekends) and went (even though it was suddenly cold after a nice pretty sunny morning, and my tights weren't dry so I had to wear my ugly red leg warmers, and those things are ugly, Jeremy got them for me off the clearance site). It felt quite different than the last couple of weeks, to take it easy, which is actually the way I used to ride all the time. Kind of nice a relaxing (the trails were also virtually empty due to the weather, all the smart people had already got their rides in before the rain clouds came in). The down hills were kind of scary but really not that bad. I do think I still braked too much, still something to work on. On the second time I went up the east side of Mount Carbon I decided to really push it since I was almost done, but then ouchy, my knees both started to hurt. I had adjusted the tilt of my seat and maybe accidentally brought it forward or something. But I still pushed hard, then went as fast as I could down, again scary, really scary this time, the down is on the edge of the hill and the trail isn't really flat but sloped with the hill. But I made it. And then I realized that the fancy shock-locker-outer thingy my new fancy Scott Spark has had been locked the whole time. No wonder it was scary. I need to remember to unlock that thing! I also should probably go for a real bike fit.
So when I checked my Strava (yes I use Strava even though some think it's not-cool) I had made new personal records on every single downhill, and on the uphill at Mount Carbon (comparing myself to myself is why I like Strava). I've cut two minutes off my slowest time on that climb. Total of 18.4 miles, 1,600ft of climbing. I felt pretty good about that.
Then I noticed that for women that still puts me at 86th of 98 for the Mount Carbon climb, or 87%, which then made me feel dumb. Why am I doing a race again? I'm still pretty slow. But I'm doing it. It's nice to have something to train for, a reason to push myself to improve. I'm okay with coming in dead last. I think. Ugh. Self doubt and all that stuff.
But I'm doing it. I've told every one I'm doing (the entire internets apparently), I've paid my money, and I'm doing it. If I come in last, honestly, it won't be the first time. Sucking at things has never kept me from doing them before, maybe it should have, but why let it start now?
I also haven't lifted weights in a week and a half. Apparently not doing a decent job of figuring out how to balance that with the race training. Meh.