Monday, March 14, 2011

Is it riding season yet?

With temperatures rising and rain here and there we've had much of the snow melt off up around here.  It's nice to be able to see the ground again, but now comes the torture.  The time of year when your legs are just jumping to get out there and ride some trails, but your mind and conscious can't let you as the trails are too soft ride.

This also marks about a month out from my very first race.  So I'm nervous on a couple of fronts here.
1. This winter has been horrible, and outside of my trip to Florida, I've gotten very little riding in (due to the weather and due to the basketball season)
2. Being able to make up for not riding outside by some solid gym time has also been interrupted by the basketball season
3. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get some good quality miles of singletrack in before the race
4. The race is down in Connecticut, and is in an area I've never ridden before
5. Will I find a reason NOT to enter this race?

I'm hoping the timing of the race (just before our trip to Charlotte) will force me to not chicken out. When I was originally looking to start racing this season I figured the Massasoit Lung Opener would be a great introduction because it is an area I could certainly get some riding in beforehand to familiarize myself with the terrain.  But, it happens to fall on the weekend we'd be coming back from Charlotte, so no luck there.  We will be in Connecticut visiting my parents the weekend of the race so getting there will be relatively easy...  So all things point to this being the start of it all.

Will I be nervous?  HELL YES!
That will be something I'll hopefully work through throughout the season.  I ran track in high school and I hated waiting for the race to being.  That sick to your stomach feeling as other races start and yours comes closer and closer.  That shaky pre-adreneline phase as you ready at the start, and BAM you're off.  I think that initial pacing will be hard to contain so as not to just kill myself from the get go, I really don't want to bonk out...

I'm looking at this season as a indicator to see where I stand.  My goal is to finish every race (hopefully not DFL) and to HAVE FUN!  I have no ideas floating around in my head that I'm going to be jumping into the Sport class and dominating by any means.  I'll be be starting as a first timer and I'll take my cue from my performance.  Hopefully I'll feel comfortable to race steadily at the beginner classification and only race my first (or maybe first two) as a first timer.  But beginner (Cat 3 for most races here) is just fine for me.

So how am I preparing for the race if I can't get trail time in??  I'm getting back to the gym with dedication.  I've adopted a full body workout that is more mountain bike conducive rather than my previous single focus per workout routine.  And I'm hitting my legs hard.  If my cardio is going to be weak I at least want to have the power in my legs.

I will certainly be looking for guidance (from friends, other websites/blogs, and any of you out there) as to tips for preparing for a race, what to bring to a race, pre-race meals, etc.  So, if you have any tips for mountain bike racing I'd love to hear them!!

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