Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 MFG Woodland Park Cyclocross Race

After the body check in yesterday, I did not feel too bad and decided I had to give the last MFG race of the session a shot.  I don't know about you but a 6am alarm is not my favorite sound on an overcast Sunday morning.   A quick weather check between snoozes indicated rain but determined to face the day I hauled my body out of bed, just to be clear I am not a morning person, and headed to the training room to see what effect the session yesterday had on my body. 

A few minutes into an active warm up and things did not feel too bad, by that I mean, I could feel fatigue from the training yesterday as I started to move the lactic acid around but felt confident that I could compete, at least against myself.

You know when you get days when it feels like the universe is sending you a stop and decease message, or at least slowing you down and making you think.  Well that was this morning for me.  After getting all my kit together all I needed was my shoes, simple right? wrong.  The shoes where not were they normally are.  Just what you need before a race is no shoes.  I looked everywhere and nope no shoes.  Sarah then suggested I might not have picked them up after the last race at Marymoor and you can guess how that made me feel.  To say the house hold was a little tense is a fair statement.

Not to be deterred, I dropped a note on facebook asking if anyone had found shoes after the last race and dug up a very old pair to ride with.  ah ha foiled the attempt to race, Matthew 1, Universe 0.  With "Where the Hell are my shoes" still floating around my mind we headed out to the race.

Now at this point I want to clarify that men heading to races can be somewhat terse, unreasonable or as Sarah puts it a little snippy, especially when they have lost their shoes.  This is not the best time to remind them that they need to be more organized.  Even if it is a true and correct statement as it was for me this morning (sorry for being a Bear Sarah).

We arrived at Woodland Park in plenty of time to register and get a scouting lap in.  As I walked up to the tent the first thing out of my mouth after good morning was "did anyone pick up a pair of shoes at the Marymoor race".  Wahoo, the answer was yes.  What a cool crew.  We registered and on our return my shoes where waiting for me.  Things are looking up maybe the universe was not sending me a message after all (Matthew 2, Universe 0). 

I headed out for recon lap of the course and quickly learned that it was a fast and technical course with lots of transitions from grass to mud to gravel to road in wet conditions.  Oh did I mention slippery, yup slippery.  On the upside the weather forecast was wrong (go figure) no rain and I was not complaining.  Finishing up the 1.8 mile lap I headed back to the tent and then out to the staging area.

My smiling face - I made it to the race :)

The race headed out and then narrowed quickly as the whole bunch hit what can only be called single track +.  Lots of jostling and bumping and energized races tried to find an outlet to release pent up energy.

Of the races I have participated in this year so far this one had the steepest run ups and greatest number of transitions.  It caught more that a few of the racers of guard.

And man the boards where high

despite everything I was enjoying the race, ok so enjoying is not exactly the right word, maybe suffering righteously through it is better but I was their and doing my best.  I was even pulling a few people back when disaster struck.  My front tire went soft and then completely flat.  When that happens the first thing that goes through your mind is how can I keep going, and I tried until I transitioned to road.  If you are not aware of what happens when you transition from mud to road with a flat tire on a corner then you are lucky.  The front wheel slid away from me and only through what I would like to think of as awesome bike handling skills but was probably a combination of quick reflex's and good luck I stayed up right, although I did hear "Good Recovery" from a spectator so maybe it was awesome bike handling skills, yup I'm going with that, it's my blog.
Pushing on with a Flat Tire at this point
Just before transition to road that very nearly landed my on my ass, if not for my awesome bike handling skills
So the universe had it's way in the end Matthew 2, Universe Flat Tire in lap 3 and Game Over.  Some plans you just can't fight, but it doesn't mean you have to be happy about it

For those of you interested here are my race stats. 
That's it for the 2013 MFG Cyclocross Race season.  I got in 3 races which a few weeks ago I never thought possible.  If all goes well I will get a couple of the remaining SCX race's in.   I hope you have enjoyed this post.  from me to you Power Up and Max Life Out.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

To Race or Not to Race

So here's the dilemma, two weeks of life turbulence has resulted in no race training since my last one at Marymoor Park. I want to race but not sure if I should.   I asked a good friend for their advice and that advice was do a number of Up Downs and see how I felt about my recovery.

So armed with the Sufferfest video ( "Revolver" and my very own torture chamber aka training room I hit the bike to see how I would do.

A warm up, 45 minutes and 15 Up Downs later and I can tell you I needed a shower.  Here are my stat's.  They won't win any awards but depending on how I feel later they give me the base to race from tomorrow.   In anticipation I cleaned my Cross Bike and I will let you know what happens.

Balance & Perspective

Sharing a reminder the universe gave me over the last two weeks to not take myself too seriously and stay focused on what is really important in life.  I recently took a new position at work which is a  different direction for me.  I promptly fell into the trap of needing to prove myself, which lead to a steep escalation in stress and worry.  As stress increased, sleep became hard which started a spiral of being tired which in turn increased stress.   At the same time another company approached me with a position in California.  With stress on the rise it became easy to consider other options but not necessarily for the right reasons. 

With stress high and a lack of sleep my life performance took a hit.  Whilst I was able to deal with work, I would get home with nothing left for personal development or training.   The realization came interestingly at the interview in California.  I flew to California for the interview and enjoyed meeting a new set of people.  There interview technique needed some work but It reminded me that the grass is not always greener on the other side even when it looks like it is.  I realized I was taking myself way to seriously.

Happily the position was not suitable and I returned far more relaxed.  Since the interview I have remembered to not allowed work to define who I am.  I am thankful for the life lesson and the support of a wonderful wife.