April 23, 2009

Training Buddies

The last few weeks have gone by so fast and have been packed with busy days. . . I am grateful that I have been able to keep my training on the UP and still take care of "life stuff". Racing this year has taken a big change for me. I am racing less but more focused than ever on training and I am learning so much by training with my buddies. It is a true team effort and I am stoked to see everyone progressing toward the unique challenges that we have all taken on. I continue to think about Ned Overends book (Mountain Bike Like a Champion) where he describes his co-author, Ed Pavelkas early years in mountain biking.

“Ed rode his Stumpjumper for the next couple of years, but he always rode alone. No rider near him had a mountain bike yet. He learned how to ride by trial and error, figuring out for himself many of the moves described in this book… One of his favorite trails was a loop that took 45 minutes to ride. It included nearly every obstacle – rocks, roots ruts, logs, ledges, ditches, slippery climbs, and even an old beaver dam that he could ride across (sometimes)… He thought he must have been pretty good.

Then Ed visited Crested Butte, Colorado, to ride at one of the first Fat Tire Bike Weeks. Guys rode around him. Women dropped him. Elderly hikers asked him to please get out of their way. It was almost like he’d never been on a mountain bike before. He stumbled and stalled where other riders make it look easy. He realized that all of his solo riding back home had done very little to teach him the skills and speed that other riders were developing. He learned as much during one week with good riders on Rocky Mountain singletrack as he had in two seasons of riding alone."

That has been ringing in my mind for a few weeks now. . . The right friends will take you further than you ever thought possible . . . in training, in life and even the occasional beaver dam.

I am reaching a new level of lifetime fitness and it is all because I am training smarter and taking care of the things inside and outside of training with detail I didnt even notice before. It will be interesting to see it play out in whatever race is up next and I know that it is just the beginning if I can stay consistent. However, when the fitness fades, and it will, the memories of time on the trail with my buddies will still provide a greater reward of getting to a "level" or tackling a challenge that looked too big when started and doing it together. Not to sound sappy but what would I do if I didnt have training partners to tell me to "suck it up buttercup!"

My #1 buttercup

The M's (Monique,Mandy&Marius) know how to keep it real

Last year, just two weeks before the 12 Hours of Temecula I had never ridden over 70 miles in my life...The thought of 12 hours of single track was a bit much but Keevin and Sean continued to keep me going in the right direction. At the race itself and leading up to it. I honestly never dreamed of putting away 123 miles in the dirt. . . Somehow they did and made me own up to it.
Where would I be without the comedy, wisdom and coaching of Sean Clancy and constant inspiration and guidance from Team Sole? Adventure racers know how much your team can pull you through and take something that looks painful and turn into a springboard of self confidence and enlightenment. Just look at Sean's face and realize that this is his quote that I throw around. . . "pain is good, extreme pain is extreemly good!" ha ha ha!!! Good times!

This weekend a grip of people are heading up to Hurkey Creek for the 8hr and 24hr mountain bike races. Some friends are doing a first attempt and a few others are going for the gold. A heafty dose of motivation and teamwork is required for each and everyone attempting it. Luke will be up there and is reaching some great fitness this year and I know he will be crushing it!

Luke up in the mountains where he belongs

I have only got to ride with Luke a few times but everytime we do it is a BIG day of climbing on the bike. Looking forward to much more of that stuff in the months ahead. I could go on and on about how each of these guys and gals inspire me and I am looking forward to seeing a few of our friends new to all this get some "wins" under their belts too. . .

When everone gets back from Hurkey. . . ITS ON! Sunday is an all day epic multisport day with some paddle, run, swim, bike and trail time to a new level. Looking forward to seeing everyone out there!

1 comment:

Luke said...

right on brotha!! this summer will be some good time for sure!