Here we are barreling into the end of '09. My last few races are on the horizon and I'm starting to struggle to keep motivated, I'm getting over some sort of bug and am dealing with some repetitive stress injuries...yup its Sept. Just about every sport I consistently partake in requires a healthy dose of looking ahead down the trail to be successful. Being 'hardcore' is no different. To battle the end of season doldrums I have begun to start thinking about what it will be in '10 that makes my friends and family tell me I'm nuts.
This past year I have tried some longer distance MTB races. I had anticipated doing well in these events but that didn't entirely pan out. I felt like I managed things well considering I was new to the distances and the endurance is definitely there but getting/maintaining the high end performance to really be competitive at those events probably requires more intense training than I am really willing or have time to put in. So for now I have conquered those challenges, notched my belt and am thinking that I will table some of the 12/24hr stuff for a bit (unless I can actually convince some friends to throw down with me). The NH 100 was a whole nother beast that may or may not be tackled again depending on how my bike stable rounds out and the weather forecast going into the race. I have come to the rock solid conclusion that temps over 85 completely remove my ability to ride effectively.
Speaking of bike stable...I tried to sell some bikes and it didn't go that well. Probably part economy and part I build weird bikes that don't really appeal to a mainstream demographic so selling is a lot of work. So I have gone to plan B. I'm keeping the roadie (specifically for one of my new endeavors for '10, more on that later) and my old commuter will get a few modifications to make it a better more versatile ride. I'm going to refine the fit and maybe upgrade a few parts. Might even be a ride I could use at a race like the NH 100 or another less techy long distance off road event. Or maybe I'll actually try some off road touring, who knows. I hope to sell my 9 speed successfully, its a good build and if Shaun doesn't snag it I think I'll have more luck moving that ride. That moolah will either go towards an AT setup for this coming snow season or be put towards a nice new shiny single speed.
I have spent the last few years focusing specifically on cycling fitness which has been great, no regrets. I feel like I really took myself to a new level of cardiovascular fitness that I doubt I will ever lose at this point as long as I stay active. However at times I think back to when I was ski racing and doing more consistent dry land cross training and a lot of skiing and I feel like overall I was in better shape back then considering both strength and endurance and now that my heart is used to very prolonged harder efforts I want to get back to a more rounded fitness level.
So I have decided to try and get myself back into more of a multi-faceted fitness regime. Gonna start by getting back into the gym this winter to start building strength again, gonna earn more turns this winter (hopefully) to keep the cardio up, gonna try and start running (body part permitting...running and me haven't always gotten along), maybe even start swimming a bit...can you see where this is going?
Turns out Central NH has an amazing triathlon scene, probably due to all those lakes in the area. So the form of competition I will use to try and keep me motivated to stay rounded will be triathlons and duathlons. There are plenty in the area scattered across the whole season that will require less than 60mins of driving. Can't go wrong there. I'll probably start with sprint tri's (usually no more than .5 mile swim, 15-30mi on the bike, 3-6mi running) next year and see how things go...I'm still not 100% sure my body will take to all this yet. I have spent a long time thoroughly beating the crap out of myself and a bum shoulder could make swimming interesting and don't even get me started on the various joints in my legs and their interaction with running...only time will tell. But thats the plan...return from being a pure cyclist to more pure fitness. I'll still race single speed MTB here and there though, there are a few races that I love too much: Bear Brook, Pinnacle, etc.
Here is a tentative/possible race calendar for next year:
Black Bear Duathlon (Running / Biking) Waterville Valley, NH
Mooseman Tri Festival Alexandria, NH
Bear Brook Blast Off Allenstown, NH
The Pinnacle Newport, NH
Black Fly Tri Waterville Valley, NH
Top Notch Tri (MTB / Swim / Hike) Franconia, NH
NH 100?? Greenfield, NH
Timberman Short Course Tri Gilford, NH
Circle Tri Ashland, NH
The Contoocook Carry (Run / Paddle / Bike) Contoocook, NH
The Pinnacle Challenge (Run / MTB / Bike/ Run) Newport, NH
This list will obviously get narrowed down due to schedule constraints and reg fees, but look at all those choices I have! and all within no more than 1 hours drive. Gonna be a doozy in '10. Actually thats gonna be my campaign platform:
DOOZY IN '10