Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Consistent


con·sist·ent

  [kuhn-sis-tuhnt]
adjective
1.
agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory:His views and actions are consistent.
2.
constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form,etc.: a consistent opponent.
3.
holding firmly together; cohering.
4.
Archaic fixed; firm.


With the exception of the race at Bonelli where my finishing position was dictated by the delicate stock rear tire on my new race whip, I have finished very consistently this year.

Though I would also argue I have been consistent in work, training, racing...  pretty much across the board.  Consistency is good to an extent.  There is however a plateau that one reaches with consistency.  Everything about us is geared to adapt and create a plateau, to compensate for stress levels that are present.  Sometimes we can stimulate growth by doing something small, a small increase in training volume or recovery, but every now and then you just gotta say "Fuck it!" and go for broke to see if you can push past your current plateau, past where you ever thought you could get to, and see if there is a "status quo" somewhere in the clouds above your current altitude.  Discomfort often accompanies this stimulus in some form or fashion.  If done right though, you can then level off at a new cruising altitude above where you were previously.

I do acknowledge that my current "altitude" is pretty damn great, I have climbed far from where I started and have had to dust myself off a few times and start over.  The higher we climb the farther we have to fall...  but lets not talk about that, staying positive here!

This week is a rest week but in the weeks to come I will be introducing all kinds of new stimuli.  I will try to blog about what transpires but I honestly don't know if I will have time.  With some luck I will eventually hit a new plateau at higher elevation and my loyal blog readers will be rewarded for their patience.

Speaking of luck, yesterday was the two year anniversary of my broken neck.  It is good to have perspective and to be thankful.  True I am going to be making a big push for changing things up and trying to get to the next level, but that doesn't mean that I am not truly happy that I can still get up in the morning and stretch out (albeit a tad more slowly than before my broken neck), or to go for a bike ride and soak in the wonderful sunlight (while KEEPING MY FUCKING HEAD UP!).  Being thankful for the little things is something we all forget from time to time...

After all that if you are still reading, here is my weekend recap...

Saturday:

4 hours of shredding perfect single track on an amazing day with my wife and Ben Jones.



I don't have any pics from the day, so I will just steal a couple from Allison.  I was rocking out to some sweet tunes via Bluetooth helmet sound system from O-tus Safe Sounds.  Pretty cool to have tunes without chords, be able to easily control them (on/off, skip, volume up/down), and all the while hold a conversation with the nice people you are riding with!


I am getting out of chronological order here, but when asked on Sunday why I did a big 4 hour ride with lots of climbing the day before the Sycamore Canyon US Cup race, my response was an emphatic, "Racing isn't so important that I am willing to pass up a perfect day shredding awesome trails with my wife!"


Sunday:

I fully admit that I didn't feel "ready" to race after Saturday's adventure.  I will also admit that there are more factors than just Saturday's ride that left me feeling deflated and tired.  One of those factors was rolling to the races alone again.


Allison's training called for a 5 hour road ride.  She left the house just before me to ride a serpentine route I made for her up to the race venue that would have her arriving some time around the end of my race.  I teared up a bit after driving past her and then moved on.



I rode one lap of the course during warm up to get a look at it before hitting it at race pace.  It was the same course as last year with a tiny change here or there so no big surprises.


I felt a little more ready to race by the time we got around to lining up.  That is one thing about racing, it seems to narrow the scope and focus my energy to one point, going fast, at least for a little while.  I had a good start.  This week the 30-34 AG started in the wave ahead of us so the group was a little smaller, but Marco stepped up to the plate in creating first lap shenanigans.  He made a wrong turn on the "Start Loop" and then scrambled to get back to the front.  There were four of us out front initially and I was feeling okay sitting third wheel onto the first good descent.  Unfortunately Marco wasn't done playing with us and made a mistake in the relatively easy rock section sampling some dirt while leading, the rest of us smashed up accordion style behind him while he spit dirt out of his grill.  I didn't wait around to offer him any advice for his descending, hope that doesn't make me a bad team mate!  Eric and I squeezed by as soon as there was room and Eric proceeded to go balls to the wall while I sat on.


We got to the bottom of the course and started back up the other side and that is when things went a bit sideways for me.  Eric hit the climb and almost immediately started to open a gap.  It wasn't like the wheels totally fell off my wagon, and I am not really sure I have ever really gone faster than I was, but I wasn't riding his wheel and I am sure that gave Eric some extra motivation to continue to pry the gap open further.  He was definitely stronger on the day.  Not long after that, before we finished Lap 1 actually, Marco went by me like a freight train putting me in third.


Again the finish order was settled on the first lap.  I did my best to maintain my pace after losing sight of Marco.  For most of a lap I was going back and forth with Ted Willard, he started in the wave ahead, who was climbing strong but not matching my speed anywhere else.  In fact the only real mistake I made the entire race was during the time I was trying to scrape him off, I was gassed and lost my front wheel in some sand on a loose left hand turn on the climb.  Still learning.


Eventually I shed Ted and I was alone.  Nobody I could see ahead, and nobody that I could identify behind.  I tried to stay on the gas but the cement had started to harden around my legs and I was locked in third.  Consistent.


One of the greatest things about racing is the respect that some of us share for each other as athletes.


My consolation prize this week was that my team mate Marco came back from his dramatic first lap to take the top step.  Bikes for Boobs baby!!!!!

As usual thanks to everyone that supports our racing adventures.  Special thanks to 110% Play Harder for coming out and checking out the races at Sycamore!  Randy hooked me up with just about the coolest podium socks EVER!  I even put them back on after my shower because I like them so much!


Till next time..  BRAAAAP!!!

1 comment:

Adam said...

Congratulations! I enjoy reading of your's and Allison's racing exploits. Don't knock the consistency thing. I had a coach who, years ago, told me that main thing holding me back was my INconsistency.