Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

St. Joe

So it seems as if mountain bike season got started over the past weekend down at St. Joe state park in Farmington, MO. I've taken a bit more measured approach to this year's preparation and had no plans of pinning a number on until mid to late April. However, the itch has been prevalent and I decided that an early season endurance race might serve me well in the coming months. With this in mind and a message board report that the trail was "wet with virtually no mud", I decided to go for it. Waking to temperatures in the mid forties and a light drizzle, it's safe to say I would have probably stayed inside had it not been for the racing.

The racing was really an excuse for a long-ish training ride with decent intensity. I got into the woods in fifth place and would stay there for the duration of the race. I kept the leaders close for the first half of the race, but had resolved to stay within myself and not push too deep. As I plowed and surfed through the slimy mud bog, I kept steady and completed the three laps I had resolved would be my limit for the day. I tried very hard to go slow enough on the third lap to avoid a fourth, but I finished three laps in 2:38, meaning I would need to complete a fourth. I decided to bag it, cold and tired. I had shaved fifteen minutes off my 2008 time and had remained consistent throughout the race, with none of the physical implosions of the preceding two years. Positive steps, to be sure.

There are signs of life in the legs these days and the volume has been steadily increasing through the last few weeks. As I look to the true start of my season in a few weeks, I am encouraged that things are moving in the right direction, despite the slow start to the year. I plan on starting things off with the Hermann road race and moving into XC mode with the White Lightning race at the Canal Loop in Kentucky. A fresh new piece of dirt worthy plastic (photos pending) has me fired up for trail time and I can't for the season to be in full swing. Here's to a positive and productive 2010...