Sunday, February 3, 2013

X-Training and Monster-X

This is NOT really a blog about cycling or MTB or cross training, but anyone who regularly runs 40-50 miles a week knows that at some point all marathon training blog posts could read exactly the same if you don’t shake it up every now and again...

“Today I ran with The Black Team. The pace was blistering. It kicked my a**. I wanted to die. But I sucked it up and ran anyway.”

“Today I ran with Potter. The pace shouldn’t have kicked my a**, but it did. I wanted to die. But I sucked it up and ran anyway.”

“Today I ran with DeNiece. The course was hilly with an occasional pesky flat spot. It kicked my a**. I wanted to die. But I sucked it up and ran anyway.”

you can barely see the snow, but
it's there, I promise. Also, I took
this while in motion. prolly not
my brightest move, I'll admit.
“Today I ran with T. It was a recovery jog. It was wonderful. More please. I’d like to find a training plan where you do recovery jogs all the time and still race a sub X:XX:XX marathon.” <~ that was today, before my ride, and it was exquisite. ~savor~

But the repetition of marathon training is one of the reasons this occasionally becomes a blog about a BOMB (Blogger on Mountain Bike) and her Kona (the MTB I purchased from Richmond Bicycle Studio that I happen to be obsessed with.) Every time I ride Kona, it’s a new experience. I mean that too. Every single time I hit the trails, I do something I have never done before.

For example, today, I joined the Gentlemen of the Roads on their training ride for Monster Cross, a 50 mile MTB/CycloCross adventure at the end of this month. I rode 23 miles, which is a personal best for me and Kona.

I also rode through snow showers. At points, the snow was a bit sleetish. We get that here in RVA. It's not fluffy snow that you catch on your tongue. It's tiny singing pellets that sizzle on the forest floor. 

For informational purposes, they sting your face when you’re going about 15 mph on a mtb. justsayin'

Merlin had a lot of supervision
It was the perfect day in so many respects. 

Everything went exactly to plan.

Well, everything except the flat tire

We lost Monica at ~like~ mile 1 or something to an unfixable flat. This also meant we dropped ourselves off the "medium paced" group of 15 or 20 cyclists. 

And then we were four. 
And then we were three.
And we mostly knew the Monster X course. ~kinda~

But I had nothing to fear or worry about, because at all times I was with the Gentlemen. None of us ever has anything to truly fear when we are riding with that group. The Gentlemen display a sense of respect at a level that many local cyclists seem to lack.

Today though, there was a point where I got a creepy “spooked” feeling. I wasn’t doing anything technically dangerous at all. We were screaming along at a nice clip down a steep hill, and I suddenly thought, there’s going to be a wooden bridge at the bottom of this hill... and somewhere on this hill is where I lost T at Bloody Muddy Buddy a few years ago.

The gravel popped under Kona like gunfire, but I held the line, leaned forward, and settled my weight back.

I didn’t slow myself much on the descent. I felt in control, and I figured better to be in control going fast, than out of control trying to slow myself. It was fine. We drummed over the bridge, three across in super hero formation, and then charged up the hill spewing gravel and mud from under our tires.

It wasn't scary. It was ~savor the ride~ worthy.

muddy and exhausted
I actually think I’m doing well on the MTB for someone in her first season. I like to try stuff. I like to ride fast. I like to push my limits so I learn how to handle the bike, so I don’t skid next time I push that hard.

It’s a constant learning curve, and for me, I enjoy the learning as much as I enjoy the sweating.

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