Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Training Time

The packets are finding their way into my mailbox and increasing the stress in my training life to get out there and mountain bike. I am most worried about the Silver Rush 50 and the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. As for the running aspect, it really is just a matter of fast hiking. So, I am not worried about that.

Many moons ago, I remember my husband starting to get into cycling and coming home from being gone for about 15minutes on a bike ride pissed because of mechanical problems. His complaint was in favor of his running because nothing can go wrong with running. There is just so much to know about with cycling...mainly the need to change tires, thus carrying extra gear with you.

Since the Appalachian Trail, I have been looking more and more into going ultralight in everything I do. Working at REI, I have acquired many lightweight layers to make my hiking and backpacking more enjoyable and easier, but just as safe. So, as I prepare for Leadville/The LeadWoman events, I wonder how to make things lighter on the mountain bike. The bike itself is big and bulky, but I was not going to spend tons of money on a carbon mountain bike which I may never use again. Although, I cannot imagine not falling in love with mountain biking as I have every other adventure event in my life. Anyway, my husband put a slime tube in the front tire of the bike after it went flat on my first mountain bike race last september when we did the Bearable Adventure race, so I know I could change that out for lighter, but then I run the risk of getting a flat on the course. Granted, I can get a flat even with the slime tube, but...

Ok, so I guess I got some thoughts to work through on how to approach these events. After doing the Colfax Marathon almot 2 weeks ago, I did learn what I need to do for the running events and am ready for those. It is simply the cycling events that need to be managed at this point and I need to get out on my mountain bike and train. Part of my fear is going alone. I am prone to falling off my bike and after a rash of friends crashing on their bikes from crazy mountain bike accidents to goofing around on road bikes during a day of fun, I am a little nervous to mountain bike alone. Granted, I will be wearing a helmet which these others were not doing when they had their major crashes! Also, I will start small with just local parks that are rather busy most of the time. That can be a good thing and a bad thing as I will have to learn how to dodge people if there are too many of them on my training courses. It all boils down to confidence on the bike. Unfortunately, my mountain bike is the one bike I feel least comfortable on. So, we will see what happens. The sun is out today and I am thankful for that as I may actually be able to take the bike out on some trails without slogging through mud. I may go check out the trails on foot first, though. My confidence increases when I know what I am in for and can plan ahead! That keeps me on my bike usually. It is the unexpected that throws me for a loop and off my bike!

So, the challenge is there, but I am still excited to get started and see how things finish up. I will be posting the cutoff times for the races in the next few days as I review the information being sent to me. As I have already said, the running events will be easy to make the time cutoffs. I need to figure out how easy the bike cutoffs will be even if I end up pushing a bike a good portion of the course. This summer will be a busy time, but also rewarding in so many ways. I look forward to the challenge as it continues to approach me and remind me of my strength and ability to put mind over matter to get the job done! I will prevail!