Wow - a month since the last Ascent Cycling race. It's been a crazy, busy month too, with lots of things going on. I know plenty of people have said this already, but we should all be very thankful for the hard work of the Forest Service crews, the CSFP and everyone else involved in the Waldo Canyon Fire. We may have lost some of the best trails in the area, but it's a small loss comparatively. We still have miles of single track and better yet - we are able to go race our bikes on Wednesday! Although racing might not be the best word to describe my approach for tomorrow's fun...
It's getting towards that time of the season where recovery is becoming more and more important. Early on, it's easy to keep going hard - the weather is nice, the racing is fun and the single-track beckons. As the training miles add up and the race results accumulate, ignoring the fatigue becomes harder and harder. The heat, the afternoon thunderstorms and the lure of the couch all entice away from the bike. Sometimes, giving into that feeling of just wanting to be lazy can help make the second half of the season even better then the first. I know for me, this had been a long season already - starting in April with the first RMES race down in Pueblo. It's balancing the training stresses and the need for recovery with the fun of racing and riding that makes a great athlete. Having a coach and a solid training schedule is helping with finding the balance (Even if I don't listen to Coach Adam from CTS all the time...) Working hard, racing hard when appropriate, but backing off and listening to my body when it's time to rest. I think many athletes struggle with this - especially when racing calendars are jammed full every weekend and every event sounds like fun. Prioritizing events, training and racing helps with choosing when to go all in and when to take a break. Half the fun of mountain bike racing is hanging out with everyone - so why should every race be serious? Maybe one race is some epic challenge, but a fun event is the next weekend. I know I'd do both given the chance - but only one would be a focus race. The other would be no-stress, go ride my bike hard until I'm done then enjoy the atmosphere of the event.
So two races in the Series down, three to go. Hopefully everyone is rested after a somewhat stressful month and raring to go at Bear Creek Terrace. If the first course is any indication, we can expect some rocks, some cacti, a few fast descents and lots of switchbacks. Andy and his course team do a fantastic job of eking out every inch of trail available on the Bear Creek courses. I know it's going to be different then last time. Let's come out, support local racing and be thankful that we've got such cool venues right in town for some weekday night fun.