Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pre-Cloudride Thoughts.

As the moments tick by in the dwindling days before Cloudride, I find myself with a senioritislike laziness toward training. At this point I have no more time to really gain strength, simply existing in a constant debate between resting up, but not softening up. On top of riding, I have a few more days of work, and I will also be moving out of my apartment prior to departure, and I've yet to pack anything to either move, or go to Oz. Above all else, I have entered a relationship with the most amazing woman! Attempting to stay focused, my head is still in the game, but knowing I won't be seeing her for a month drives me to want to spend as much time as possible with her.


The pre race jitters have been surpassed by other pressures. There is no point in worrying. I could lay up all night concerned about what will happen, but this worry will not solve anything, and rest will ultimately make me stronger. With the near sleepless nights and long days in the saddle that I will be attempting next week, sleep and relaxing will be a mere figment of my imagination.


I know it's going to hurt. If it doesn't, I won't be pushing hard enough. At some point in this race, I will tell myself I'm quitting ultra racing. This is probably the point where I will kick it up a notch and push harder, just to be finished. If history repeats,  my laziness will last for a few days after the race.


Then I'll have a resurgence of motivation, where I want to do a triple crown season (AZT 750, CTR, and TD) PLUS Tour Aeotero(3000k), Kiwi Bravet(1100k), TNGA(350mi), and more, all in a year. (The idea being 10000 miles of racing in a year.) I don't know if it's possible, physically, socially, mentally, or financially, but it falls somewhere into finding the limit. I'm young in ultra racing, both in my career and in age, by comparison to the average competitor. The advantage of this being I have lots of time to fulfill my goals, but also leads to a decision of how serious I want to take racing, vs. the decision of slowing down in a few years to live an "average" life.


In the past, I've thought of taking a step back from competition to refocus on the love of riding, simply to ride, but the drive to push myself keeps coming back up. Non race pace bikepacking trips seem like they'd be awesome, yet I've only ever done a few weekend trips at casual pace. While mountain biking will remain my primary focus for at least a few years to come, it is exciting to think of other long endurance related adventures, both competitve and non. Long canoe trips, backpacking, etc. It's all fun to think about, and I'm sure new ideas will pop into my mind during the long hours chugging through the hills of Australia. After all, I'm not looking for the adventure of a lifetime, I'm looking for a lifetime of adventure!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yeti With A Flashlight

At the end of a dead end street,
a small path weaves into the trees.
It's a place that keeps me sane,
A world of both pain and gain.

Escaping the drone of car tires on tarmac,
I descend into a snow filled sanctuary.
They say there's a yeti out there,
I'm not sure exactly where.

A marginally plowed dirt road to myself,
An occasional car, you'll hear from afar.
Two eyes watching, blinking intermittently.
I'm pretty sure that's the yeti.

The eyes are trail markers
Bobbing behind maple stems,
Here's my turn,
Time to feel the burn.

I look forward to what some may call a frozen hell.
A climb I know well,
The hill continues into the night
Never completed without a fight.

Mentally I'm in the zone.
Is this what the yeti calls home?
Off to my left hear a tussle,
Just the wind, causing some beech leaves to rustle.

As legs begin to ache.
I convince myself pain is fake.
Sprint for the peak,
Anything else would be weak.

The pitch has begun to mellow.
Excited I may meet this yeti,
He should be a nice fellow,
Shouldn't he?

Still sweating from the ascent.
I layer up with high speed intent.
Hood pulled up, and pit zips zipped
Double wheel drift corners will be ripped.

Face goes numb, and my muscles twitch.
A glittering glow shines through the forest.
It must be a yeti with a flashlight.
Or simply cold nerves, affecting my sight.

I see his light from behind me,
He's going to catch me soon,
As I turn to check,
It's only the bright full moon.

The sweat, the descent, and now rolling hills,
My body is filled with chills.
I find myself alone
On my ride back home.

I know he's out here,
Perhaps hidden with fear.
Wish he'd come out to play.
No yeti today.

Friday, March 13, 2015