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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Putting It All Together

On the heels of my lousy Round Valley experience, I took the bike out the next day and did a triple race loop at Lewis Morris to drive myself even further into oblivion. This is the sport class race from 2006 which I hope to do later this year. Rumor has it the course will change due to a park mandate, but that doesn't stop me from riding the loop and comparing my time with last year's results. My time was 2:10:10. This includes about 2 minutes of non race loop time. Compared to last year's results, that leaves me 68th out of about 150 racers and within 5 minutes of the 54th spot. A flat 2:00 loop would be 42nd, with the winner at 1:42 and the top 10 rounded out at 1:50 and change. These are reference points for the potential reader.

At this point I think the past weekend was a blind exercise in "putting it all together", a necessary step I hadn't considered but became apparent after talking to Chris about my Round Valley ride. Chris is a guy I know through the NJ MTB message boards who has more experience both riding and racing. So his input adds a good perspective. He basically asked if I had been doing any of these complete efforts before this, and the answer is no, not really. In fact, I had been off the mountain bike for 7 weeks previous to this due to lousy weather.

So basically what I have right now is that I've worked on many of the individual aspects of my biking: the tempo work in the offseason, the high-end blocks recently, the weight loss, and so on. But all of it still needs to come together on the trails. It's like a recipe. You can have all the best ingredients cut perfectly and the best kitchen in the world, but to become a great cook you need to put it all together and work out the complete package.

This is where I am now, putting it all together. I've swapped out my initial race which was going to be one of the H2H races in North Jersey for a MASS marathon race in Delaware 2 weeks later. In all it feels more in tune with what I want to do, namely endurance riding. It's slightly farther away but the race will end up being almost 3 times the duration and it carries none of the 1-day NORBA license fees associated with the H2H races.

So yes I was frustrated with my Saturday ride at the time, but I now realize this is part of the territory. Again, things rarely come together like magic just because you want them to. Now I need to apply the various gains I've made to the mountain bike. And the only way to do that is to get out and ride. Fortunately, that's the fun part of the deal.

This post is probably nothing more than a point #9 from the Round Valley entry: Putting it all together. So here we go. Today was my first trainer session of my 6 week block into the first race of the season. Time to bring things together a bit and figure out where we need to make corrections.

Wish me luck, I'll need it.

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