Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Reborn Mountain Biker

Frankly, my start to the racing year has been completely rubbish. Strathpuffer delivered the grand adventure and endurance challenge I had been looking for, but it also killed my immune system. I have been suffering from chronic colds, sore throats, eye infections, and a nasty case of costochondritis which made breathing extremely painful. I had a month of solid training sometime between February and leading up to the Cheshire Cat at the end of March, but I've since been forced off the bike for a prolonged period, so only faded memories of that fitness linger. So, you can't train as you would like, you see all your friends riding faster and making exceptionally patronising comments about your fitness, and when you do try to ride, you have to come to terms with not having the power you had only a few months ago. It's demoralizing and makes you think about trying something else...for about a second.

I refuse to be beaten, and I have been doing everything I can do to make myself a better mountain biker. In the past few years of racing my focus has been on power and speed. That was a bit stupid! So I have been doing as much technical riding as I can possibly fit in, and I am loving it. I am now excited to see descents, jumps, super nasty sharp climbs and just trying to find more and more challenging terrain to attack and conquer. We had a fantastic play in the woods with some mates last night, and the old legs were starting to come back. Maybe the power is still there, just waiting to be jump started? This is a little video from my mate's Go Pro of our session last night at Bacton Woods:

Getting my skills sorted, I have been having some excellent coaching from Kate & Ian Potter at A Quality Ride. They have also been exceptional helping me sort out my health and rebuild my nutrition from scratch. Avoiding dairy and sugary foods/drinks is a challenge, but I am getting there. As a massively positive side effect, this morning, my scales said I was now below 76kg! They haven't displayed that number in a long, long time.

Events have been off my radar for a while, but I am planning to have a low key crack at the Thetford Summer Thunder Enduro at the end of June in a tag team with my cousin. Long term, Dean recently pointed out that the 24 world champs are in Fort William in 2014, which we are both really excited about. The Iditarod still remains the ultimate adventure to me, and I am finding myself thinking about it more and more. But first I need to get my health back, keep improving my technique and getting that grin only mountain biking can give.

But be assured - if you patronised me earlier this year, I will drop you and return the favour - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon ;)

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