Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting Back in the Groove

It’s been about 2 months since the accident and things are going pretty well. The neck is still a little bit stiff and the muscles in my back get sore occasionally, but other than that, I feel pretty much back to normal. I got clearance from the doctors that I could go back to my normal reckless behavior early in October. I think they were pretty surprised to see how quickly things healed. I know I was. So with 4 weeks out till Iceman, I decided I was going to make a run at gaining back as much fitness as possible before November 5th. What better way to get fitness fast than to race race race! That and a whole lot of stair running on my lunch break.

First weekend back to racing saw me up North at the beautiful Crystal Mountain Resort for the Peak to Peak. This race is really taking off. The attention to detail and Tad’s willingness to take the advice of the participants to heart has really been the fuel that keeps this race growing. The bottom line is that he really sees the participants as customers. Anyways, the start went well, but as soon as we hit the singletrack, I panicked. I couldn’t get off the brakes and gaps were opening up everywhere. The legs locked up with lactic acid and the lungs filled up with phlegm. I decided to lay back and work my way back into the race. Sure enough I was able to recover and I kept the hammer down and was able to pick up a nice 11th place in a deep field for my first race back. Props to the Wisco guys who dominated. It definitely helps bring up the level of competition having them come over to this side of the pond.

During the week, I was keeping up with my stair running and I could feel the lungs coming back ever so slowly. On the weekends I decided to start hitting up these CX races since the next two weekends were on Saturdays, which leaves Sundays open for a longer ride to work on a little endurance. Definitely not a big fan of the Sunday races. The Mad Anthony CX went OK. The downtown Detroit vibe was really cool and refreshing. Again, the fast start blew my legs and lungs out of the water, and then it was a struggle to recover and try to regain some spots. I think I ended up 12th? Not too bad in the A class on the mountain bike. I’ll chalk it up as a good workout. Sunday I hit the dirt rds with Greg Kuhn and Sven. We hammered out 45 miles and I could tell the legs were feeling better.

I’d continue my stair running during the week, but this week I added in a 50lb vest. Needless to say everything was sore for a good 2 days after. I decided to try my luck at the Vets Park CX. The plan was to see how it went Saturday, and then make a decision about whether to race Sunday or not. Saturday didn’t go all that well. Every time I hit the barriers and the run-up, the guy directly in front of me would become out of site! That’s how bad I was at getting on and off the bike. Still I finished in the mid pack somewhere on the mountain bike, so I guess that’s not too bad. Another great workout, but I wasn’t feeling too motivated to come back to that mess again on Sunday and take another flogging on the slip and slide. So I decided Greg and I would go out and get in another 45 miler. We did some awesome V02 intervals and I was pretty smashed by the time I got home. I was happy about the decision.

This week I went out Tuesday with Sven and rode the trail to get a feel for the rigid fork. Next few days will just be recovery rides. No stairs this week. So there ya have it… the Simonster Iceman 4 week training plan. Hope it’s enough to at least fake it at the front for a while. I’m super pumped about the race this year. Having a more relaxed approach and putting less pressure on myself is a nice change of pace. Looking forward to hanging out and partying with all my crazy bike riding friends! It’s going to be a blast.