Last week I was able to put together another pretty solid training week in the first five days. I got in both of my weight workouts, my Tuesday mountain climb, my Wednesday recovery ride, and took off work on Friday to mountain bike, since we would be in NYC for the weekend. The mountain climb went well, and I set another 2.5 minute PR. The mountain bike ride was not as great, since I was pretty worn out, and I still haven’t fully adjusted back to the weight training yet.
I realized that the reason that I can still climb well tired versus mountain biking tired, is the matter of smashing your tired meat stick legs up and down while mountain biking requires a lot more fine motor skills that don’t work so well when both your legs and supportive muscles are fried. So I basically just did one lap of the “cross country loop”, which is the first singletrack loop of the Trailmix and called it a day. I did set PRs on every single segment I rode, but that was only because I hadn't ridden those trails since early June when I was in really, really bad shape. It was still tough trying to ride well, and I was not as fast as I’d hoped to be.
Still, I can see that I’m making progress, albeit slow, and I feel like I’m starting to figure out what works for me in my current lifestyle and for mountain-bike-focused training. I wasted too much time trying to fit my mountain bike training in a model that worked for a gravel-racing focus in the past. Unfortunately, mountain biking, especially here, is a much bigger strain on the body than gravel riding, and I didn't account for that. Luckily, I think I've learned what works, but it’s just a bummer that I’m only hitting my stride with less than four weeks left until cyclocross. Then I have to figure out how that will fit into the plan, as well.
Since I had plenty of warning that we would be out of town and unable to ride this weekend, I didn't mind burning myself to a crisp beforehand. We spent the weekend in Brooklyn with Frank’s best from high school and her husband. I’d never been to New York before, but we still had a not very touristy visit. Or maybe we did.
Since amateur research of hipster culture is a bit of a hobby of mine, visiting shops and bars in Williamsburg and Red Hook were my kind of tourism. We were supposed to go to a free concert on Saturday night, but it filled up way faster than we expected. We ended up playing a couple of rounds at a recently-opened shuffleboard hall right before things got overly busy there, and that was pretty perfect. Frank and I also won both games, which didn't hurt.
Of course, I’m paying the price today for the weekend’s debauchery, as running around the city in the heat, eating out and drinking, and sleeping on an air mattress are not good recovery techniques when you’re already exhausted from training. But right now I’m just doing my best to fulfill both my training and social obligations and not get too stressed about my shortcomings or the things standing in my way. (Possibly another forced off-the-bike weekend coming up.) As I said a couple of weeks ago, I've just got to keep chipping away at the crack at the wall with my tiny hammer, and not let myself start beating my head instead.