I've been racing mountain bikes for the past 10 years on and off. I won't get into how I got started riding or any of that, but I will mention this -- my first race was the now defunct Fuller Volvo Eastern Shore Mountain Bike Championship in Wye Mills, MD in 2000. I raced beginner class, one lap, on a more or less flat course and finished dead middle of the pack. I threw up after I crossed the finish line. I felt woozy and awful. And I couldn't wait to do it again. So I did. I raced more or less every chance I got for about five years. It took me that long to realize that I suffered from an incurable case of slowness. (And since it took five years to figure it out, I guess that means I suffer the same disease mentally as well.) I didn't race much for a couple of years then. Trivial things kept getting in the way -- things like buying a house, getting married, the little stuff. By 2008, I was far enough removed from my staggering run of mediocrity to actually miss it. But I thought this time, since I already knew I couldn't outrun them, I'd spend my time learning that I can't outlast them as well. So I started lining up for enduros. Did a couple of six hour races with mixed results (mixed meaning "DFL" and "not DFL") and then started upping the ante. In 2009, I decided to try my luck at 24 hour racing. My first one was in WIsconsin at the 24 Hours of Nine Mile, and I came within 3 minutes of winning my class. So, yeah, that was kind of cool. One of the best experiences of my life, in fact. I had built my own training plan and spent the better part of first 7 months of the year getting myself ready. I loved the planning part of it, so I repeated it again in 2010 with a slightly more "full" schedule, culminating in the Shenandoah 100 (which, for me, was actually a lot harder than racing 24 hours, but just as much fun!)
So that brings us to this year! And this non-resolution! That just happens to be starting at the beginning of the new year! In all seriousness, I'm just starting my annual training plan this year with an additional goal. I mean, I've still got a full schedule of racing, and all of my training is and will continue to be about that, but I spent most of last year racing the singlespeed class for the first time, and I decided that this year I want to do it again, only lighter! And I'd love to add a few even bigger challenges, and I just think that will only work if I'm racing with less me to haul around.
So my primary goal for racing this year is to race fitter than I did last year. Ideally, I'd like ot be around 145-150, which means a 15-20 lb drop. Not too bad. My actual races are more of the same from 2009 -- a few NUE races, SS enduro class in the MASS, and ... one more. Hopefully. I'm looking to do one race that I can't even think about yet, but I'll just say this -- it would be the hardest one I've ever done. If I even get to do it. So for now, let's just call it "the race without a name".
This whole thing will be kind of a combination of training log, idea forum, fitness journal, etc. Basically, whatever the hell my simple mind comes up with. Only with pictures. Like this one, a shot of my bike after my first (very muddy) ride of the year at Salisbury Trails in the Lehigh Valley yesterday:
or, you know, this one (which, come on, is pretty friggin' self-explanatory):