After the selection races I have gone back into base training. Which means, you know it – lots of hours on the bike! This is fine, and since Monday I have been waking up at 4am and going out at 4:30-5:00am to do 3.5-4.5hr road rides. This also included some easy/fun MTB sessions in the afternoon to help regain some confidence in my single track handling skills.
This week was going to be a 1,000km week, but I mentioned to my coach that I have a XC race at Toowoomba on Saturday (which is very steep and rocky) and a Long distance MTB-O race on the Sunday. So we still decided to have a hard week but half the amount and I managed to rack up about ~400+ kms by the Thursday and did a promotional shoot for MTB-O with the ‘Totally Wild‘ show which is a Channel 10 show on the Friday.
So today I was feeling a little rested, but I was doubting my chances for staying with the leaders after having ridden the course on a practice lap. It was rocky, and I mean ROCKY, as well as steep. I felt, O.K. on the climbs in the practice lap but it was a whole different story when the race started.
I knew it would be an absolute shit fight to get into the single track due to the lack of overtaking chances on the whole course and the sudden rough technical climb. I think there was about 100m of track that was viable to overtake, unless you wanted to spend a huge amount of energy to ride over rocky ground in the bush faster than someone else on smooth or rocky track.
So the race starts and I hit the first climb hard to get an O.K. spot, then about in the first 100m I knew this wasn’t going to be a race against the other guys. This was a race to see if I could make it around four times. My legs felt shot and they weren’t recovering and the close trees and rocks where making me nervous and slow.
The rough descents were effecting my left shoulder and my arms were already fatiguing on the first half of your course on the first lap! I have done mainly road cycling since I was given the O.K. to cycle again but the rough track shook me to bits, let alone my whole body already feeling like it had done the course four times.
It was a mind game and I was losing the game. I came around through my 2nd lap and stopped and had a talk to with Dad and I had already felt defeated for awhile. My back was telling me to stop and my arms were barely keeping control of the rough and narly descents. Don’t get me wrong, they were fun and I loved them but my body wasn’t dealing with it well.
I pushed out a third lap but I was exhausted and my arms were weak and the shoulder was doing weird things. Having seen stacks on the course I thought I would play it safe by pulling out and resting. I wanted to do four laps, but my body didn’t have it in me that day.
The winner Ben Forbes powered through for a victory with a healthy lead of Michael Illing who also had a healthy lead over Aiden Lefmann.
There is a lot of work to do to bring me up to speed. I know I am slow on tight windy tracks and I don’t quite have the explosive speed as the other guys. improving my technical skill is crucial as well. Heading into this race I could have trained differently, but this isn’t what I am training for.
My focus right now is the World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships in Estonia and I need to get kilometers into my legs then put some speed into them. I do want to improve my XC performances seeing as it will be better to aim for to have competition to push me to go faster and train better.