NMBS#1 Nova Mountain Bike Race

If I don’t write a race report does it make a race go away? If I didn’t write anything really only a handful of people would know I was racing. One of them is Jenny Smith, who kicked ass. Another is a pregnant Jenny Tobin along with Michael (who was also there racing) and a bunch of other NORBA racing types. I guess it is important to write about a race where it was tough, I was struggling, I considered dropping out after about 40 minutes but I soldiered on to finish no matter how slow I ended up going. Yep, you are only as good as your last race and the shine of World Champion form is wearing off and now the reality that I have a whole new season to kick it up a notch is upon me. I have always had spectacularly bad races to go with the outstanding good ones but it still stings when a race is forgettable. However, a lot of people put effort into my being at this race so I have to acknowledge them for their efforts and I have to send a shout out to all the talented chicks that kicked my butt. Thanks to Scott for sending emergency kit so I would not have to race naked. Thanks to BMC-Sports Garage for helping in the feed zone so I actually completed the distance this weekend. Thanks to the girls who were so friendly to me this weekend when I was in the way. I couldn’t get out of my own way let alone that of the girls trying to pass! Haha….

I am in pain. Lots and lots of pain. It is that kind of pain you are in when you are asking your body to do something it truly does not want to. It is amazing how much more it hurts going poorly than rocking out going fast. However, doing these efforts is important as pushing through a bad day makes a good day even better. So I guess having three tough days in a row is going to pay off in oh, about SEVEN months when I actually need to be going well. Keeping that in perspective is important because I really felt bad this weekend and it is hard not to get discouraged.

I decided on Monday to come to Phoenix, Arizona for the first of the NMBS mountain bike series races, mostly because the weather sucks in Victoria and I was tired of training in the rain. I have a couple of big weeks on my bike but really I have been doing a lot more run quality than bike quality this year so I came here knowing it would be tough. Of course, I did not adjust my expectations because as my swim coach Neil always says, “Don’t be alarmed if you are going fast!” Once upon a time I did very well on this course so I enjoy coming to this venue. I also have a very cool family to stay with, Kevin, Debi and Tiffany so I am feeling pretty comfy and settled. Debi and Kevin were off to Oceanside to do the 70.3 this weekend so I was left to my own devices with this race. Probably best since I came home frustrated about three days in a row…

What happened? Well, I did not go as fast as I would have liked, obviously (even the short track did not go well and usually that is my go-to) but I also need to tweak some things with my new rig to really get comfortable. I guess I have some homework to do before the next race. My races were all not great but the cross country was really bad. I did one good lap and then the next two were awful. It is actually really hard to find a lot of positives in this race other than I finished rather than dropping out. Last year I also started the season spectacularly slow so I have to say I am on track again with my slow start. Lots of commiserating with people from mountain biking who basically think “What can you expect if you are a triathlete?” but I don’t agree. I can expect a HELL of a lot more than that and riding that speed I will get my ass handed to me at XTERRAs! Haha, anyways October of last year is closer to now than October of this year so there is still lots of time.

Now I have 10 days of sunny training before I am off to Monterey for Sea Otter. I have an evening with the Phoenix Tri Club planned, some great outdoor swims, some fun trail runs and some good hilly rides on the schedule. Even though this race did not go that well I am still sticking to the plan. I have some run form to build and I am planning to have the cycling come around with some racing. A different plan from last year but I am hoping it pushes both my bike and run up to a higher level earlier in the year. I had a steady build to the end of the year last year with a bit of overtraining in the early season… this year I want to race a little more and train a little less so the early Xterra season is a bit stronger.

It was great to see the NORBA girls though. I also saw Monique Sawicki who is focusing on her long stuff, met the BMC-Sports Garage girls, said hello to some people I have not seen since I raced at Whistler last year. Different crew at these races and it is a nice change. Congrats to all the new girls and especially Georgia Gould. She is rocking out this season so that is very cool for her to back up her National Champs win last year with some butt kicking this year as well.

Thanks very much for the help from the BMC-Sports Garage team this weekend. Kelly and Jeff were great and the girls were so friendly. Thanks to Nature’s Path, BMC, Sundog Eyewear, Gu, Shimano, Fox, Maxxis, Titec, Fizik, Powertap, Lazer Helmets, Descente, Shimano and Rider’s Cycles. Thanks to you guys this show is now officially on the road. All the good stuff is yet to come.

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