It is really hard to get fast. There are three ways I can see to make improvements for myself; 1 gain power, 2 lose weight, 3 improve skills. Out of these 3 ways to improve, the fun one is obvious, improve skills but until XC courses resemble trails courses this improvement will only yield small gains. The next most enjoyable would be to gain power, although doing intervals to help gain power is hardly fun. I enjoy going to the gym but with that added muscle comes added weight so you need to have a bigger increase in power to offset the increase in weight. Finally, losing weight always makes me faster because I don’t the have the self control to cause a decrease in power from weight loss, I just enjoy eating too much. So this one is also the most difficult. Plus being American doesn’t help this one since everything is super sized and good tasting bad foot is everywhere.
This winter I have been hitting the gym a lot. I’ve probably doubled the time I’ve spent in the gym from last year to this year already. With all that extra work you would think the power would shoot up but they are very small incremental gains I’m seeing. Then to translate those gains into pedal power I lose a little bit more. So like most things that make you better at anything in life, it is a lot of work for a small gain. I’m not complaining, just an observation. With that said, it’s pretty cool to see any type of gain so I have to be happy with an upward trend, even if it’s a minute angle. Maybe I will be able to do one more acceleration this year then last year, or hold on for an extra few seconds to a hard jump. It’s not mind blowing but it is progress.
It was also a good excuse to hit one of the best Mexican restaurants in town, Cafe Poca Cosa. They have the best chocolate mole I have ever had. They also have a menu that changes everyday and their signature dish is 3 different things chosen by the chef from the daily menu. I had to go with mole but everyone else went with the daily plate. Ummm
The UCI did something I never thought I would see this week, change a rule at the request of others. Well, to be fair they didn’t change it but simply state they wouldn’t enforce it until next year. If you’re reading this blog you have probably also been following the debate about the unsanctioned race rule that has been going on this week. I think it’s great the UCI stepped back from the enforcement of this rule for the remainder of the year. This will hopefully give USAC and MTB promoters the chance to come together and possibly find a way to work together. I don’t know what the two parties need to hash out but hopefully over the next 8 months they can find some middle ground where everyone is happy and wants to work together. I am especially hopeful that NICA and USAC will come together because I feel that for MTB to grow in the US, NICA is the future. At the very least with the lifting of the enforcement of this rule for 2013, I’ll be able to compete in my first Whiskey 50, which also happens to be the “Mike Janelle” race and another MTBer that was taken too soon.
Tomorrow we head back to Durango and leave our AZ home behind till next year. It has been another wonderful winter training in the desert and I enjoy Tucson more every year we come. It is an awesome place with great riding and beautiful weather but it’s the people that make the place great. I’m going to miss it but am excited to get back to Durango, if only for 1 day before I head off to Specialized for a small team camp and Sea Otter.
I’ve got a busy day of training and packing and watching the Masters.
I wonder if Pizza Piete has touched down in the US of A yet……..