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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Difference Between Knowing Something and Doing Something About It

Last night was the first time the Arctic Bike Club ran a criterium at the former Kulis Air National Guard Base. As an Alaska Guardsman, it was weird seeing how it’s changed since the 176th Wing moved to Elmendorf AFB. I live a couple miles away, but I hadn’t been there since they closed down. At any rate, old Air Force Bases make for fun crit courses. We were running a loop of a little over a half a mile long, on closed roads, with a short hill and some winding turns to make it interesting. After last year, I had asked for new venues and more mass-start events so that racers could get used to pack riding, and the Road Division really stepped up. This course needs to be a regular feature on our calendar.

After the Tour of Fairbanks, I’ve been in kind of a recovery/rebuilding phase, so I wasn’t planning on doing anything spectacular. Get in some good intensity, play around here or there, and have some fun. That’s it. Members of the newly-formed Team Trek Alaska had other ideas. The two r…

Beat Down

So, here it is mid-June, only a couple months into the season, and I find myself a little beat up and without a clear goal for the rest of the summer. I’m mentally drained, which is natural after a big event (let alone a successful one). After last year’s post-Fairbanks fitness crash, I’m trying to stick to the plan so I can maximize the gains I got from this race. That means healthy doses of recovery and a structured building phase for the next big event. Maybe that will be the Tour of Anchorage. Maybe it will be cross season. Maybe it will be next year. At this point, I’m not focusing on anything except resting, which is harder than it sounds when the area is experiencing some of the best summer weather in years.
For me, achieving my goals is usually less important than working towards them. The process means I have direction, while reaching the end leaves me rudderless until I settle on a new goal. Sometimes that takes a while, and sometimes it’s better to just drift around- as long…

The Impossible Dream

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I had a goal for this season. I kept it quiet, even from my coach, so it couldn’t become a crushing expectation. That didn’t diminish it in any way. I really wanted this one, because with my ever-growing family- 3 kids (15, 10, 6), 2 pending foster kids (3, 1), and one in the oven- this old man might never get another chance. I took off some weight, actually listened to Janice (for a change), and focused my energy towards reaching this one goal.

I wanted to be on the Masters Men podium at the 2013 Tour of Fairbanks.
After finishing 2nd last year in the Sport Class at the ToF, I figured it was in the realm of possibility. My times were comparable, and since we raced alongside them for a couple stages, I thought I knew what to expect. Then I saw the roster for this year’s race, and all of my expectations went out of the window. The field sized had doubled from the previous year, and there were some really strong riders poised to line up, and you never know how well they’re riding. I consi…

It Just Doesn't Matter.

Today was the Bodenburg Road Race, one of my favorite races on the Arctic Bike Club Road Racing Division schedule. I have a weird record on this course (considering how much I like it), finishing dead last on my first time there and fourth on the last two tries. The first time I cramped up and got dropped in the final sprint. The second time I was sitting fourth wheel, in perfect position in the draft to fight for the win at the bottom of the finishing climb, when someone grabbed brakes and I skidded to a near-stop. I limped to the finish.

This time around (my third) I wasn't really interested in doing anything except getting a good workout. I chased down attacks I wouldn't normally go after, took some pulls that may have been longer or harder than I should have, and generally played around. To be honest, after a couple weeks of riding a lot of miles at a lower intensity, I was doing a lot of bargaining with myself towards the middle of the race. Then my legs finally started t…