Looking Ahead

It’s less than 2 months until the first race of 2011 (Southern Cross). I’ve had a personal vendetta for that race ever since the 2009 edition where I experienced one of the biggest failures of my racing career by losing 1st place to Carey Lowery in the last seconds of the race (a combination of bad pacing, bad nutrition, bad motivation, and bad bike handling). Last year, I was able to pull off a win, but Carey was not there, and she then proceeded to have one of the most prolific race seasons of her life. Would I have beaten her? I’m sure you could find people that would argue either way, but mostly you’d find people that would ask, “Who the Hell are Andrea and Carey, and what is Southern Cross?”

I digress.

As of late, I’ve been focusing on building aerobic endurance- a quality that I’ve not spent much time on in the past other than the occasional long ride (which would inevitably contain large chunks of time NOT focusing on an endurance pace). It’s the classical “base building” that I conveniently skipped in the past because before mountain bike racing, I was racing for 2-3 hours at the most. I could go into the physiology of it, but I’ve kind of enjoyed NOT getting into the physiology of anything lately. It’s driven me a little crazy at times, but I’m hoping for payoff in the upcoming months.

The season starts off a little slow- Spa City 6 hour in March, then the Ouachita Challenge April 3rd, then nothing on the calendar until April 30th, when the NUE Series kicks up with the Cohutta 100 (after that- destruction!) I’m still on the fence about racing the Ouachita course Singlespeed. Only one other female singlespeed competitior is registered, and there’s a slew of “women’s open” competitors. On one hand, I want to support singlespeed racing, but on the other, Ouachita isn’t that great of a singlespeed course because of several miles of flat/rolling forest road. If I want to “chase” the fast women, it would be advantageous to have gears in order to play to my strengths. What does the studio audience think?

I’m hoping that other NUE races besides Cohutta and Breck add the women’s singlespeed (hereby referred to WSS) category. It’d be a dream for WSS to be its own category in the NUE Series. My recommendation to the NUE gods- make WSS a category. Being the only woman dedicated enough to chase points on a singlespeed, I’ll win by default, then other, faster women will be all like, “oh, she just won by chasing points, no one fast raced that category,” and I’ll be all like, “yeah, then maybe you should race singlespeed and beat me,” and then they’ll be all like, “maybe I will,” and I’ll be all like, “bring it on, gearie!” and then… well, you get the point.

With Cohutta, Syllamo, Mohican, Breck, Fool’s Gold, and Shennandoah,  I’ve got plenty of races to get NUE points (only the 4 best are counted). April/May/June will be pretty packed, but after that, there will be larger gaps between the A races, and I’m not yet sure if I want to fill those with training or more racing. I originally wanted to go to the Breck Epic, but I likely won’t find the disposible income for it, and I feel I should be a lot faster before I hit sponsors up for that type of cash. It’ll probably be last minute additions as I get bored with weekends in Memphis.

Speaking of geared bikes, I received something black and white and carbon all over in the mail yesterday. Now I’m just waiting on other hardware from the likes of SRAM in order to start putting it all together. This one will take a little more parts-gathering time than the previous build, but I’ll post it once it’s up & ripping.

4 thoughts on “Looking Ahead

  1. Far as aerobic riding goes (boring zone 2 work) im in the same boat as you. Never paid much attention to it in the past but this year I have *slowly* built up to 15-17 hours a week with most of it being on the weekends doing 4-5 hours of steady endurance work.

    Will be interesting to see how this works out for us.

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