Let me start by apologizing. I’m usually good about writing race reports, but when your season starts with poor race results, depression, and frustration it’s hard to find the motivation to write about your races. On top of that, life has just been crazy. Let’s start with some short summaries of my races.
My first race was the Firebird 40, which due to snow in the high country of Eagle, CO turned into a 25 mile XC race. I don’t train for these short distances, so I knew I wasn’t going to do well, but I didn’t think I would do nearly as bad as I did. A week before the race I ran into some turbulence in my emotions. I was depressed, and no matter how much I slept (I was clocking 9-10 a night) I was still tired. This went on for five days straight. I went into the race feeling drained, and within the first ten minutes I felt gassed. Game over before I even started.
I was really hoping that I could turn things around at the Growler, a 64 miler in Gunnision, CO. The day started cold and rainy which really didn’t bother me too much. I started out strong, but my energy level just wasn’t what it should have been. I was getting passed by racers that wouldn’t hold a match to me even if I was running at 90%. My race ended short with a broken pedal during the last part of the first 32 mile lap. I frantically asked everyone at the race pit if they had an extra pedal, but none could be found. Even if I had completed a second lap it would have been way under where I should be at this point.
This was just some good old fun. I raced Pro class since it offered two more stages and it’s not like I was going to compete whether I was in the class below or not. Hanging out with team mates and working on my technical skills was a good way to restore my love for mountain biking.
Things started out okay up until a broken chain around mile twenty. I burned through a couple matches to make up some time and got behind on my fluids. I started getting leg cramps around mile forty and was feeling the effects of heat exhaustion slowly starting. By mile sixty I was a ball of pain. Any hard effort left me winded. I was hoping I’d catch a second wind, but it never came. It just got worse. Near the end I was getting shakes like my body was going through shock. Never hurt that bad during a race, but after my DNF at the Growler I wasn’t stopping. My result was worse this year than I did two years ago. Another huge failure.
Another epic weekend of bikes, beer, friends, and awesome downhill stages. Really glad I could go race this one. Although I’m no good an enduro races, they are incredible amount of fun that I can’t resist.
So what the hell is going on!? I started my season strong with some long rides in November, and started my training in December. I have never started that early. I’ve worked harder this season then I ever have. My first thought was that the overtraining I felt at the last few races of 2013 have carried over into 2014. Also, after the race I did in March, the True Grit 50, I felt like I was hovering over the line of overtraining. I did dump training sessions to attempt to counter this though. I hate to admit it, but I think the culprit has been stress. Stress is the biggest enemy to an athlete. It messes with recovery, and makes your focus fuzzy. There are a couple life events that cause the highest amount of stress in a person's life. These life events are death, having a child, and new job. My father was diagnosed with cancer in November and just passed away, my wife and I are expecting a new child in mid-January, and I started a new job last Monday. Oh, and if you’re an athlete having a crappy season weighs in as a huge stress as well. Train your ass off for five years straight only to fail epically and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I like to think I can handle the stresses in life, but perhaps all these stresses were just too much for myself or anyone to handle well.