Friday, May 15, 2009

Slow to Report

I can't believe Jason finally updated his blog. He has developed a good eye for photo composition and the pictures of the kids are great.

It seems harder lately to concentrate. Several times I was going to update the blog and then put it off. It seems difficult to get some of the little things done.

A very big part of competitive athletics is the mental side. There are many book and coaches that address this subject. I believe that athletes who may be slightly inferior in skills may make up for it in mental toughness and voracity. I know this has helped me where I lack the physical attributes necessary to succeed. I think I have taken a few steps backward of late.

With everything going on at Chrysler over the last few months, heck, the last few years, it has kept many of us somewhat on edge. The uncertainty and dealing with the constant rumors and changes tend to wear on you after a while. But at least for now we still have our jobs. Although forced time off without pay may be on the horizon. I feel for those who may not have been as fortunate in the fallout.

My training has taken a hit this year in both time and intensity so I am using the recent return of the spring races at Lake Orion High School to try and get some fitness level back. But I can tell the bigger races may be a suffer fest.

The races have drawn the usual turnout, despite the fact that the first two races have not had any rain. In fact, last week the trails were almost 100% dry and it was sunny and in the low 70’s. I think it is difficult to get people out after work to race. Plus many still either don’t know about the races or may think that the course is probably some flat paths around a school.

In fact, I have been busy putting in new sections of singletrack that have added more elevation changes than before. And last year people thought there was a lot of climbing! At the last race one racer asked how I could possibly build a trail that was all uphill. Another racer commented that last week we ran the course in the reverse direction and it was all uphill then as well. They wanted to know what kind of vortex the LOHS property was in.

Last week was the scheduled 6/12 hour race at Addison Oaks. Many of the local trails have taken a long time to dry out due to all the rain we have had this spring, Addison being no exception. With heavy rains during the week preceding the race there was talk of cancelling the race. Nice weather for two days allowed the trail to somewhat dry out but would not be able to take on any more water.

Sure enough, the rains came down overnight and heavy rain a few hours before the start caused the promoter to reschedule to this weekend. A few years ago this same race caused major damage to the course that took a year of hard work to repair.

But the postponement of the race meant I could attend the demo day at Island Lake State Recreation area instead. For the past several years the event has been put on to allow people to come and ride demo bikes that are provided by dealers and bike manufactures set up at the event. Cannondale provides their big rig loaded with test bikes and the are sales rep, Jason Edinger, is also in attendance. It is a great opportunity to help represent the brand that helped me. Plus what better way to spend a rainy afternoon than hanging out with great team mates and talking bikes?

The weather has somewhat cooperated for this Saturday’s race but there is a forecast of rain and possible thunderstorms. Hopefully the rain will be short and the impact to the trail conditions kept to a minimum.

My plan is to race on Saturday if it is not pouring, I’m not sure if I will do the 6 or the 12 hour race. If I don’t race I may do the race at close by Bloomer on Sunday instead.

Next week is the last of the LOHS races and then in two weeks is the first 100 mile race for me, the Mohican 100 in Loudonville, OH. This course is probably one of my favorite 100’s even though it is also harder than some others. It has such a wide variety of trail conditions that you never really get bored, except for the long rail trail; that is kind of numbing. Maybe this year will be first in the four I will have done to not have any rain.

The Cannondale rig

Rolling some of my CFR bikes out for display at the bike demo.

The kids just keep getting cuter

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