Todd's Blog — The RACER's Life


LEADVILLE TRAINING: THE CRAZY TRAIN

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

LEADVILLE TRAINING: THE CRAZY TRAIN

THERE'S A KINDA PACE WHEN YOU RACE LEADVILLE THAT YOU'VE GOT TO FEEL, because your heart and brain are going to lie to you.  It takes more than a few outings to feel it, but when you do... hot damn!

To me it feels like I'm a tank or a loaded semi or a bulldozer or an outta control train... yes a crazy train!

Un.  Flipping.  Stoppable.

 It doesn't happen on the road, because road racing is much more about 1-5 minutes of pain.  It doesn't happen in XC because that's about holding your breath until you heart explodes.  Not gravel because... is that racing? : )

Only at a truly long mountain bike race do I have to become that crazy train.  The training for it goes like this:  Figure out that pace I can hold for hours and hours.  Then train it every Saturday.  That's it.

If I listen to my heart in August, I could completely blow it on the first climb by going out way too fast. I'll be so fresh and antsy.  If I listen to my brain on Powerline I might just pull over and quit.  At Leadville your heart and your brain are your enemy. 

Your friend is that feeling of unstoppable.  Let the kids go hard early, laugh at them when they pull over and puke or quit or cry 6 hours later.

So, when my assignment today was to hammer Harding this morning, I decided to hammer it at Leadville pace.  I wasn't super stoked on my time, 1:10.  It was a minute slower than a few weeks back.  But... here's the kicker.  I took a full 5 minutes off last week's time up Maple Springs, 1 hour flat.. which came after Harding.  Then, I proceeded to keep putting out solid power for the entire 6 hour ride.

62 miles, 10,000' of elevation gain.

Nothing wrong with that.

Every week I'm laying that track, stoking that fire.  The big choo-choo is coming together.  Soon it'll be... 

ALL ABOARD! 

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164.2

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YEAH BUT YOU'RE NOT

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

YEAH BUT YOU'RE NOT

EVER HAD THIS HAPPEN?

Me:  Hey, I saw So-n-so is doing X.  I'm going to do it.

Them:  Yeah, but you're not So-n-so.

Me in my headDamn right!

Naysayers... what are ya gonna do?  Listen to 'em?  Agree with 'em?  Let 'em bring ya down?

Not me.

The real question is, should they even be part of our future?  It could mean death by a thousand cuts.

Which brings me to that pic above.  I plowed down a local single track . It's overgrown with thistle bushes.  I persisted and pushed until it became impossible, impassable.  

It was a long ways.  
I should have turned back sooner.
But, I hoped it would get better.

Ever hear of old man power?  That's where young guys quit and old guys ride on after riding the youngsters into the ground.  It's not really an age thing, it's an experience thing.  Like me in the thistles.  I rode on.  Way too far.  Because I have old man power.

Is it really for old men?

No.

Old men can do it because they have experience.  Kids don't.  Old men know there's life after pain.  There's strength.  There's confidence.  That pain, makes power.

Which brings me back to the naysayers... the moment you realize they are mental thistles and there's no getting through, turn around... never go back down that trail. 

Only a fool would do that.

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165.4

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MY MONEY TALKS

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

MY MONEY TALKS

WHEN I TRULY COMMIT TO SOMETHING, I put it on paper.  I write about it every morning.  Then I post it where I can see it.

Advertising works.

I advertise to my mind.  Brainwash myself.  Remind myself.

It's the only way I can get it done, stay the course... keep from freaking out when it actually starts to happen... hope turns to expectation.

So, I made myself a custom RaceDay Wallet.  Because I'm committed to busting a PR at Leadville this year.

Want one for yourself?  Click here.

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166.4

20/60
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THE BEST

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

THE BEST

THE BEST WORKOUT I DID TODAY?  The pullups and pushups... because I hate doing pullups and pushups.  But doing them... 

... when I don't want to makes me stronger, mentally.
... to failure makes me stronger, physically.

The best food I ate last night?  It was not eating the 2nd cookie, skipping the ice cream and still thoroughly enjoying dessert with my family... because I hate skipping the social sweets.  But skipping them...

... when I want to indulge makes me stronger, mentally.
... and that second and third round I skipped makes me strong, physically.

Riding the bike is easy.

Being my best requires more than pedaling.

166.2
20/60
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THIS AWESOME APP

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

THIS AWESOME APP

THERE'S THIS REALLY COOL APP ON MY CELL.  It's almost as good as a ride with the posse.

It's limited to audio, but it rocks.

Just like when we ride, we can talk.  Actually converse and share stories.  Learn from each other.  Get inspired. Or, just listen when listening is what's needed.  

Better than iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, and way better than email.  

The icon is a green square with a tilted C thingy... it's great for the times we can't ride together, I'm trying to use it a lot more.

163.4
11/33
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WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BIKE?

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BIKE?

WHEN SOMEONE ASKS WHAT'S MY FAVORITE BIKE, it's on the heels of do you ride street or dirt.  Yes, of course, before they get to that question I gently correct them and say You mean road or mountain?

My answer?
The short one... always the same.

The bike I'm riding.

My long answer?

It's still the bike I'm riding, but then I'll go deeper.  The last couple of years it's been much more about the road.  My oldest got into road riding and brought me along.  He's out now.  I'm still very in... until lately.  

Looking for a new challenge, I decided to take another run at Leadville - the 100 mile bike race at over 10,000' in Colorado.  I just had to get a new bike.  Oh man, the new MTBs are amazing: faster, lighter, better suspension, better shifting, better, better, better.

I'd forgotten how much better mountain biking is compared to road riding.  The solitude.  The oneness with nature.  The lack of cars and congestion and noise.  The long, long climbs.  The feeling of flying once the bike is pointed downhill.

Yep, mountain biking is my favorite... unless I'm on my road bike, or my gravel bike, or my unicycle, or my motorcycle.

So... what's your favorite bike?

164.4
10/30
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FEELING IT

TODD BROWN feel fast The RACER's Life

FEELING IT

UGH... IT'S SO DANG EARLY.
I'm staying here.
Under the covers.

It's too cold.
I'm too tired.
I've ridden a lot already this week.

I should have left earlier.
I don't have time to do it all.
I forgot to get my gear ready last night.

Get your sorry butt outta bed.
Right now.
You can rest after the race.

Then you'll...
Feel fast and ride fast
on race day.

... how most mornings start for me.  How 'bout you?

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165.4

10/30
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TRAIN WITH RACE WITH

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

TRAIN WITH RACE WITH

FIVE US HEADED UP TO THE RACES  SATURDAY.  We train together most Tuesday mornings.  All of us managed to climb atop the podium.

Which got me thinking...

We're all on different teams.
We're friends.

Are we weird?

Or, have we figured out some sort of secret sauce?

And what came first?

Do we race together because we train together or do we train together because we race together?

Join us sometime or every time... together we're better... thetmwc.com

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166.4
20/60
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THE BEST TUESDAY OF THE YEAR

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

THE BEST TUESDAY OF THE YEAR

4 MORE WEEKS TO THE BEST TUESDAY OF THE YEAR

You can register here https://replaytiming.com/register/2019-tmwc/  

New for 2019

  1. ​We'll have a KOM from the Start of the El Toro Bike Trail to the Top of Live Oak. We'll time you based on the Winner's Time and based on your Chip Time.
  2. Everybody gets a T-Shirt! If you register by June 10th.
  3. The first 10 U23 Registrants are free!!
  4. The Lottery. You don't have to be fast or slow, you could win The $500 Lottery, or invite someone who wins The Lottery. If you invite The Lottery Winner, you'll be splitting the pot with them. But it doesn't end there...if you are within 5 generation of invites, you'll be sharing the pot.* For example, if I invite Tim, who invites Lori, who invites Pete, who invites Kim, who invites Cheyne, and Cheyne wins The Lottery...we ALL share in the pot.*

    *Note: if multiple people invite the same person, the person the Invitee enters will get the credit.

Any questions can be directed to todd@pedalindustries.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

The PEDAL Industries Team


WHAT THE CALENDAR DON'T KNOW WON'T HURT IT

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

WHAT THE CALENDAR DON'T KNOW WON'T HURT IT

9 DAYS OUT, and I'm fairly pooped.

Calendar says I be racing in 9 days.

Calendar doesn't know I'm gonna sneak in a race on Monday too.

What will that form be then... -1,000,000?

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164.4
30/90
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R IS FOR REGISTRATION

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

R IS FOR REGISTRATION

REGISTRATION.  The moment of truth.  Before you register the race is just an idea, an I might do.  Which means it's nothing.  It also means if you're talking about it, it's just talk.  Some might even call it BS.

I know this first hand.

This year I had planned to do the Whiskey50.  But, and you might think this is weird, the closer the event got the less sure me going seemed to be.  Right up until the week of the race, when I went to register and it was sold out.

Yep, I was that guy.  A big, fat loser.

You can't win if you're not there.  You can't PR if you're not there.  If you aren't in the race, you're out... you're that guy, too!

Conversely, also on my radar was the Santa Barbara Road Race.  I signed up 2 months in advance.  In this case, the closer the event got the better I got.  My diet was stricter.  My training was better.  It all fell into place and I had a great weekend of racing.

When you register magic happens.  The sooner you register the sooner it starts.  Your focus changes.  It's easier to say no to distractions and yes to what moves you closer to your goal.

To make your registration more powerful, share it with the world.  Post it on social media.  In 2016, I blogged every week about a 200 mile bike race called LoToJa and how I was prepping for it.  Trust me, when you put it out there it is like having a super power.  It takes that initial registration and multiplies the goodness by a million.

But, the real pros... the ones who really know how to harness their ambitions, build a posse.  My posse is my group of friends who I train with.  Not all of the posse race the same races, but that doesn't matter.  What matters is that the posse knows my plans, and I know theirs.  The posse becomes like a board of directors.  We share ideas and secrets.  We plan rides to do.  It's a whole other level of accountability and motivation and fun!

Yes, fun!  In the end, the registration and the sharing and the posse are meant to bring a whole lot more fun to the racing.  The racing is hard.  It takes everything we've got.  Keeping it fun carries us through the challenges and disappointments bound to come our way.

If we weren't challenging ourselves, if we weren't going for it, there wouldn't be any disappointment and there wouldn't be any growth.  We'd be static at best, most likely going backwards in terms our physical abilities.

That is what Registration is all about.  Finding out what we're made of and how far we can go.

What are you registered for?


INTRO - THE RACER'S Life

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

INTRO - THE RACER'S Life

I'M NOT A GIFTED ATHLETE, AND YOU PROBABLY AREN'T EITHER.  Few are.  The rest of us compete knowing our weaknesses, and sometimes we win.  We beat the blessed, we pummel our PRs... because we have to, it’s who we are. 

We are racers.

We are passionate.

We are determined to improve.

The RACER’s Life is the approach I have used to win 2 National Championships, finish Leadville sub-9 on all 5 attempts, and rest my head at the end of the day battered, beaten and satisfied that there was nothing left to give.

What more can we ask of ourselves than everything?

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165.6
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