FROM A RESULTS STANDPOINT, this has been an amazing year. I haven’t had this much success since the kids were just hopes.
Here are the variety of reasons:
The kids are gone.
Well, technically they’re back. They are adults now, and we run what feels like an AIRBNB while they get their careers going. It’s a lot of fun, more than I anticipated… probably because they are so busy making their own lives, and we get a lot of snippets of the action. So… I have the time to train 10-12 hours a week.
Road vs MTB.
I’m a far better road racer than XC racer. Trevor got me back into the road, when he picked up bike racing. Prior to that it was 80% MTB. It took about 3 years to get my 1-2 minute power back. On the road, you need group savvy and you need bursts of power. Without those two skills, you’ll be looking at a lot of butts… disappearing in the distance.
For the first time in a million years I have a truly awesome road bike I named Flashy Jack. It’s very aero, pretty light, with ceramic bearings everywhere. Plus, it looks fast. If you want to play with the best, and you’ve got decent talent, you have to have equipment that is on par with the best. If you have immense talent, you can skimp on the equipment – I don’t.
It’s hard to be svelte as you age. I do my darndest to stay under 170. I’d like to be skinny Todd of 30 years ago, but my core is just so muscular. I’ve focused on eating real food vs processed food, drinking a lot of water, and getting plenty of sleep. That’s the trifecta… oh, and removing stress from my life as much as possible.
The best thing that happened this year was the massive increase in the quality of our Tuesday morning ride. It’s just so, darn, great. Really talented guys, pushing each other. We’ve all become much fitter, and better tactically.
This occurred to me after reading Seth’s blog post on USACycling participation. It’s down. That’s true, very true. “Why back in my day”, we used to have 70-100 guys in every race. The racing was very dynamic. This was my first in a long time where I did a lot of racing. The races had smaller fields, not empty, but smaller. Lots of people tell me guys stay home because they don’t want to race dopers, and others tell me the dopers all quit after they started getting caught. I’m not discounting my results at all, the guys that are showing up are plenty o’ fast, but…
… if you’re a masters racer and you’ve been away…
… come back, we’re having a blast!
(our Tuesday crew)