I wish I could say that I ready and gunning for a gnarly season in 2014, which is what I was planning at the beginning of the 2013 season, but it just isn’t going to happen, and I’ve been avoiding putting this information out in the netters of the inter-webs. Mainly, I’ve been avoiding admitting it to myself; I guess I wasn’t ready, but as the XTERRA season heats up and race reports and raised hands of victory appear in our digitized world, I can’t help but realize the reality of my current status. I’m still injured. The acute injury happened at the beginning of May last year, as I was doing some downhill run training for the Southeast Championship at Oak Mountain. This less-than-celebratory anniversary is nearing, and I am still not 100 percent.
Though this is honest, I am still going to race this year; it is doubtful I will make it back to Oak Mountain (though not out of the question); but right now, my eyes are set on the XTERRA at Ft. Yargo, GA. It is a short course, so even if I’m in pain, I’ll still be able to race. The swim and bike shouldn’t be a problem, so I won’t sandbag those splits, but for the run, it will be a wait and see what happens kind of scenario. The run course is five miles, and I haven’t run more than 5k since the Whitewater Race last July.
It’s not all doom and gloom though; here’s what I’ve been up to:
I’ve really just been trying to have fun and not push to pain. I’ve been surfing, swimming, biking, strength training, hiking, doing yoga, and fitting some short runs in when my body says, “I’m feeling it today, Jim.” My miles and training hours have not been nearly as high as this time last year, but I don’t think I’ve de-trained too much. My base is still there waiting…
The annual OMBA Fat Tire Festival was just a blast. We planned to camp for the whole weekend, but we had some things come up and were only able to make it for Saturday. The riding I did get in was just re-energizing. I estimate that I rode about 30 miles and most of it was on the red trails – lots of short up and downs and very technical. This was on 8 March. On the Friday before, the waves just pumped, and I surfed as hard as I could for as long as I could; it was one of the best days I’ve see around here in a long while (search the web and/or FakeBook for New Smyrna Inlet and March 7 – it may turn something up). I followed with a short surf on Sunday. Tired legs.
On the following Friday, I rode out of the house to Martins Dairy on a new backdoor trail. I can now get to the trail system without touching any pavement, and the back route is through some beautifully-dense Live Oak and Magnolia stands. Fun trail but could use some grooming. I kind of just meandered around the entire trail system for about two hours – stopping for a beer break on the high point of Overlook. Great ride. Felt strong. Bike is feeling solid. Later that night, my wife dropped me, my bike and my gear off at a friend’s shop for a bit of jamming. After, I rode home (bit buzzed but under control), which took about an hour. Hell yeah. I got in my three hours of riding.
And this week has started quite well. On Monday, I got in a short but solid swim; on Tuesday, I had a longer, less intense swim, and this morning, I rode the Dairy backwards before daybreak for a little over an hour (very technical with just a handlebar light) and followed it with a 5k brick run at home on our 3/4 mile loop trail. Time: about 25 minutes. Not too bad. Planning some yoga tomorrow and hopefully some long and steady bike / run options for the rest of the week.