Monday, January 25

Winter Shart Tarck Series '21: Race One Prumble

This "season" is going to be interesting.  I've definitely had more saddle time since... March(?) than ever before leading into the Winter Shart Tarck.  Fitness should be high, BUT I knew there would be a downside to this as well.  Every other race would come on the tail end of a week off, meaning eight days to ride myself into the ground before race day.

On Saturday before the race, I decided to heed the last minute call to arms to do work on the course.  I don't ever remember missing an annual Shart Tarck work day, so why not?  It's not normally the day before the first race for about a thousand obvious reasons.

"Don't overdo it," The Pie said as I was getting ready to head out the door.

"Why stop now?"

What a blessed "off week" I'd just had.  The sun was out and the trails were open.  I rode.  A lot.  It's so hard to keep it out of the red zone on a single speed no matter what I'm doing, so I wasn't getting any "recovery" days...

Well, except when I cut a solo ride short on Wednesday when I was already feeling the effects of the previous four days of riding in the woods.  My legs had no snap, and my "trail feel" was off a little.  Thursday I was right back in it, and over those next two days, I mighta got in 45 more miles and 5,000 feet of climbing.

How do you not go to Pisgah with your little friend when it's T-shirt weather in January?

I considered doing trail work on Saturday a "recovery day."  I didn't bring my bike, and wasn't worried about getting a ride in all day long.  I'd just be happy to work alongside friends in the sun. 

Well, the promoter hadn't beaten the drum all too hard, since we'd only be doing some drainage work as opposed to the normal winterizing and feature building (or rebuilding) at the old course.  There were just six of us instead of the usual twenty to thirty people.  Two junior riders, the ASCG trail coordinator, the promoter, his assistant, and me.

Only three or so hours of de-berming and digging and whacking errant water-holding roots and scraping and... ungh.  So much labor, and not one terrible jump built, but at least the trail shouldn't hold water if we have to race in wet conditions over the next five weeks.  Fortunately, we got occasional breaks as we'd have to get off the trail to let people pre-riding the course go past us.  Bless you.

Of course I woke up Sunday morning all kinda sore in old man places with no idea how exactly it happened.  My left shoulder, lower back, hamstrings, and my butt.  I guess those are my shoveling muscles.

But that's just "muscle pain" and should have no adverse effect on how hard I can pedal a bike for forty minutes...

I tell myself.

No regrets.

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