Sunday, 6 November 2011

Points, practice, and injuries.

Yesterday on my morning run, I was dealt a blow: a turned ankle on a 5:55 am trail run in the Shed. With head lamps in full effect due to the morning darkness, the left ankle rolled over--the same ankle as always--at the same place on the same trail that I usually have this mishap happen. I caught it in time before I did any major damage, and managed to finish the run, but today, the whole foot is tender. Add to that, some acute tendonitis in my my left achilles, and I have a recipe for pain.

The last time I rolled it badly was in a staff boot camp in June. That time, the bruising was all over the foot, and stepping on it was painful for days until it healed. I took two weeks off of running after that injury. The thing healed fine in time for the Chuckanut Footrace in July.

A few months later, some time off of running after the footrace due to the start of CX season and vacations, and an attempt to get back into regular trail running, and my achilles is starting to wear with pain. It was fine for the marathon this May, and after the injury in June. But it seems that taking time off of running can do more harm that good. Even a morning CX ride today in place of the Cross Border Clash in Washington State that I (regretfully) did not attend, and the bottle of gel caps is looking pretty good right now.

That leaves me with two weeks off of racing since the Pumpkin Cross. I didn't make it to Kamloops last week due to the LAPS gala, and this week the grandparents are visiting the grandchildren at our home, so that leaves me rested and ready for next week. Looking back to Pumpkin Cross, I now realize that I was exhausted from the training that I put in before that race. Coupled with mental fatigue, and poor race prep, and I was out of it before it began. I blame a lack of sleep/rest on that one. Something to remember for the next race. GET MORE SLEEP!

This week Cycling BC released the upgrade points totals for the Cat.3/4 and Masters 3/4. As it turns out, I am tied for first with 42 points. This is great because that means for the weekend, I will be the first to be called up for the Mighty/Daryl Evans BC CUP Race. A win, third place finish, and 13th place finish has helped to keep me in the M 3/4 category. Once riders accumulate 50 points, they are automatically upgraded. It looks entirely possible that I will be moved up after this race, which means that I have to give everything to a good finish for November 12th. Only 8 points an I am in the Masters 1/2 catagory. If I finish in 11th, I will move up. I had better finish higher than 11th. Make that better than 5th.

Last weekend, Tyler Dumont and I toured the two South Surrey CX courses. Solid ride with the man, he and I pushed each other pretty good on a few hot laps of the Nov. 12th Course. He has the ability to ride hard and push himself to the limit, as we lead each other on alternating laps.

Along with the CX practice, I have had a bit of fun winning the race home from work everyday. Although it is a solo race over about two kilometers, I always end up winning. This gives me a great reason to practice my victory celebration. Sometimes I practice the cliches: El Pistelero (which feels corny, plagiarized, and just wrong). the sharpshooter (a bit too violent), paddling my bike across the finish (that one works), the "point to the heavens" (I dig this one).

It may be presumptuous to do this, but you never know when it will come in handy. I have seen many finish line celebrations in the local cross scene that are kinda wasted, riders who do not do much when they cross the line a la Cadel Evans winning the 2010 World Championships. Although modesty does have its place, we in Canada can celebrate and be excited about winning races that we in an expressive, energetic way. I am all about that, letting out a war cry at the end of my battle. Yes, it is only the Master's 3/4 catagory. But how many riders win the bike race you are in? I will tell you: one. And only one. And if that is me, darn rights I am going to let out a little sumpin' sumpin' at the end of the race. I just raced my b'donki-donk off, and a little hard fought release is well earned. I expect whomever wins the race in South Surrey this weekend to do the same....