This past weekend, was the peak of my training for the upcoming finish of the GNCC race season.
As you may recall, we had a huge break in the middle of the year from GNCC racing. I did a couple of local races, did a bunch of cycling events and spent time with my family. Scott did the same. But, a few weeks ago, it came time to start focusing my training on being ready for the rest of the season. There are 6 races to come in Sept. and Oct. That is a pretty tough schedule. There is one last local race here in D16, 4 GNCC races and the Wisconsin round of the AMA National Hare Scrambles championships.
In the spring GNCC races, I was suffering from a few different issues.
– The first of which was my knee situation. My knee surgery had me riding really tentatively. I had been through so much with me knee, and it was still sensitive that I know I was just not riding up to my potential.
– The second thing was that I was on a new motorcycle that I had not really figured out. I did not have any time to ride in the fall, even when I had new bikes in the garage, again because of my knee situation. Fall last year became 100% about my knee.
– GNCC racing is way different than the local stuff that Scott and I had been doing previously. GNCC racing is a lot faster, and the field is way deeper. In the past being on or off your game for the day had made the difference between 1st and 4th in my class. In GNCC racing a good or bad day can be 15 places different in your class.
– The fourth reason for my suffering in those early races was my fitness. I just did not have the jam to make it through the whole race. I was turning into a complete tourist for the last hour or more of the race. I had spent so much time on my knee rehab, that I was only up to an hour or so on the trainer during the winter at race time, and that was just not enough depth of fitness.
So, I have spent the 2 months in between the last GNCC race and now trying to solve these deficiencies.
I have gotten way more comfortable with my new knee. I have ridden my motorcycle a lot, I have raced mountain bikes with it and I have ridden downhill mountain bikes in Whistler BC with it. I am so much more confident in my fixed knee now than I was in the spring that it is not the same situation at all. In fact, my fixed knee is way better than my OEM knee. The OEM knee needs to have the meniscus fixed, and that more than the fixed knee has me protecting my knees. But, either way I am way more confident in my knees this fall than I was in the spring.
At this point, I am 100% in sync with my Suzuki RM 250. I love that motorcycle. I know that a lot of the world is switching to 4 strokes, but I have no intention of switching. I have spent enough time on my RM250 that I am extremely comfortable and confident in that motorcycle. I do not think there is a better motorcycle anywhere for offroad racing. I know exactly what it will do and when now.
GNCC racing is still different than local racing, but I now know what to expect. I know they are fast, and I know that I have to pace myself. I know the leaders are going to come around me in my 2nd lap, as I start 15 minutes after them. I know to expect it, and I know that I just need to ride my lines and my pace and they will go around me. I know that I can get through whatever situation the course throws at me, and everyone is dealing with the same mud and difficult hills.
The last thing that I have been focusing on is my fitness. In the past 2 months, I have ridden huge days in the mountains in the Alps, I have done a 12 hour mountain bike race and I have put in lots of time on the motorcycle and lots of miles on the bicycle. I focused the last 3 weeks on building strength and 3 hour endurance. The first of the last weeks were all about core strength and balance. Then in the last 10 days, I have really focused on my endurance. I have done multiple 2 hour motorcycle training sessions, multiple long road rides and multiple long MTB rides. This past 6 days I have done a 2 hour motorcycle effort, a 4 hour road bicycle ride, a 3 hour non stop motorcycle effort and a 3 hour MTB ride.
I am ready to get this GNCC show on the road again. I cannot wait for the 10 second wail from the announcer and the green flag to go up on my wave.