Monday, March 12, 2012

I Want it All

I've always enjoyed riding my bike, and in the last 10 years I've made it more of a priority to ride said bike, whatever bike that may be at the time. I like to say my favorite bike is the one I'm on. What's mildly funny to me is that many people think all I do is ride and race mountain bikes, which couldn't be further from the truth. For the last many moons I've done a majority of my training on the road bike, mixing in specific MTB efforts and intervals at key times in the race season. This has proved beneficial since I've been able to achieve most of my MTB goals over the years.
As I continued to log the road miles I found myself becoming ever more enamored by all things road, to the point that I really wanted to commit to doing more road racing. As it turns out, however, one can't effectively train for both road and mountain, and do really well in both. This has afforded me a certain luxury of not needing to do well in the road events I've done, using them more for race fitness than palmares. But still, it left me wanting.
Alas, a modicum of pride prevented me from moving on before having a semi-substantial result on my MTB goals check list. To that end, one goal that has eluded me was the Indiana state series Elite XC title (loyal readers will also recall my oh-so-close-to-winning-MTB-nats 2008, but I already wrote about that). After a few years of series podiums I quietly told myself at the beginning of last season that if I won the series title I would focus solely on road events for 2012.
Naturally, the first MTB race of the season saw me contract some insane virus that clipped my ticker to finish a rough 11th place. Crap! One race in and my season goal was all but shot. Given one's two lowest races in the series points were thrown out I still had a chance, but that meant no room for error if I was to skip the last race of the year as I traditionally had in years' past. To add insult to injury, the second race of the season saw me have a near head-on collision at a 2-way spot on the course. Left chasing, I managed seventh but missed painfully valuable series points. At that point, I had mentally thrown in the towel. I set about the rest of the season to just have strong individual results.
Turns out, I did. As one of my annoyances of the series, one can do trail work or other advocacy to gain bonus points to make up for race deficiencies. While I appreciate the trail work that results from this, I don't really feel a series champion should be decided on whether one did trail work. That being said, everyone has the same rules so I did trail work AND raced strong, thus winning the series title.
So, yeah, I want it all, but rather than wanting it all right now I guess my age has provided me with a bit more patience to understand that work is required to attain goals, and sometimes that work takes a few years. That, and since I still like riding bikes I kinda enjoy the journey and experience of NOT getting every goal every time. Feel free to Insert cliche'd quote about savoring victories only after experiencing defeat, but bitter defeat sure does make victory taste pretty freaking sweet.

So with that, I'm out.

-the Mexler

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