Planning for the Future

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Hello friends and well-wishers. You may be wondering what is happening with ActiveSteve, especially given that my last post was all about buying a video game system. Well, I’m here to assure you all that my athletic aspirations have not gone too far away. Granted, I’m not running these days, but I’m still cycling, and trying to get out paddling and swimming a bit. As well, I’ve taken up going to the gym again, so at least 3 times a week I’m doing weights and flexibility training. My theory for this is to stay sharp and toned, and keep all my little stabilizer muscles in good shape, so that once I ask my body to start performing again, it’ll be ready to support me in that. As such, this post will fill you in on a tentative future plan that’s been percolating. Now, I don’t want to jinx things by spilling the beans too early, but this race requires commitment about a year in advance, both monetary and physically. I’ve already started training for it, and saving up for it. Next step will be booking flights. Curious yet? Well, read on and find out what I’m talking about. And the accompanying picture here? Well, that’s just a screenshot from my training software showing a little mountain bike ride that I went on last weekend. You may note my high heart rate for most of the ride. It was a good push, and I felt great at the end.

So, just what is this super-secret upcoming race? Well, I’ve mentioned before in the past that I’d like to start getting involved in international races, and I will be getting that opportunity next year. Ironically, the international race I’m referring to will take place in Canada, but is attracting an international field of top racers from around the world. Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. It’s the B.C. Bike Race! A 7-day staged mountain bike race which takes racers through 7 days of the greatest single-track mountain bike riding in the world. There are only a few races like this in the world. Two of the other great examples are the Trans-Alpine Bike Race in Europe, and the Trans-Rockies Race, another race that takes place in Canada. This kind of race requires a great deal of discipline and forward planning. After all, the entry fees alone for this race runs over $2,000 per racer. That doesn’t include any transport costs.

On the plus side, a race like this is really more of a vacation for athletic masochists such as myself. However, I won’t be undertaking this journey on my own. Carl, my adventure-racing teammate is the one who approached me about the race, and I said yes right away, as this kind of race is right up my alley at this point in my athletic career. After all, I can focus on my bike training over the next year, and get to travel to a beautiful part of our country that I haven’t explored in detail yet. And the riding? Forget about it. It’s simply a beautiful race. Superbly put together and offering as much challenge as anyone could want. Our expectations are realistic for this one though. We’re shooting for top 1/3rd, but we wouldn’t be unhappy to be in the top half. After all, the worlds best riders will be out here, including all the sponsored corporate teams as well as all the pro teams representing all of the bike manufacturers. Just the swag they throw at you is impressive. Jerseys, sunglasses, bike parts (like a handlebar!) are all in the race kit. How crazy is that.

With that decision having been made, I’m already starting to feel more motivated to get out there and suffer a little bit more. I’m starting to dream of epic rides in all sorts of conditions, and of getting back in the thick of the battle. I miss the race scene this summer. It’s been great to do some volunteering, but it doesn’t give me that adrenaline rush and endorphin rush that I love. However, I’m certain it will all come back to me in short order when I start pushing hard again. Stay tuned in the coming months to learn more about the training and the preparation, which will hopefully be wrapped around whatever comes about as a result of my knee troubles. Hopefully I’ll be able to start running again in the fall, as I haven’t ruled out taking a shot at a 3:10 Boston qualifying marathon next year either. As well as another Ironman… yup, I’m stoked.

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