On track

I spent Saturday at Tampa MX testing my new Six12 Suspension, putting in three 20-minute motos in 90-degree-heat and working myself to exhaustion, despite all of the training I’ve been doing during the week: before work, I’m up at 5 a.m. lifting in the gym or hitting the YMCA’s 6 a.m. spin class. After work, I’m back in the gym or running up to 5 miles as much as I can. But I was so gassed after Saturday’s ride, in which I barely burned half an oversized-tank of fuel, that I started thinking, maybe I’m over training?

“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.” – Thomas Carlyle

Then again, there’s just no way. Riding motocross is just that hard, and motocrossers make it look so easy. Plus, it’s hot and humid, I’m a woods racer AND I sit in an office all day.

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Going out for my first 20-minute practice, it was 90 degrees before noon, so I just took it easy, getting used to my new suspension and the few track changes. By the second moto, I took to the track and all of my worries went away; it was just me and the bike. I tried focusing on my form coming in and out of the corners, which is where I’m most comfortable, and being smooth through the apex. I managed to catch and pass a few riders who were jumping everything in front of me but then sitting down and off the gas everywhere else.

And I pumped up fast. 15 minutes in, my chest tightened up like my heart was going to explode or I needed a good cry or to throw up, or both, so I pulled off and headed back to my truck where I immediately stripped off my helmet, neck brace and jersey, giving me the shivers. How can I be cold right now, I thought? An observer pointed out, “You’re sweating A LOT.” Nothing new there, guy. I grabbed a banana and a water and walked up to the announcer’s tower where I watched the water truck make a few circles and tried not to think about my cramping biceps.

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After they watered the track, I decided to head out for one more moto, but I didn’t last long riding tight and expending what little energy I had left. I tried to ride relaxed, but there’s literally nowhere to relax on the motocross track when it’s turn, jump, turn, jump. Moral of the story: Train less, ride more! I’ve heard it my whole life: “There’s nothing like seat time.”

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Voices surround us, always telling us to move faster. It may be our boss, our pastor, our parents, our wives, our husbands, our politicians, or, sadly, even ourselves. So we comply. We increase the speed. We live life in the fast lane because we have no slow lanes anymore. Every lane is fast, and the only comfort our culture can offer is more lanes and increased speed limits. The result? Too many of us are running as fast as we can, and an alarming number of us are running much faster than we can sustain.”  Mike Yaconelli

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