January, the start of a new year and a slate cleaning of sorts.  I have new adventures awaiting, racing to do and riding without a thousand layers to look forward to.  January always seems to be this weird transition back to reality for me.  You’ve successfully made it through the fog of the holidays, perhaps a bit heavier, less active, and hopefully with some new motivations for the upcoming year. The end of fall came and went, and here we are in the thick of winter.  I know it’s only January, and the Mudslinger is 3 months away but it will come quickly.  I have some work to do between now and then.  My plan for fall was to start trail running, and that I did successfully until, well the holidays happened.  Even Aspen the Golden suffered from not enough outings and visitors with food, but we enjoyed every minute of it.  Being a sloth is good for the soul every now and again.  But, we have now emerged from the holiday fog and started trail running again; we are back on track!  I yearn to MTB more but our trails here on the island are so swampy and the roots are wet and very slick, and I know somewhere in the back of mind it’s a bad idea.  Some may say I have become soft.  Trail running of course seems like a much safer activity where the chance of falling is less, or at least I have rationalized it somehow.  Since turning 40 I have come the harsh realization that I am in fact, not made of rubber. It’s this fact that makes me rational, which may be equivalent to the fun police.  I know I have many miles of MTBing come spring, so for now we enjoy the trails on foot.

The other thing I enjoy about the new year is looking at races and deciding what my season is going to look like. What races will I return to? What new races look intriguing? And of course, what I can I afford?

After a fairly (for me) successful season last year, I plan on upping the ante for this season.  50 mile MTB races are a thing of the past; it’s time for 100 mile MTB races.  Why, you ask? well I like misery quests in hot weather, simple enough.  It just seems like the next logical step.  So my winter now is filled with goals of nutrition, yoga, just to keep everything moving, and of course riding.  I am fortunate to live someplace I can ride year round if I choose and have Aspen the Golden as my workout motivator. I am not going to lie, I miss my group cross-training classes and my MTB family.  It’s not always easy or fun to work out by yourself with a dog, but it’s what I got and she keeps me very motivated.

This year my goal is to go into the season more prepared physically, race smarter, stay healthy and of course injury free! Actually racing never seems as hard as all the preseason work.  Again, 3 months to the first race will come quickly, but I’ll be ready.

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So onward I go with Aspen the Golden, another dog who doesn’t apologize!

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