Thursday, April 26, 2007

training updates

After Dragon's Back took a 5 day rest block.
-5x1on 2 off (Very hard. Difficult to maintain the power for even a minute.-Due to two days in a row off)
-Zone 2 (Was going to get out for 1.5 hrs, but at 30mins into it, still felt like crap and turned around)

Back into it on Saturday with a really good interval workout. Butt kickers. 12 minutes long alternating between 1 minute at SMSP and 1 min at MSP.

Then on Sunday. One for the books. Broke my PR on Old farm. By 1:02. One of those days where the legs just turned over with ease. It didn't even seem hard until the very end.

I've brought out the hardtail to do some timed comparisons to the Azure. I have feeling this good day may throw off the results. It's just amazing to me that the legs could hardly get an hour in on Friday and then they come around for a ride of a lifetime.

This is where knowing yourself becomes so important to your ability to ride well when you want to. I know myself well enough to understand that in the the difficulty of the 1bys on wednesday are nothing to feel worried about. And that the stiff legs on Friday is something that always needs to be overcome before I'll ride well.

The other thing Sunday's really good ride reminded me of is that there is a difference between being strong and getting strong. Being strong is the ability to ride well and it seems easy. This happens once in a rare while, ideally coinciding with a race.

Getting strong is where it hurts. In the basement, on the road, on the trail. Pushing hard and feeling like you're going nowhere. It's hard to embrace these times and yearn for the efforless great days. But the hard days are much more importnat.

I'll be changing my training to more of a 2week cycle. This cycle has less pronounced rest blocks. They are hard to even see when you look at the calendar, much more subtle than these 5 or 7 day blocks that I've taken after 3 week on-cycles. But somehow they always seem to work and I can ride strong when race day comes.

Training will emphasize some hard race simulation efforts, leadout intervals, and butt kickers. In addition there will be race start intervals (2-3 minutes hard followed by 6+ minutes at steady state). There will also be lots of easy or off days.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Quest for Dragon's Treasure - 2007 Dragon's Back Race Report

This past weekend a few hardy souls went out the Dragon's Lair on a quest for glory and gold.
*note my camera had dead batteries so you'll have to use your imagination*

*you can read some other race reports from the CRC racing crew here and here.. and one more

Many thanks to Kyle and his merry men for bringing back this event and running it for the crazy people who showed up. Without people like this there wouldn't be mountain bike racing.


The Dragon's Back is race 1 in the Virginia Series. It has historical status in Virginia and is always an epic run. See here for a previous description of the course. This race is a must-do-event for any mountain biker in Virginia. My first time was 1992 and it was an eye opening experience compared to West Coast racing.

*Note* This might not be the best place for your very first mtb race unless the course sticks to the fire road/Ring of Fire. The single track climbs and ridge trails are recommended for someone with at least intermediate capabilities.

This year the conditions made for an even more epic event for all involved. The rain started moving in on Saturday. Sunday's radar image below provides an idea of what was in store.

Honestly, I didn't know how rough it was going to be. Historically, Dragon's Back has always done well in wet conditions. The terrain drains really well, and in the past the rocks seemed to ride ok. But let me tell you it was different this year.

The drive out to the trail was epic in itself. The back country roads had some minor flash flooding and you could just see huge amounts of water flowing in all the drainage ditches. The dirt forrest service road was muddy and very slick in some spots causing the car to slide several feet.

While it was rainy and misty the XC racers were fortunate enough to get a break in the rain and even got some sunshine off the start. In fact it was almost warm. The hard men and women of the XXC started in the pouring rain and most finished in the pouring rain.

There were only a few racers on the line at the XC event. While this might be good from a results perspective in that you have less competition. You can bet that those that do show up are pretty hardcore. We all lined up with the senior experts in the first wave and the masters (2 age categories 30-39 and 40-49) experts going next.

The funniest thing happened right before the start. There was a loud pfft sort of sound. We looked behind us to the Jr Expert row and a guy's tire bead had popped off and the tube had expanded out of the rim, but the tube hadn't popped. He carried it off around behind a vehicle to fix it and then we heard a loud BAM!. This was just an omen of the fact that the potential for carnage is very high at D. Back.

The rocks are sharp and plentiful. So pinch flats and cut sidewalls are always a threat. There are these little sticks that mysteriously find there way into your drivetrain all over. I must have stopped 3 times to pull out sticks. The weather today was a huge factor with potential for wind up on the ridge and more rain.

In addition, there is the very remote quality to Dragon's Back. On the ridge, you could be 100 yards away from someone but never know it. And it just seems like you are far far away from help. Consequently, I brought extra gear. 2 tubes, C02, and a pump, spare derailleur hanger, extra wind proof gloves and a vest.

There were about 9 of us in the Master Expert wave. My goal for the start was to NOT go out hard. The thing about Dragon's Back for mere mortals is that almost no matter where you are on the course, there is always some serious shi*t to come. Too many times in the past I've eneded up on the last ridge and out of gas. The course map
tricks you into thinking that each section is not that long. 3 miles..pfft, I can do that in my sleep. That second ridge is the longest 3 miles in history.

In the Mountain Lake race recently, the fast start not only ended up burning matches, it burned my entire matchbook. I was not going to let that happen today. So my start was controlled. Pretty much let the people go and just tried to get the legs underneath me. Thankfully the fire road was not too slick and no one slide off.

The first singletrack is a prime example of how much of a bully Dragon's Back is. Basically it is like a slap to the back of the head. Energy draining small rocks and steep terrain. Thankfully it levels out after a bit.

The first climb I just tried to keep everything in control. The hike-a-bike sections were brutal. We all strung out on the climb, but the switchbacks allowed you to get a good look at the several racers that were just bearing down on me. Finally up on the ridge I was hopping to let loose and hold some momentum.

But today's trail wasn't like it was a few weeks ago. I just could not get traction on any of the rocks. Everything felt so slippery and the tires were just spinning. The front tire was washing out. There was just no opportunity to build up an head of steam before getting shut down by a grunt hill, slippery rocks, or downed trees.

My first thoughts were get me off this ridge. Then once on the downhill that changed to..get me off this downhill. It was downright scary. It felt very very rough and much steeper than it looked. My bike just didn't feel right and there was some loud knocking coming off my suspension. Even the bottom section which you can usually let it go on was rougher and tougher than usual.

At the bottom we turned left for the Ring of Fire. Basically it was a small river the entire way. At one point the trail was just a creek flow, and you had no idea where to go. Follow the water was my instinct which proved correct.

Eventually we dumped back onto the fire road. Which pretty much was the only place the entire race course that wasn't stressful. This fire road is a series of stair steps with a few downs back to the middle singletrack. It's easy to over do it but like I said before there is always something else coming up and we had to go back up the mountain again.

Up the second time one of the XXC guys passed me. This guy had been out already for 3 hours. And he was motoring. He even climbed some of the swtichbacks, unbelievable.

The second time up was in control again, just hold steady. I could see several guys down below coming after me. Again up on the ridge, this time left turn. And once again I felt like a small child. The rocks felt like ice. My rear tire would spin and I'd just pin ball around.

I'd upped my tire pressure and upped my rear shock pressure due to the volume of climbing and the potential for sidewall cuts. Big mistake. New rule, one or the other but not both.

I'd been hoping to save some gas for this ridge, because this is where people make some serious time. But by this time all I had left was steady state pace. Which is actually really good compared to years past. But with the tire spinning on the rocks I just couldn't put any significant momentum together. Ride a bit, hike a bit, walk some rocks, grind some grinders or walk them. Jogged a little instead of trudging along. The wind had started to pick up but not bad. Those who followed ended up hitting some sleet up on the ridge.

The whole time didn't see a soul until just before the end. Every year someone adds another roller to this ridge. Finally the downhill. Once again, small child downhilling. Downed trees, steep steep switchbacks. All walked. That last section through the creek crossing was raging with water.

Finally to the road. Every year in the past I've cramped really bad on the first big climb. This year the cramps had started slightly up on the ridge but they went a way. They came back just a tad but not enough to shutdown the legs. The road back actually went really well. Strongest I'd ever ridden it.

Rolling into the finish shoot was some thick mud that chain sucked more than a few people. About 10 minutes after I finished the rain came back with a vengance.

Mountain biking is like childbirth. Selective memory kicks in immediately afterward. So keep that in mind when I say I'll be back next year. I'm pretty happy with the race. No major carnage. Just steady and pretty solid. There were only 3 in my class and I am honored to have gotten second to local hero Chris Scott. Recall what I'd said about big time gaps from the ridge. 20min+ time gap here. My petition to USA Cycling to keep rockstars out of the vet class is in processing.

XXX Helmick was the true slayer of the day with a 2:11. I'd say times were off by 15mins from last year due to the conditions. That is some slaying.

Over the course of the next two hours you could see the shell shocked faces coming in. Some of those XXC guys/gals had the 1000 yard stare for real. Amazing people. Actually anyone that came out was amazing, and those that faced the Dragon for the first time in these conditions should consider this a feather in their cap.

For the first time in over a decade this thief made it out of the Dragon's lair with a some treasure. A piece of silver stolen from under the dragon's back.


By the time we'd gotten home the temperature had dropped almost 15 degrees from this morning's race. And the wind had picked up to 20mph+. We'd gotten pretty lucky with the weather, don't you think?

Personal race notes
-ran camelback with 60oz E drink. (2scoops/20oz). No bonk, sticky taste in mouth needed a little water to wash it out

-3 Sport legs at -10mins before start, another 4 at 1hr. Cramps came at 1:40 or so but then went away. Took them on an uphill section, didn't lose too much time.

-need to keep working on jogging hike-a-bikes

-have to learn how to mount/dismount

-Pace off start steady. Stayed steady the whole time, by the time I wanted to go hard there was no oomph to go.

-Last section on road really strong. Training ride from few weeks ago (4.5hrs on road then last 1/2hr super hard into the wind) was perfect training for this finishing leg.

-knee warmers, arm warmers, light base layer, jersey worked well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We Are Virginia Tech

We Are Virginia Tech

Friday, April 13, 2007

muscle cramps

Here's a link to an article on muscle cramping at Velo News.

Another good summary sight is at

Bottom line: no defninitive answers/solutions. We are so highly individual that each person's reason and solution(if found) are solely their own. Regardless, there is no doubt that the lock-up tear inducing muscle cramps are a bane of many cross country racers.

Just for reference point here's my take on my muscle cramps

-Combination of multiple factors
-Certain Electrolyte imbalances

-Let's face it, in a race I go harder than training. No matter how hard I try to do the opposite, it never works out that way. In training I just cannot bypass the selfpreservation complex that automatically sclaes back effort in order to avoid the lock up cramps.

In a race this self preservation get switched off and I can go over the limit and the cramps can take me out.

Electrolyte Imbalance
-sodium, potassium, calcium (chelate vs lactate monohydrate), magnesium? which one if any. One year I tried out Endurolytes and Elete Water. While both helped with heat related light headedness and nausea neither helped with the lock up leg cramps.

My nutrition during a race is almost exclusively Sports drinks for the carbs, but there is sodium in there too, and the Endurolytes/Elete certainly provided enough sodium, so for me I don't think sodium was a culprit.

SportLegs have shown a significant mitigation of my muscle cramps.

Exactly why, I'm not sure. Could be form of calcium or quantity. The other stuff I take and have taken have magnesium but maybe not in the same qty. Who knows. I certainly like the cramp stopping ability of the Sportlegs, but sometimes I don't like the deadened feeling they produce in the leg. It takes a little mental strength to convince myself that the legs can be pushed when they feel numbed.

For this next race I'm going to change the protocol a little.
Skipping the dosage at -1hr. Because since the legs are fresh at the start I don't need them and I want the legs to feel snappy. The first dose will be at time=0 on the start line. This is designed to kick in at +1hr and will cover me till +2hr. At the +1 hr I'll take a dose of 3capsules designed to kick in at +2hr and take me to the end.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dragon's Back on tap

The Dragon's Back race is coming up on Sunday.

See here for ny course description

The weather is looking Belgian. Years and years ago it rain cats/dogs the whole time. Now that was cold. But for the most part the weather is a non-issue. The dry rocks out there are just as bad as wet rocks. The terrain out there does well with the water, except the fire road which could get slick.

In looking back over the years logs, D Back has crushed me each and every time. We'll see how this time goes. Just gotta hit the sweet spot and race myself. Stay focused, save some juice for the ridge.

Just Breathe
Head Up
One step in front of the other (as fast as possibl naturally)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Of PR's and Speed Barriers

Hit Old Farm today. On a mission to break the PR or blow sky high trying.
3 second improvement to 17:05. The feeling of utter agony at the top was almost over the top. It took a good 1/2hr -45minutes to feel halfway decent after that. With some planned dismounts as opposed to the try to ride till you come to a dead stop type of approach and some better pacing it will fall again.

This is what training needs to be like. The old adage when you go hard go really hard is how you get better. But man is this easy to say but hard to do.

Now here's the cool thing. My friend broke his own PR as well. by 3 minutes.

That is a 3 minute improvement over a 21minute climb. Which is huge.

This is an example of what I call breaking a speed barrier. There was a great article written by the man Johnny T in an MBA years ago about speed barriers. Basically there are these certain speeds at which it actually takes less energy to maintain than if you were just underneath the speed barrier.

You reach a speed where you can float over stuff and hold momentum more consistently. It is what allows some people to look effortless across sections and how the experts/pros can maintain such phenomenal average speeds over courses.

Once broken, these speed barrier will create big time gains. The cool thing is you don't need to make the equivalant gain in fitness. It's hard to put into words. But in certain situations you can improve your time by 10% due to a smaller gain in fitness that allowed you to break a speed barrier.

These are also why it's oftentimes easier to go faster. Counter intuitive, but it takes less energy to go faster sometimes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

License # 1512

For expert class the Dragon's Back Race Requires a USA Cycling License. My NORBA license expired in 1999.

Check out this License #1512 That is old school baby. Neon pink/yellow. I'm so glad that they let me renew my orignal license #. They also approved my request to upgrade to (vet)Expert. Now I've got to renew or I'll be racing XXC.

Happy Easter


Went to Douthat Park for Easter. Freak cold snap made it a little chilly but still fun. Kids had fun and even got some snow for the Easter Egg hunt. Got some short rides in.

The scouting for the Middle Mountain Momma included some snow squalls that hopefully won't be there in May.

This race is hard. There are long climbs combined with very steep grunts combined with a fair amount of small chatter. I'm going back and forth regarding which bike to race.

The lower parts of the trail are pretty rough with lots of embedded rocks and creek bed riding. But there is quite a bit of somewhat smoother climbing. For me the single track downhills don't favor a FS except for the bottom sections. Maybe a hardtail with a 100mm fork would be a good option.

The cummulative fatigue from the chatter is probably the biggest benefit to the FS, but the volume of climbing favors the hardtail. The FS has the edge in the steep loose climbing but only if you've got the gas use it. I hike-a-biked the Mountain Top grunts this weekend on fresh legs. Actually jogged up them a little which makes me want to add some hike-a-bike specific training into some rides just to toughen up the calves.

Friday the legs felt really good, just like last Friday. I am not sure why they are feeling so snappy each Friday and need to look at the log to see if there is a pattern there.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A summary of a bunch of XC racing in VA

This post covers most of it

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Road riding

Took some vaca time to ride with my wife. We never ride together anymore. It's always WWF tag team. I'll do a ride then rush home and tag her and she'll go out, or the other way around. The weather was great before a cold snap so we decided to get in our MOM training.

Tuesdays after a Sunday race are typically the worst day on my legs. So I was a little concerned. In addition, these longish road rides tend to run me through the ringer. Didn't get up early enough to really scarf either.

We did the first part of MOM. The 'easy' part. Yeah right. No easy around here. 70 miles. Once again totally underestimated my food requirements. By the time we were 4hrs into it I was already out of water/food. And this had included a store stop too.

John's Creek wasn't too bad, with the 36t/27 compact. OMG how I ever did this w/o it I don't know. Coming back on 42 to the car is 'supposed' to be easy. Except for the howling wind. I just wanted to get back to the car and was killing it. Stoked the legs were working well so late into the ride. The extra food/Edrink my wife gave me made the difference.

Hurting all over. My arms are just jello and my shoulders knotted. I've sort of been resenting these road training rides a little, as they seem somewhat counter to what is needed for MTB racing right now. But I always forget how hard they are. And anything that takes you out of your comfort zone is good I guess. Oftentimes it's too easy to get complacent on shorter rides and not go hard enough. But when you're still 15 miles from the car you pretty much gotta do something in order to get home.

Riding alone so much makes dealing with the wind a lot easier. You just get used to getting low and cranking away. My wife is a hoss btw. Several times I just let her pull and went along for the ride.

When we got home I took some Sportlegs. I rarely use the stuff post ride, but my goodness, within 45minutes ALL pain went away. They really do have a pain dulling affect. Speaking of which, this deadening feeling while good right now sort of bothered me at the beginning of the race this Sunday.

I'm thinking of skipping the dose taken at 1hr prior and just starting with a dose on the start line. This time I didn't like that dulled feeling off the start.

Food rundown
1st hr: 1 large bottle power bar drink
2nd hr: water + english muffin w PBJ + Little Debi Nutty Wafers
*Thanks John for telling me about these
3rd hr: 20 oz Gatorade + water and 2 Brown Sugar Pop Tarts
4th hr: Water + Soy Protein bar + half muffin w/PBJ
last stretch 1/4 bottle Gatorade

Legs strong for the most part but ebbed/flowed and felt the light headedness of the bonk come/go.

This whole riding /racing thing is pretty simple I'm learning. Think less, ride harder.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dirty Dawg Race Report


Dirty Dawg Race Report
Race 1 of the Series 5

First a hearty thanks to the sponsors of this race, especially CB and Wes, co-Owners of East Coasters Bike Shops and the Mountain Lake Resort for investing into XC racing. Way to go Ben, well run race. Thanks so much to all the volunteers as well. Keeping us on course, and cheering and passing out food was great.

I think it's safe to say that XC love is roaring back in Virginia. There was a great turnout on a day where the weather turned the place into an entirely different world than a few days ago.

Friday, I'd preridden the course. All the course pictures are taken from Friday. Friday night the rain rolled in. Saturday was a surreal. Mountain Lake is known for having it's own weather compared to just a few hundered feet down the mountain.

It went from this:

To This:

The rain was coming off/on. Misty. But fortunately not as cold as you'd figure for being up so high. In fact the base layer, arm warmers, light vest and full finger gloves were way overkill.

The wet weather totally changed the course. Much of it was leaf covered and the loamy soil underneath turned slick and thick. Tire selection was totally key. Some people brought racing treads that were like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Not to name names or anything (ahem..Warren)

The course also has a lot of embedded rocks. The moist conditions combined with a hundered racers depositing slick mud on them was going to make them slippery.

See here and here for a GPS map and profile of the course. (thanks to Chris for this)

I opted to lower my own tire pressure which in hindsight was a mistake. The rock sections stuck in my mind from the pre-ride, but I forget about the majority of the course that was crushed gravel road or smoother wide track.

The moist conditions turned these normally very fast conditions into that spongy consistency that sucks your energy with every pedal stroke. Lower tire pressure just ended up aggravating this condition. Higher tire pressure would have helped the tires find harder ground under the sponge.

The start was on a widish gravel path that allowed at least 3 wide. Utterly shocking the pace off the start. I'm going all out and relatively standing still compared to the front of the experts. Unreal. Everyone has a plan until they get hit. My plan was to just get to my sustainable pace. But just to stay at the rear of the pack shot that plan pretty quick.

The uphill path spread us out a little then we turned back on some seriously slick single track back to the hotel. This section was off camber with some rocks and roots mixed in. It immediately reminded me that I've become a fair weather rider in my old age. When you don't ride this stuff on a regular basis it takes some trial by fire to remind the body how to deal with it.


Faith in your bike to do what it is supposed to do.


Stay loose. Death grip+ a fist full of brakes=hitting the deck

We slid on this and popped out behind the hotel for some fast pavement to a pavement climb. This climb just brought me to a standstill. The fast pace of the start had already burned the spin out of the legs. It became difficult to get on top of the gear and turn over a good cadence.

We worked out way over to the Golf course Fire Road. This is a rocket roller coaster bumpy big ring fire road. With typically great visibility, it's still easy to get bounced off.

This was from Friday:

today visibility was only 50' or so. By far this was one of the hardest sections of the course. Fast speed with no vision combined with the tires kicking up gravel into your face. Towards the bottom there are some deep wheel tracks that can really mess you up.

This road turned into grassy bumps that took us to the some steep slick single track. SKETTTTTCHY. Faith once again. too much brake and you're down, too fast and your pinballing.

My favorite part of the course is the pink trail. It was one of the only places where I felt able to lay some power down. It was also a tube eater. There must have been 10+ people off on the side of the trail with flats. THANK YOU THANK YOU STAN (knock on wood still going good)

There was this tiny wooden foot bridge that turned into an ice rink. The funniest thing was seeing all the tire tread skid marks all over the bridge. If you're weight was just slightly off the rear would spin. It immediately led into the steepest grind of the course.

This picture does no justice to how steep it was. The wet conditions combined with race fatigue made me walk up it, and almost leave a shoe in the mud.

About this time I began trading positions with long time friend and fellow vet Expert Rob. With a nick name like Captain Insano, you can bet that he knows how to ride. I had the edge in the off camber and the rocks, but I just could not close a gap on the smoother stuff.

The ground was just sucking away each pedal stroke. So aggravating. The only way to move on this stuff was to grind away in a bigger gear. Going to the granny or low gear in search of a spin became a kiss of death. The other day the firm ground allowed me to get on top of a gear and spin through, today it was just slog and slow.

At the hour mark my alarm went off to take my magic Sport Legs. A huge tactical mistake let Rob get a huge gap. I waited till a flat fire road to grab the pill box, but I slowed way down while everyone else sped way up. Stupid. If I'm going to slow way down better to do it in a place where everyone else is going slow too like a hill or hike-a-bike.

Never was able to make up this gap. I'd catch up to Rob in the tech track but mentally was not able to overcome the "Gap" The Gap is a mental roadblock I've got. Where I'll get within striking distance of someone but then will just maintain the same gap. They speed up, I'll speed up, they slow, I'll slow.

Gotta get some of this. Eye of the Tiger baby. I even watched Rocky III Saturday night. Just couldn't learn from Rocky's mistake. No amount of training can overcome not wanting it bad enough.

My only chance of passing Rob was to get in front of him before the last section of off camber track. Not going to happen. Was able to reel him in at the end of the slick track but the finish was there too. So I was off him by about 2-3 seconds. This also turned out to be the difference between 4th and 3rd in Men's vet Expert.

This just proves that every second counts.

My time was around 1:40 or so. I think the winner came in at 1:16 or 1:19 or something like that. Mind boggling given the course conditions.

Rob also ran a kid's race after the awards. These kids were amazing. It was rainy and foggy and they kept riding and riding and riding. The course was pretty cool.

Just an awesome day. The weather made for some slightly epic riding, but not too bad all in all. Mountain Lake is a great venue for a race and the course is pretty fun. In drier conditions another lap would be needed but the length was pretty good for these wetter conditions.

The absolute highlight was seeing my friend John get 2nd in Vet Sport. Married, 2 kids, very demanding job. He's been working his ass off the last two years on the Morris Plan. Putting in the dues and driving it into the ground consistently for two years+. It's paying off. Just more proof that it is possible to gets stronger and race w/o having to put in 10-15hrs on the bike. It might not be 'fun' but I think he'd echo the sentiments that it's pretty fun to get better.

I'm really happy overall. Solid and steady. Good technical refresher. Bike ran good, no flats or other mechanicals. My focus has been divergent the last few weeks and this has been good to light a fire and get my focus centered again. It's time to tweak up the training to address the particular deficiencies experienced today.


Summary notes to self:
-Legs no snap, just steady. To be expected for this time of year.
-Same mistake again. Burned matches off the fast start.
-Mistake to drop tire pressure
-ixnay the energy drink in the 1hr before. Don't need it if eaten well 3hrs before
-Need to train with the sport legs more. They produce a dull feeling in legs. Need to get used to it again
-Figure out a better way to get the sportlegs in w/o losing so much time.
-Overdressed again
-Have been training with 2 scoops p-bar drink /small bottle. Ran 2.5 scoops in race. Stomach complaining some. Go back to 2scoops (30g/hr)
-Rethinking camel back vs bottles when using the FS bike.
-possibly overdid it on Friday. Plan called for 30mins zone 2. Preride took 1hr+, tried to go easy. Legs were just on fire so may have over done it w/o trying.
-Work on race starts, butt kicker intervals, lead out intervals.
-Force self to get out in wet conditions onto Gap mtn.
-when chasing someone down, don't focus vision on them whole time. Look down, ride your own pace, look up to check progress.repeat.