Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Rough n' Loose...Whistler style!

Rain in these parts seems to be a distant memory and things were no different this past weekend, when the Whistler Bike Park played host to the 2015 BC Provincial DH and XC mountain bike championships.

I can't even imagine trying to race the XC on Saturday in the blistering hot conditions... and thankfully that was not on the menu for my weekend.

The DH course put riders down Joy Ride, Schleyer and Detroit Rock City... some of the roughest trails on the mountain, which I was a huge fan of!  Things got super loose as the weekend progressed on upper Joy Ride/Schleyer, but in the Detroit Rock City woods section things stayed nice and predictable and there wasn't too much breakdown of the course.
This weekend was all about finding my DH mojo again.  I've had a frustrating 4 weeks on the big bike (not feeling fast or confident) and was getting really down on myself.  I decided to break out my FreeLap system for training this weekend to really get a good sense of where I was at, time wise, from one run to the next... and I think I've found what really works for me in practice and how to carry this over into race day!

With each practice lap I took off some much needed seconds and was able to lay down a good time in seeding on Saturday.  I hoped to clean up a few sections and "lay down the hammer" on the last stretch of pedalling before the finish for Sunday's finals in hopes of hanging on to top spot.
Blasting out of Schleyer on the way to the "W" 
I'd been brushing up on a good book about focus (Terry Orlick's "In Pursuit of Excellence") prior to the race to get myself in a better head space...and I think it paid off.  As Terry states in the book, a big part of success is visualizing positive outcomes before your race and then working at not breaking that positive, committed, focus during your performance.

I have discovered that I have a tendency to slip into some negative thoughts during key moments on the race course... so my goal was to try and overcome this by utilizing some of the techniques noted in the book.  I did have a couple little breaks in focus during my race run which led to some major errors, but I was able to bring it back and hang on and avoid crashing.  To top it off I took over 1 second off my seeding run time (despite the break in focus) and came away with the win!
Keeping me focused!
I felt strong the whole way through and my new Fox Suspension seemed to just eat up all the roughness of the course allowing me to relax a bit more!  It was great to come away with the win and be on top of the box beside some super fast ladies, one of which was my training buddy and good friend Lula who came in 2nd!
Pro-Women's Podium
I was also super proud of Stephanie Denroche (the young ripper I'm mentoring for the Ride Like A Girl program) for the double podium over the weekend, in XC and DH!!
Steph taking the win for the Jr. Ladies
There was a great battle on the pro-men's front too, and in the end Chris Kovarik was able to slide into 1st place, knocking Lee Jackson off from top spot from seeding the day before.  
Men's Pro Podium
Overall it was a successful weekend and I'm looking forward to National DH champs coming up in a couple weeks.  I hope to keep this momentum and mind set going!