"After 5 days of riding, I was ready for a break (more mentally than physically)."
by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching
In February ALP Coach, Alison Powers, announced that she had signed up for SBT GRVL, a 141-mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads in Steamboat, Colorado. With race day approaching, she’s been blogging every day leading up to the race. She blogs about the specifics of her training, her preparation, headspace, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.
27 days to go - Tuesday, July 23rd
Today was a planned rest day. After 5 days of riding, I was ready for a break (more mentally than physically). I mentioned in Day 1's blog that I have no plans to pre-ride the Steamboat course. So, today I took the time to get to know the course. I have already watched all the course video's that the race has provided (thank you for doing that!) but I was having a hard time putting it all together and seeing the course in my head. So, today I made a map of the course, watched the videos, made notes, and am starting to understand what it all entails. I also realized that I have seen part of the course thanks to the Steamboat Stage Race road race course.
In addition to my map, I also updated my competitor list. I have an excel sheet with all the women who are racing the Black course as Pro's. Last I checked, there were 49 of us and next to each name is something about them; either their team, their achievements, their bio, etc. It's an impressive list for women. From professional mountain bike racers to euro roadies to gravel specialists. In my opinion, this will be the most exciting race of the year. As a spectator, it will be fun to follow along. As a racer, it will be very hard.
My rest day ended by coaching a mountain bike skills clinic. Every summer, I teamed up with Tin Shed Sports and Salto Coffee in Nederland and we host a 3-series free mountain bike clinic. Coaching skills clinics is my most favorite part of coaching. I believe skills is the #1 least trained aspect of bike racing. No matter what discipline you do (road, MTB, CX), if you don't spend time on your bike handling skills, you'll never reach your full potential (breaking through every corner is not fast).
It was a good rest day and much needed.