Skills to Pay the Bills

Up to the top to the very last drop, I gotta work on my mtb skills…climbs, drops, berms, everything…

Ironman Mike D and I recently headed to the venue of our next Coconut Cup RaceAmelia Earhart Park in Hialeah, FL.  The plan was to do one full lap as a warm up and then to focus on “skills.”  The plan went off without a hitch.  The track was pretty sandy since this MIA winter has been hot and dry (note: I am NOT complaining).

Before I get into how the day of riding went, let me fill you in a little bit on the progression of Ironman Danish coaching.  It is not always easy being coached by your “honey,” (probably the understatement of the year) especially when he is, well, an Ironman.  Nothing seems hard for him while we ride the trails, or pretty much when he does any activity at my speed.  Once I let go of my competitiveness and resign to the fact I am not going to beat him today (I say today, because I always leave room for the potential to beat him every day in the future).  Our coach/rider relationship has seen it all…here are a few scenes:

Scene 1:

IM D: “you need to pedal more”

Me: “screw you.” (usually occampaied by my middle finger or a grunt screw you as in this video….in IM D’s defense, it is actually Fast Freddy yelling pedal)

Scene 2:

IM D:  “let’s try that again without breaking”

Me:  “ok, but, I really didn’t break”

IM D:  “so, are you saying you went down that faster than I did?”

Me:  “no, I am just saying that I didn’t break and I STILL had to pedal up the next climb–I couldn’t glide”

IM D:  “that is not what we are working on”

Me:  “well, then I am confused, what are we working on again?”

IM D: “do you want to get better or not”

Me:  “screw you, of course I do”

Scene 3:

Me:  “Why did you think that I am capable of riding this trail?”

IM D:  “Oh come on, stop being a sissy, someday you will laugh at this, you need to ride with the fear”

Me:  “Don’t use Ricky Bobby against me…screw you” (accompanied by bike throwing)

As you can see, Coach Ironman Danish takes a lot of sh*& from his lovely bride….and, yes, he can be hard on me, but really I do actually respond better to that since in all the above situations, the advice payed off that very day.  Most of the time, I wouldn’t believe him that the things he tells me to do are even possible, but unfortunately for me, in each case he makes the element of trail I am trying to conquer look easy….damn.

So, back to the other day….The course was dry, but still fast and fun as Amelia ALWAYS is thanks to some AMAZING trail maintenance folk, especially Steve LaRue for all he does.  A new section was introduced to the track about a month ago and I had heard it was “tricky” and that “people were crashing HARD there at the 12 hour race.”  So, I knew I was going to have some obstacles to make my day a little harder than planned.  Learning new skills is always exciting in a “I might accidentally piss my husband/coach off” kida way.  The new section has three four sections of raised planks with bobbly entries.  The plank doesn’t freak me out, it is the getting on the plank part.  Ironman Danish made me repeat this section about a bajillion times until I finally could ride through all but the very first plank without any issue and with speed.  I know my work there with my “coach” is not done.  But hopefully it will help me get through the next race more confident and with more skills to pay the bills (or, skills to get me gift certificates to bike shops that sponsor the race when you podium)…

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