“Sometimes great pressure pushes one to great things”.
I came to consciousness in the ambulance, the paramedic asked me some questions and I knew the answers, at least I thought I did. It was my first XC ride in Oklahoma and boy did it leave a mark.
4-5 hours after concussion
“I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle it’s not going to be satisfying.”
It has been a year now since my concussion that left me damaged for the season in 2009. When I started looking at my racing calendar for 2010 I was thrilled as it was time to begin over once again. I wanted not to forget what happened last year but to move on from it.
This year I plan to pickup where I left off in 2008. In 2008 I had finally mastered the run in Xterra racing and had made it to the top ten in most races overall.
My first race this season would be the inaugural first Xterra Muleshoe Race, a course that was seemingly fast and not too technical. I wanted to treat this race as a warm-up race. The first race of the season will usually indicate pretty clearly what needs to be worked on the most.
Muleshoe was a great course my swim time was respectable and my bike split was strong enough for me. My run fell apart a bit near the end, but I still managed to place second in my division and seventh overall. This year I am trying to dial in my nutrition strategies, weight control and last touches on the bike mechanically speaking.
Xterra Muleshoe right out of transition on the run.
The road to being a champion is paved with suffering and learning.
It had taken me four years to make it to the Xterra World Championship in Maui. Since my inception to Xterra racing it had always been a dream. Now that I have raced it I am left humbled, grateful and most of all happy.
My 2009 season had started off with a bang, to the head that is. I had a harsh accident while pre riding the course for Xterra Red River in Oklahoma. Suffering from a concussion I was debilitated for a week. I still raced two weeks later after the accident and continued a few weeks later in Louisiana for Xterra Ruston. Racing with a limit was something new for me. My cardiologist and neurologist advised me to take it easy on the exercise and to listen to my body, when my body was saying no I had to stop. It was the complete opposite of how I wanted to race and train.
“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”
Every year I say I will race less and yet that never changes. Xterra Camp Eagle was race number two in a three week three race odyssey. The first race (Dorba OCNP Bike Race) had gone well and I was looking forward to the camp eagle race that I had a mechanical problem at last year. It had rained the day before and during the race, what conditions normally prevail in Texas were not happening that day. The temperature dropped into the seventies and the rain came down. On a normal perfect day it would be in the hundreds and very dry.
My rear derailleur and hanger was destroyed five miles into the bike course that year. I ran my bike back to the transition area and hung it up. I ran the remaining five miles of the bike course then came back to transition to run another four miles of the run course. I was not given any points for the race or even an appropriate finish time, but I raced the course and did it my way. It was a frustrating day but I still finished, my season was plagued with failures and mechanicals and quitting then was not how I wanted to finish this race. Continue reading
The important thing in life is not the victory but the contest; the essential thing is not to have won but to have fought well. – Baron Pierre De Coubertin
Certain things are hard to forget and other things just need to be forgotten. Last weekend I rolled up to the staring line at my first XC mountain bike race of the season. The race was at the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve which is a hop skip and a jump outside of downtown Dallas.
I had participated in this race last year and did not finish, I bent my front wheel in half on my second loop. I tried to finish after I bent the wheel back but it wobbled too much and I had six miles left to cover before completion, my first mountain bike race ended in failure.
When I was a child my father taught me how to ride a bike, I was scared and it was anything but a hallmark picture, tears fear and blood are the only things I remember. One never forgets how to ride a bike; one just learns how to ride it better and faster. Racing is the next training ground, there are no training wheels but plenty of learning is to be had in the trees. Continue reading
Ironman Arizona April 14 2008
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
This is the story of my first attempt at the Ironman distance; as usual I was unsure of my performance before race day. A lot off athletes train long and hard all winter for this race and come to bring their best show early in the triathlon season. Honestly I can not make comments like that, my training was off since the winter I maybe logged five hundred miles this whole year on the bike, and as usual my swim training before this race was a handful of swim practices a few weeks out. Was I prepared though? Sure.
The journey started on Thursday April 10 when I found out the American Airlines flight taking Christina, Mark, Kristin and I had been cancelled. My training buddy Mark Payne already had a back up plan. We rented a van and drove all night Thursday to Tempe Arizona, fifteen hours later we had arrived, on time and ready for packet pick up.
Upon arrival Mark and I settled into registration and made our rounds of things to do such as pick up the bikes, check in etc. The small college town of Tempe was booming with Energy it was electrifying. There were over two thousand hot, hairless bodies with more bling equipped bikes than the Tour De France prologue, the scenery was amazing. Continue reading
Where it all begins, Rockledge Point
Rockledge Rumble 50K November 10, 2007
A day for redemption.
DNF, Did Not Finish, a year ago on November 11, I had to pull out of the 2006 Rockledge Rumble 50K, my stomach had waged a war and won, I gave everything I had for 20 kilometers and then had to call it quits, I walked in the finish and the race director was nice enough to give me a 30K finish time, but to me I had failed, this was the first time that I had to DNF a race. Continue reading