Category Racing

Almost Half Way



Another crazy adventure has consumed my life and it’s been a whirlwind of up’s and down’s. We are not almost halfway through the trip and it has absolutely flown by.

 

XTERRA West Championship - Las VegasJennifer and I left Boulder in late April less than one week after I returned from Las Vegas for the XTERRA West Championship. The goal of that race was just to show that I could race again. It had been almost 8 months to the day since I was hit by a truck. The recovery has been slow, but I was excited to see that I could swim, bike, and run again (yet not as fast as I would have hoped). I led a group of about 8 or so athletes on the swim, so that put a smile on my face when I exited the water. My new Scott Spark 900SL worked perfectly in the dry desert and my Altra Superior 1.5’s were just the right shoe for the run. It wasn’t an impressive race, but like I said, I was happy to finish and 13th was ok.

 

Once I returned from that race, the big adventure began! Within a little more than a week, we flew to Amsterdam, picked up our RV, drove to Tuscany and ran a 50k ultra run. To see more of the photos and read some of the stories, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also read some blogs that I have posted on Triathlete.com.

 

XTERRA SpainWe headed to Spain next for the first XTERRA of our European tour. They ended up cancelling the swim and making it a duathlon. After a 4k run to start things, they sent us down “20 Clavicals” for a super technical descent and start to the bike. For reasons still unknown, at the end of the bike, officials changed the bike course while we were out there. It became a hike-a-bike for nearly 30 minutes. At one point I caught up to the guy marking the new route with tape. No one seemed to know what was going on and athletes were going in all different directions. I held on as long as I could, but the addition time on the bike messed with my nutrition and I cracked near the end of the run. I was able to hang on for 6th.

 

 

XTERRA PortugalWithout delay, we hopped in the van the next day and made our way to Portugal for the next race the following weekend. Portugal was a far better experience than Spain. We had wonderful, inexpensive camping close to the venue, the organization was spot on, the town was amazing, food fantastic, and had such a wonderful time after the guessing game we had the week before. I wish my race had gone as well as the rest of the experience. I had some issues with nutrition again on the bike and took a wrong turn on the run and ended up finishing 5th on the day.

 

Without a day to spare, we were back in the van and on the road again. We made our way across northern Spain, southern France, and northern Italy in search of trails, pools, and fun sites. We weren’t able to find much of any of those, so we hopped on a ferry in Northern Italy to cut out some of the driving time on our way to Greece.

 

XTERRA GreeceGreece ended up being a far different experience than we had expected. The location was beautiful, the organization one of the best that I had ever seen, and the people amazing, but the town was close to non-existent. We spent the week living off of bread, cheese, and canned meat. With the lack of training over the last couple of months, my efforts in the race we’re less than impressive. I did what I could, but 9th pro was the best I could muster for the day. We had an amazing meal with Kahuna Dave after the race and stuffed ourselves silly on some traditional Greek food.

 

In efforts to better our training and hopefully alleviate some of the stress of being on the road in so many foreign countries, we’ve decided to skip XTERRA Switzerland and head straight to XTERRA France. Let the adventure continue!

 

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2013 Check List



 

I got all the items on my 2013 checklist marked off. Did you?

 

 

 

 

Go for some amazing mountain trail runs in the Colorado Rockies…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accept the fact that I have enormous hands…check.

 

 

 

 

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Get support from a company that I love and truly believe in…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete my collection of Ouachita Challenge wrist bands…check

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completely fill the freezer at home with all the fish from our family fishing trips…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race with lucky #13 and get my ass handed to me…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get mistaken for a fat cross dressing clown…on multiple occasions…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do free remodeling for fellow Boulderites after the 500 year flood caused feces to spray out of their toilet like a fountain…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put on a kids triathlon clinic with Boulder Tri Club and spend just as much time laughing as mentoring…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash so hard, I get the wind knocked out of me and even the Caveman goes “Damn!”…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be a goofball as often as possible…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finish on the podium again at my favorite XTERRA in the USA (Richmond, VA)…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go for an 8 hour float trip in Montana and repeatedly tell the story about the big one that got away…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get artsy with an iPhone…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train with the best…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be an Arkansas Princess…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate my birthday in Mexico for the 3rd year in a row…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run, run, run in some amazing shoes…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do a Lemond style start to my first 12 hour mountain bike race…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laugh at all the hilarious ways that Macey can sleep…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drive through FEET of flood water in a 500 year flood…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do an off-road super sprint triathlon and be right in the mix of it…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train with more of the best…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn my lesson about proper recovery by riding 60 miles on Saturday on the mtb and then racing the same 60 miles on mtb the next day, only to build up a 4 minute lead and then lose it all during Sunday’s race…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy fresh made milk shakes at a small town diner after a solid day of training in Montana…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make some $$$$ at a race…check!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw down on my favorite XTERRA course in the USA (in Richmond, VA)…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat an entire 3-layer red velvet birthday cake…by myself…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go on a hut trip with the fam…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally have a good race at XTERRA Indian Peaks (2nd place overall)…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See my favorite artist for the 3rd time live in concert…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit some new places that you didn’t even know about before the trip…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smile and have as much fun as possible while suffering like a dog…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go fishing with my dad and Lil and not tip over in the canoe because Lil won’t hold still…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run the Dirty 30 with my amazing girlfriend Jennifer…check.

 

 

 

 

 

Race a trithlon-switched-to-duathlon-because-of-flood-waters and be right in the front with the best…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a beer at a local dive bar and hope that we don’t get shot for being “city folk”…check.

 

 

 

 

 

Race so hard, I drool on myself while flying through Blood Rock and the other sweet trails in Birmingham, AL…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laugh at the hilarious names that they named the caves after going on a 3 hour caving adventure…check.

 

 

 

 

 

Be reminded of the brotherly love I share with my little bro Travis…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Play announcer at a race…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End my race season early (but not my career), by getting hit by a truck while riding my bike…check. (I would have rather not checked that one off the list).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BEast of the Southeast Video



It was an amazing weekend. This video gets me so pumped thinking about about how fun it all was!

 

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Ouachita Challenge Weekend



Two weekends ago was a whirlwind of amazing experiences, challenging rides, pleasant surprises, and minor disappointments. So much happened, but I’ll stick to the highlights and try to tell as much of the story with pictures.

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It all took place just outside Hot Springs, Arkansas.

TheOuachita Challenge Course Map Ouachita Challenge. The 1st day was a 60 mile mountain bike tour. The 2nd day was a race on the same kick ass trails. The plan was to ride easy and have a chill day with the guys from SweatBloodDirt.com for the tour on Saturday. Then throw down at Sunday’s race.

 

 Saturday

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Adam, Craig, and I ready for a long fun day in the saddle.

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I wanted to make sure everyone knew who I was.

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The Blues Brothers showing us the way. I had that song “Soul Man” stuck in my head for the next 2 hours.

All smile at aid station #2

All smiles at aid station #2

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Water crossing number… 6?7?8? of 20?21?

Just over 7 hours later, the 2 wheeled fun had come to and end for day 1. Made a bunch of new friends, rode some sweet trails, and set a new personal record for number of pickles consumed in one ride. A great raffle and pasta dinner kept us busy before we laid down to rest for another night of sleep in the school gymnasium. Holy cow, mountain bikers can snore loud!

Sunday

Ouachita Challenge

The race began with a neutral start (we roll out together, but don’t actually start racing until a few miles in), which was nice for me because the body was a little sore from the day before. Just before we had our first water crossing, it was go time. The lead vehicle pulled out of the way and the pace picked up.

As I have said in previous blogs, I know I’m not the strongest rider on straight, flat dirt roads. So for 3 miles or so, I sat in the pack and hung on. But once we turned off the road and onto the single track, I was pleasantly surprised. I slightly eased off the pace that we had going on the road (when I say eased off the pace, I mean we went from REALLY F*#KING HARD, to slightly less F*#KING HARD), but becuase of the rocks, roots, twists, and turns, that pace was somehow to fast for the rest of the riders I was with. I quickly moved up to 3rd and was bearing down on the 2 in front of me.

 Leading the Ouachita ChallengeBy the half way point, I had nearly a 4 minute lead over the rest of the field. I felt fantastic and if you had asked me if I could hold that effort and win the race I would have shouted back a big “HELL YES!” with a big smile on my face. I had followed my nutrition plan (Powerbar Gel’s and Perform sports drink) to the T, but around mile 40 all of that changed in the blink of an eye. As if someone had flipped a switch, the wheels completely feel off. In just a matter of minutes I went from king of the world, to drooling dunce. I struggled to the final aid station, and proceeded to down a couple of cokes and an entire package of cookies in about 5 minutes. With a woozie head, I hopped back on the bike, pushed when I could, and came across the line in 10th place in a time of 5:01:44.

Holding on for 10thWhy did that fantastic bonk happen? How could I hit the wall so hard? (And mind you, I see the following reason as a lesson learned the hard way, not an excuse). Well, as tough as I think I am, there is a limit to what my body can handle. 7 hours in the saddle the day before really drained my body of it’s precious fat stores and by not replenishing those properly after the race, when I emptied the tank on Sunday, IT WAS EMPTY! Nothing left to fall back on.

At the end of the day, I would actually say that I was very, very happy with my race. Why? Becuase like my coach says all the time “You can’t fake good.” Had I not ridden the day before, or actually eaten like I should have, the pace that I had early in the race would have continued and I would have picked up the W. You can’t fake that type of fitness. That has me quite excited for my next few mountain bike races coming up.

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Helping out with a little post ride announcing.

 

Huge HUGE thanks to Craig Roberson for setting all of this up for me. Adam and Kurt for transportation to and from the race and giving me a bed before and after the race. It’s trips like this that remind me that I’m doing what I love and that there is so much fun to be had out there.

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The Adrenalin Project



The Adrenalin ProjectFor 2013, I have joined a new team – The Adrenalin Project. I’m really pumped about this team because the philosophy of the team is exactly the same as my personal one – “Adventure may hurt, but monotony will kill you.”  The team is all about creating compelling, cool, authentic results for our sponsors through entertaining adventures. Real world content for social media, photos, magazines, catalogs, and more. We are extreme off-road athletes competing and training at a high level. Our goal is to motivate and inspire people of all walks of life to get out and make adventures!

We will be utilizing all social media platforms to promote the project and our partners. Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook. We want to bring a fresh approach to these endurance sports and an even more creative way to chronicle our adventures, athletes, partners, and sponsors.

 

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