Category Traveling

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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Caving Adventure



One of the best parts about driving to races is that you can stop and see amazing sites along the way. The Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is one of those stunning places that you often wonder “How have I not heard of this before?!?”. The cave has over 140 miles of discovered passageways and they estimate that that is only 5% of the total cave. Seriously only 5%! That means there are thousands upon thousand of miles of unexplored caverns down there!

Jennifer and I went on the Wild Caving tour on Monday. You actually get to go crawling around the cave, shimmy through small holes, climb up some sketchy slopes, and get nice and dirty. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring camera’s (it would have been destroyed if we had), but I found some pictures online to give you a feeling of the fun that we got to have underground the other day.

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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

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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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Strengths and Weaknesses



So if you checked out the schedule page on my site, you’ll see that I’ve already listed XTERRA World Champs as a DNS (did not start). I’m not injured, sick, or incapable of racing in any way, I’ve just decided not to race. My trip around the world really taught me one thing – Know your strengths and your weaknesses. And with this in mind, I decided not to race the world champs. Let me explain…

I love riding my mountain bike. Ripping through the forest at 20 miles an hour, coming within inches of a bone breaking tree, while hopping over a rock and skirting by a precarious drop that could possibly be career ending, puts a big smile on my face. Riding up to a new section of trail and having the confidence to dive in head first is something I look forward to every time I air up the knobby tires. The same goes for the run. The move I have to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge, the better. I like a technical challenge. I like going fast over formidable terrain. I enjoy those aspects of a race and thus they have become my strengths.

As I started the 6 races in 6 weeks in 6 countries, I only had prior experience on one of the courses (XTERRA Forest Drive in South Dakota). I had no idea what to expect at any of the other races. As the trip progressed, I raced on single track, double track, lots of climbing, primarily flat, extremely muddy, technical beyond belief, and more, during both the bike and the run. Whenever there was something technical, I moved up and my strengths shined. Anytime we were pretty much racing on a dirt road (technically thats considered off road), I was struggling to hold pace. I realized that in this point of my triathlon career, I’m not one of the fastest guy out there… on certain terrain. On dirt roads and flat trails, I still need to improve. A lot.

Guys who I could put 30 seconds into on a 2 minute downhill on the bike, could pop me like a festering zit on a flat road or smooth climb. Other guys who could smoke me on a lakeside gravel path, would just hear my goofy laugh as I hurdled a log, leaped into a gully, and monkeyed my way through a dense jungle past them.

The XTERRA USA Champs was the culmination of my revolution about my strengths and weaknesses. In the continental US, this is the biggest race of the year. All the top guys are out in top form (including Lance Armstrong). I went into the race quite excited, ready to show what I had, and improve on last years 9th place. That was until I pre rode the bike course. The city of Ogden had gone in this past summer and plowed down the trails. It went from narrow, rocky, rooty, somewhat technical single track to a “nearly paved” 3 foot wide pathway. I was devastated. Technical skills were only required on about 20% of the entire ride. That meant the area where I could really shine, was only about 15 minutes long. Bummer. I had the best race on the day that I could, but on that type of course, it just wasn’t fast enough. I worked my way up to 8th off the bike, but had pushed just to hard trying to ride like the guys in front of me. My legs were toast and I had a lackluster run, crossing the line in 11th place.

But fret not! If you know me, you know I am not one to dwell on the negative forever. I’m looking at this realization and learning from it. Race my strengths, train my weaknesses. So after a good chat with the coach, we decided that for the time being, until my weaknesses are no longer my weaknesses, I will choose my races wisely. I am a professional triathlete and thus this is my career. If I make poor business decisions, the company could fail. I’m not going to let that happen. So until I can swim 1 day a week like Craig Evans and still lead out a swim, or put out 400 watts for over an hour like Conrad Stoltz, or run like the wind like Frenchman Nico Lebrun, I’m going to pick and choose my races wisely, playing to my strengths.

So when you see me racing an XTERRA this coming season, you know its gonna be a challenging, technical, fun, knee slapping good time!

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