Thursday, January 19, 2012

Going Hunting

      This past weekend was the opening race in my Arizona mountain bike race series. I was super stoked to go shred my home course against my coach and at least 5 other fast pros. It's pretty early in the season to be full on racing, so I am using these first few races at training with little to no recovery for them. It's defiantly mentally and physically hard to race in January and February without your top end speeds your used to having in full on race season. I started the morning off beautifully with my almost perfected carmel white chocolate mocha. While I had a few weeks off the bike as well as these past few weeks of longer miles, I decided to explore a little further into my hobby of being a Barista. Coffee has always been a must have before a hard ride and with a month of full on practice and a few overdoses on coffee, I almost reached perfection.

           For the start of the race I got a fairly solid warm up in as well as some important stretching. I got to the start a tad late and was on the second row. I knew this had to change, so I worked my small self up into the front row with two guys elbows right in my face. Not ideal, but I'll take it. Off the gun I got the whole shot and led for about a mile eventually letting my coach and another pro go up front to set the pace. Before I knew it, there was only 5 of us hammering away. I was super stoked on how the race was going. I was third wheels and totally riding within myself.

 About 30 minutes into the race we hit a rocky climb were I managed to do the impossible and flat going up hill. I was so mad as I jumped of my bike to fix the flat while I was getting hit in the face with tubeless sealant. Once I was back on the bike I was about 4-5 minutes down due to my slow flat fixing. Who would of thought that a flat that would take me a minute to change in the garage took me 5 minutes while racing, go figure. From here I spent the rest of the race hunting down the lead. Not the ideal way to race, but probably good steady intensity for training in January. I finished the race in fifth place overall, but of course not before I ran into a cactus a mile before the finish. Spending the last 100 yards pedaling with one foot is never prefered. Overall I was thrilled on the race and can't wait for the next one. I've got a few more local stuff to prepare me for what awaits me in March. Let the gnarly training begin!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cross Season Recap

Cross Season Recap
      My cross season this year was absouluty amazing. Starting with back to back wins at Spooky Cross in the Non UCI men and Jrs, all the way to ending the season losing the state champs to no one other than of course my coach. I was fortunate enough to ride for BH bikes and Hammer Nutrition which was a stellar program. My BH was so snappy yet comfortable it was scary, and with the help of Hammer I was fueled so well for every cross race all the way to the finish line. For the first ever let alone this season, I raced on/ for CrankBrothers and I was totally stoked. They felt ergonomical on my legs/ knees yet allowed all the power to be transferred through adding me in keeping up with these fast roadies. Training for the 2012 mtb season already has been in motion and I couldn't be more excited.
AZ State Champs
     Cross season has come down to its final race. I was super bummed for cross to be over, yet excited to have a nice break and start my training for next mtb season. Once again the race came down to TJ Woodruff and I. The course was pretty techy to I knew I would be good there, but I also knew in order to have a chance at winning this thing I would have to win the mental game more than anything else. Such as making the competition think I am super strong that day by putting the hammer down in the tech sections. The race was going just like I planned all the way up to this barrier to loose turning section. I hit the whole section going pretty fast hoping I could gain some time with little power usage and of course turn after turn I either slid out or had to put a foot down causing a 5 or 6 second gap between me and 1st. Ironically this killed me physically and mentally. I didn't recover too quickly and just like that it was the end of the race for me. It was defiantly hard to end the season like that, but I had one fun cross season and couldn't wait for it to roll around next year! 
      I headed on down to Tuscon to race the fifth AZCross race. It was looking like the course conditions were going to be super sweet and it even had a chance of rain. I was super stoked on the course after just a few warm up laps. Had a little bit of everything and even a nice bunny hopping barriers at the bottom of one of this hills. I knew this is where I was going to gain a ton of time if I could plan it right. Of course on my last warm up/ preride laps I when for the bunny hop again and as I started to power up the hill my Rear der Hanger snapped! Luckily I had a spare in the car, but that kind of killed my confidence for the jump. With this advantage out of the picture I knew I would have to put down a fast start lap in order to have a chance at winning this thing. I was going up against a few AZ fast guys and my coach TJ who was going to be the guy to beat after coming off a pretty gnarly season of cross. The start went just as I planned. I got the whole shot and made the first 800 meters of the race super fast. After just a few laps it was three of us battling it out. Going onto our 4th lap I attacked dropping one guy and gaping TJ. Unfortunately TJ is a super fast guy and caught me faster than I would have liked. From here he set the pace on the front going a little faster every 800 meters or so and eventually popping me off his wheel. From here, I just survived trying to keep a strong pace so third would catch me. Finished second... again. Had tons of fun and couldn't wait till state champs in a few weeks.