Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jingle cross rock 2009 cyclocross

Day 1
A kick ass day…..

Heading to the start I had a plan for top 15… There were tons of fast regional guys looking for UCI points and I wasn’t 100% sure who was who. Tons of individuals decked out in different kits. I guess if you put a UCI race in IOWA….just like field of dreams….They will come.

Everyone looked fast… I wanted to PUKE.. I was Nervous as a virgin on prom night.

I hade a solid start. 2nd row behind WELLS, TILFORD, Jac MAYNES. And tons of other guys that are faster than me. I wasn’t quite as aggressive as I needed to be off the line. I don’t think I gave any spots up, but I didn’t really move up. I hesitated a bit… WE were going so fast into the first turn moving up just looked like a bad idea. I was in 12th or 15th??????? Not really sure. After the first few turns it got super strung out. We were flying down a long straight into a slight head wind. The path was smooth and the grass was SLOW. So trying to move up was pretty hard. Going into the barriers I had a pretty clean line and moved up 3-4 spots. After the barriers I was about 6 meters behind the leaders. We went uphill into this off camber section. Someone went down. DAMN…. Slammed on the brakes… jumped off the bike…. My mind was just screaming… I could barely see…..5 maybe 10… but it felt like 50 riders went by … I jumped on the bike only to jump back off and run a bit more then JUMP back on….. I felt pretty silly. There was a HUGE run-up coming so I knew I had to put down the hammer and try to get back in the game. I dismounted early so I could avoid and chaos at the first LOG… It worked… Several riders were grabbing there bikes and I already had mine on my shoulder. I moved to the right and had a clean line on the hill. I think I took back most of the spots I had lost, but the leaders were GONE…… completely gone…. Now……. I don’t think I could have HUNG with the WELLS brothers………. but I was amped to try my hand in the 2nd group… They had 10 seconds easy and I wasn’t strong enough to jump across a gap to riders that are stronger. I topped out the hill and was in a group of 5-6 riders. So there were 5 guys up ahead and were going to battle it out for the scraps. I felt great. I don’t know why but I felt calm and super relaxed today nothing felt that hard. It was an incredible feeling. After a few laps it was down to ME, TILFORD, and a CLIFF Bar U-23 rider… I tried a few times to get away but they were to strong to just let me ride away.. I felt faster on the flats and the runs… but the technical spots they would just close the gap…..
Long story short…. I wanted TOP 15…. I was dreaming of a top 10… I ended up 8th… If I hadn’t gotten shoved into the tape on the last corner ………..I would have had a great shot at 6th… a killer ride for me regardless. Normally, Tilford beats me by a few minutes, I felt strong the entire hour. It felt great… The course kicks ass for me. Lots of grass and a huge run.
I love cross…damn I really loved it today… I hurt a ton on the hill and smiled the whole way… It sucked… but damn I really love it………… Today was one of those days that you realize how lucky we are that a few weird EURO’s invented cyclocross.

EPIC… SNOW yeah… snow….. winter weather watch was in FULL force. It was 33 degrees so the snow made just the right type of SLOP…. The good thing was,,, it wasn’t sticking to the bike or tires……… so at least it didn’t jack up the bike.

Today I had a better start. I gave it just the right gas before going into the corner……. …………but DAMN I took myself down coming out of it……… Bummer ……… I went from 4th or so to 15th pretty quick…Definitely my fault. It was so slick I just needed to slow a bit more than I did. The corners were just awful all day…. It was snowing hard and the mud was a few inches deep. You couldn’t hook up because the ground was hard underneath. At least I couldn’t. The great thing today was the long “RIDE up” turned into a “RUN up”… I felt great running again today. The hill felt easy… The problem wasn’t the climb…. The decent was epic. It was so slick and fast………. I was gripped. I could survive it but couldn’t let it fly…..I moved up to 6th after the first big RUN….. I felt great. But the rest of the day was about survival for me….. the guys that were riding fast in the slop would kill me on the technical sections. I could close the gap on the RUN…. Then it would open up again… I only drifted back 3 spots so that was pretty good. I couldn’t even hang with the guys that came around me. I tried but they were INCREDIBLE…. I have incredible respect for the riders that can just hammer on that crap… The second I try to ride that fast I end up on my ass…… so survival was the key… by the time I got to the finish line I was so damn cold I couldn’t feel any parts on my body… I dropped the bike and ran to the shower… The hot water was more painful than the cold…. For the first 5 minutes it hurt worse than the race. It was like an extra lap of PAIN… I wasn’t even moving and I hurt more than I had the entire hour. I curled in the corner of the shower till my hands stopped throbbing…. I felt like hammers slamming into them….I invited another rider in as I sat shaking… he had to think I was freak…. Here is a guy in full kit… sitting in the corner covered in MUD curled into a ball…. It was all I could do to not stay conscience.

So the weekend pretty much kicked ass……. 8th and 9th are just great rides for me... I can imagine a few spots higher....but I also can see where I could have gone back a few spots had things not worked out also. So I am amped at 2 top 10 rides.... It is hard to put 2 good days together under totally different conditions. Just being consistent makes me realize I am fit and riding the bike well.

I had a blast…the course is incredible and the IOWA crowd is just rad. I can’t wait for 2009….. I will be back….
Thanks to the guy who lent me the pit wheel and thanks to the entire staff who made this race incredible. It is the highlight of my year…..

HERE IS some video I took while running the course and watching the first LAP of the womans UCI race. This gives you an idea how SLICK it was. First lap and people could barely stand up or ride. These girls are bad asses and most of them KILLED the downhill.... It was impressive. I only wish I could have ridden the downhill like the first girl in the video.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One more lap


As the CX season unfolds I realize how short the CX season really is. Months of hard work and it is almost time to start thinking about racing on the road again. With only 4 weeks left in my cyclocross season I must remind myself to race every moment of every race before the season ends. It is so easy to back down… damn every race I want to quit at some point. I always think of what I heard Kent Bostick said to my friend John Hart… "little buddy..Your pain is not special." I live by these words during the hardest part of the race. Sometimes as I am gasping for air or my legs hurt so bad I want to cut them off… I just remember that “my pain is not special.” As I spit on my top tube unable to see straight…. I remind myself again… “your pain is not special”
I hurt… damn do I hurt. Every day I train… I hurt. This past year at master’s nationals I was standing on the curb yelling at my wife with 1k to go in her time trial. She was 3 seconds back on my time sheet. I noticed she was crying when she rode by…these were not tears of sadness… dude these were tears of insane pain… pain I don’t know if I have ever felt. I go hard… damn sometimes I go so hard I can’t feel my hands or feet…but have I ever gone so hard I cried! Never…not yet.. And I guess that is why she as a stars and stripes jersey and I don’t……….. So this year that is my new goal… To race so hard that I either pass out or cry..

Pain and failure is 99% of this sport. So why every time I am suffering do I feel pain and usually fail? You would think I could ignore the pain and grab success by the nads….. It is at the moment when it hurts the MOST….I start to think “my pain is special”…. But I know it isn’t.. We all feel it… we all want to quit. Every minute of every interval I think about it for at least a few seconds… It is like beating you head against a concrete wall. Each time you slam your forehead into the wall it hurts and the wall doesn’t move. The funny thing is I have been repeating this for 6 years now. So the truth is…it is not a failure. I didn’t LOOSE.. I raced my brains out and went as hard as I could.. the guy in front of me is just stronger…should I just quit and not chase him? No way…. The struggle is what I love the most. I think to love this sport, and survive racing you have to enjoy getting beat down as much as you enjoy giving the beat down. I just want to be out there suffering… it always feels so much better when I am making others suffer…but I learn more and grow more from being on the receiving end of a good beating. Motivation comes from failure for me.

I think about the NIKE commercial….my better is better than your better…. If you haven’t seen it go to youtube… and check it out. But really… is my BETTER …better than your BETTER…. Damn if that was the case I would win a ton of races. I don’t win very often so I think there are a ton of guys out there whose BETTER is BETTER than my better. So if Kent is correct that my pain isn’t special… and others are better… why do I race? 99% of the time I know I can’t win. There are always several riders who are a bit stronger. In some cases a TON stronger. So why do I spend thousands of dollars racing and 100’s of hour suffering each year? That's a really good question. I think there are a ton of answers. I have my identity so wrapped around cycling what would I do if I stopped? I would probably have a terrible drug problem or gamble my life savings away. So suffering for hours on end might just be a bargin .

So we now have an idea of the consequences if I stop suffering and quit riding. The new question becomes: how can I suffer in bliss? This is a trick I am getting better at each year. I love to watch Chris Horner suffer… the guy is always smiling… Try it… for me it works…. For the first time I have started to invite the pain in… I don’t run form it like I used to… I don’t start to question why I hurt or think “I must be having a bad day.” What I have learned is when you go HARD… it hurts. It always will. I always here riders talking about “bad legs” most of the time it makes me chuckle. Bad legs usually just mean the race was hard. If you ride with power I want you to try to ride around 600 watts for 40-45 seconds… that is the start of a cross race. DO it every day… If you ever have a day where that feels easy and your legs don’t burn…Go buy some lottery tickets.
If you are in shape…and have trained a decent amount… and your legs hurt and burn…it is a pretty good sign you are going hard…not that you have bad legs, but that you have fit enough legs to suffer. Somewhere along the way on the delusion train we have decided that going hard should feel good. That is crazy talk. The only time racing and training feels good…is when you are not going hard enough to make any gains or to win.

If you feel good = You are not going very hard (at least not hard enough to get benefits from training or to be successful in a race)

If you feel bad = you are probably pegged and on the rivet
-this is actually a good thing

Bad legs = peoples in your race are Better than your better

Good legs = you need to upgrade

99.9% of the time I think the above is correct. We all have bad days every once in a while. But if ½ of your races are bad… then you are not being realistic. Your training either doesn’t match your goals…. Or your goals don’t match your pedigree.

Now that we have solved a pretty serious math problem lets get back to the fact that most of us are not very good. What do I mean? Most of us suck. Yes we suck. Hard to stomach but the sooner we all figure it out the more credit we can give to the riders who don’t…….. Now this isn’t very nice, but what I mean is that the guy who beat me last weekend sucks a little less than I suck. The guy who finished behind me isn’t Better than my Better. Every week the goal is to suck a bit less and try to bring the best effort I can manage to the race. Each week I have new excuses as to why I am going to suck. I try to hide them under the bed in a shoe box, but I always let a few slip. Usually I talk about how hard I trained or didn’t train. That is my favorite. But the bottom line is when we walk up to the starting line we are very vulnerable. It is how you learn to deal with the insecurity of sucking that makes you a great warrior. Dude…. win or lose if you bring a great fight you should be able to pat yourself on the back and be amped about how you raced. Most of the time we just beat ourselves to a pulp during the race and then continue to do so for the following week. The key is to ask yourself several times during the race “can I go harder?” If the answer is yes… then get on the gas. If the answer is “no” then stay the course. So next time your are out racing at Defcon 4..try to smile… you should be amped that you are killing it. If you are crying then you know you are pegged. Pegged is pegged. The guy in 10th is just as pegged as the guy who won. Neither effort has more value. Like Kent said “your pain isn’t special.” So don’t run from it… invite it in…and next time you are racing and the race is finished.. I challenge you to race one more lap… why not… it is what we do and who we are. Cross season will be over in a blink of an eye. Enjoy every painful minute of each lap…. Soon there will be no more laps to ride and no more cross races till next year. You will spend the next 9 months getting ready to do it again.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

KIng and Queen of cros results

Working on results NOW...
Great race!!
Thanks for coming....
Photos also by Monday.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

King and Queen of cross in 3 days COME RACE

I have been out working on the course. Can't wait to see who makes the trip to race.
FELDMAN? BART? RICO? CURRY? BOISE RIDERS? Montanna CXr's? TONS of JACKSON and VICTOR riders!!! 2 years ago BART showed up and killed it. Last year ALI GOULET smoked it. 2009.. I expect a great race... and have HOPES of building this race into the WESTERN STATES CHAMPIONSHIPS! This is your chance as a racer to race guys and gals from all 4 states. Don't run and hide..... Get in the car and drive.
I am personally inviting anyone that loves cross to make the drive. There is a race at NOON in Rexburg SATURDAY... called the you can make it a double.

Sunday in POKI will be a great race. NOON start so you have plenty of time to DRIVE up! 1 oclock for the A and B race.