Thursday, August 2, 2012

Been a long time, Been a long time

So unfortunately, I've not posted anything for quite some time but things have been crazy busy and well to be honest after 8 years of continuous bike racing, I am a little burned out.  I give props to all of those that have rode consistently for decades at a time without stopping it truly is inpiring.  For me it wasn't that I was tired.  In fact, just the opposite.  You see, before I got into this whole mountain biking thing I was an avid runner, those of you that know me know this well, but as I got older I got sloppy in my training habits and this caused an overuse injury from "too much, too soon".  This tedonitis issue halted my running efforts for what seemed like a decade and pretty much was, that was until this past spring.  I was probably coming off my best offseason to date and ready to kill it, what I found was that I was eager to run and wasn't all that pumped about riding for whatever reason let alone race.  I started volunteering with the track kids, running on my lunch breaks, biking to track, running with the kids, then biking back home.  This would go on from March till June and found a couple of hidden 5Ks out there that I excelled in and brought home better results than I have in recent years of bike racing.  This got me excited to run hard again, to chase after PRs from my own days at THS as a high school athlete.  I got better shoes, purchased real running shorts and shirts, got the Nike+ Ipod app for the phone, calculated my VDot, figured out my time splits to determine my dream 5k/10k times and what I need to do to get there.  I am now coaching the THS cross country kids and seriously anxious for the first camp practices to begin.  To say I am sucked back into running again is certainly and understatement, but what do I do about cycling now?  Where do I find time to train?  Is this just a phase?  I still don't really know the answers to any of those questions, but I do know that I've made some decisions as recent as last night that I realize will not be popular with some, but it does keep me home with my family, coaching cross country, working on my trail project and being available to contribute to the community in my role as a board member on the mainstreet board of directors.  This will also allow me to pursue my goal of teaching people how to live a active lifestyle and get the community excited about the opportunities they have all around them to stay active all year round.  I will continue to be active in the cycling community cause that is simply a community I've grown to love being a part of and yes I will be toeing the line in races next year.  The events that will unfold in the coming days isn't something I look forward to, but thankfully I have the support of my family, true friends, and community leaders that believe it or not do believe in me and share my vision.  I can't just come out and say it, but many of you know my frustration and the decision that has been reached.

So when you put that all aside that can really explain my absence from the blogosphere, granted, I don't really need to explain anything, but I am still here and still racing.....

So at the end of June, Chris Schotz and the WEMS Series puts together one hell of a race and course.  You can't beat a race that has RedEye Beer on tap....just sayin.  Now Chris puts together a course that will reward your toughness and crush the weak afterall he did just win the Wausau24 Solo!  My time on the bike wasn't what I would have liked and really I wanted to save myself for the 5k on the 4th of July (I know, Blasphemy, Right?)  I lined up for the 6 hour solo with a pretty damn fast group, nobody really wanted to take the lead going into the first section as I really eased up on the parade loop to the entry of the first section of singletrack.  I botched the first rock garden with allowed Maciej to go by, but I rode calm.  I dropped back to like 5th or 6th just watching wheels pull away and while I could have gotten easily frustrated and mail it I chose to keep going and have some fun.  Lap times were pretty bad so it wasn't much of a surprise that they were somewhat close together.  Despite how I was feeling and the fact I got stung by a bee, I wasn't sure if I was going to have to shoot up with the epi-pen and really did finish the race and did fairly well with a 4th place finish....not bad.

Then we get to the 4th of July 5K in Tomahawk.  It was friggin hot, much goes the story of the entire summer even as we speak.  Even as the 5K took off at 9:00am it was already approaching 85 degrees and stupid sticky humidity.  I didn't really feel like myself and after about a mile started losing pace.  I told Nick to go on without me and he didn't have to pull me along as I didn't feel right and probably would have had a bad last 1/2 mile if I would have picked it up that soon.  I lost a lot of time to him and he would actually have been 5th place overall in the race out of 300, I would come in 6th overall at 19:22 definitely not my kind of day but still a top 10 in a deep field....I'll take it. 

I was originally going to race the stump farm but did come down with a cold on the 4th so that race was out, but then it was time to do up the Wausau24.  This year I didn't know what to do with myself as it was the first time since 2007 that I didn't go solo and the relay concept for a 12 hour duo seemed foreign to me and it was really evident on the 2nd lap when I missed my partner coming through the pits (sorry Jim!) First lap I got stung again, my 2nd lap I dropped the chain and while practicing cyclocross to get back on my calf cramped thankfully I downed some infinit and some endurolytes that seemed to take care of it with the addition of more water and lots of chicken I ate before going out on my 4th and 5th laps. at that point we decided to double up before finishing doing one more each or so I thought, well Jim got me back for our handoff goof earlier in the day by crossing the line unknowingly while waiting for the 10pm finish.  Much to the cheers of the crowd I got to the bike and carried on for a night lap, which was a blast to ride.  The results would say I did 6 laps but that was wrong, but the team lap count was still correct and was good enough for 10th out of 36 super competitive teams that included Mike Curtes and even the Craig brothers from the Wausau area.

I got to tell you that the decision to do the 12 duo was smart as I feel terrible this week while I am down here in Kentucky, but I am still running, still weight training, still looking to race even this weekend.  This ought to be interesting lining up for a 5K nowhere near home, kind of feels like the lumbjack 100 or sea otter all over again.  I am hoping to do well, but hope the "travel diet" doesn't become my downfall....trying to do my best people.

More race reports to come!  Wish me luck and thanks to all of the sponsors that have continued to support not only myself but my vision.  Infinit Nutrition, TwinSix, Rudy Project, GoPro, Hayes

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