Saturday, November 9, 2013

Catching up on Summer

I can’t believe it’s been over five months since I’ve last written.  Time just flies by and before you know it the season is over and we’re looking at winter dead in the face.  So the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series ended with the Breckenridge 100, which was a fitting final for a long hard series. The Breck 100 has got to be among the toughest if not the toughest 100 mile mountain bike race in the country. I won’t try to compare it to the Leadville Trail 100 because with the exception that they are both 100 miles and at high altitude, there really is no comparison. With tons of single track both technical and fast and close to 14,000 feet of climbing, Breck is certainly a challenge.  And if this race wasn’t challenging enough, this year we got caught in a very cold and hard storm about 80 miles into it. I had to stay within 3 or 4 places of Mark Wallace in the 50+ age group to win the overall series. Mark won and I was second so I held on to the series win. Believe me it was not because I was the fastest. Mark destroyed me in every race. He just missed one race and lost the points for that race. He was way faster than me.

Climbing Little French Gulch Breckenridge 100
Courtesy of Mountain Moon Photography
My friend Kevin Cahn had an incredible series and race as well. Up until this year he could rarely complete a long training ride or race of any distance without suffering severe cramps. This year he trained hard, worked on his nutrition, learned to pace himself and did the whole series without a single cramp. Not only that, he finished top  12 in the 40 – 49 age group at the Breckenridge 100, the first 100 mile mountain bike race he  ever did. Wow talk about taking on a challenge!

 Kevin passing through Start/Finish Area (Courtesy of Mountain Moon Photography)
I have to put in a plug for Thane Wright and his crew for putting on such an awesome series. Kevin and I volunteered to help at a couple of the races and got to see first-hand how hard he and his crew work. Putting on races of this caliber and magnitude is no trivial task. These races are well organized, challenging, and fun; and Thane does an incredible job.
Another highlight of the summer was helping crew and pace my friend Matt Larsen through the Leadville Trail 100 run. It was Matt’s first 100 mile run and he was awesome. Like any 100 mile run, he had his lows and highs but just kept going without a word of complaint. It was an honor to be part of his incredible accomplishment.
 Matt on 2nd crossing of Hope Pass (Leadville Trail 100)
Besides working, training, and racing this year, I have been going to school.  This is the main reason I haven’t been updating my blog. Between work, riding, running, racing & school there hasn’t been time for much else. I’ve written what seems like a million papers since last spring and by the time I get my homework done, I’m exhausted.  I’ve been using my years of experience, along with seeking the expertise of my mentor, Sharon McDowell-Larsen to coach on and off for the last couple years and find I really enjoy it. I love helping people achieve a goal or dream they never thought possible.  One of my proudest moments was watching a high school friend cross the finish line of her first marathon in Akron, OH. It was a feeling I’ll never forget. So I’ve been working on a degree in exercise science to learn the science behind my years of experience. I want to be the best coach I can be. This pursuit has been challenging and super interesting. I really love it and time is just flying by. 
With that said, I will take on 2 – 3 athletes for 2014. The reason I keep it to so few is I want to make sure you get my full attention.  I’m looking for clients that want to achieve something extraordinary.  Since I am a two time Leadman champion, I am particularly interested in helping potential Lead-men/women achieve that goal. If you’re thinking about Lead man/woman or other challenges this summer, now is the time to start the preparation!

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