Monday, June 28, 2010

waiting for an email

Sitting in Bend, OR; we take off tomorrow. We did an early AM ride up to Mt Bachelor - beautiful ride via a bicycle. Drive too I guess; which we plan on doing as soon as Pierre gets back from FedEx dropping bikes. Things would be so much easier without a bike - i.e. flying. But who likes simple? My mind if filled with a thousand thoughts. Way too cluttered to make much sense at the moment or draw conclusions. I seem to just be in a mode where I am taking alot in. Post JR Nats and pre Fitchburg and pre 2nd big half of the season always causes me to contemplate. It is near July and we have been training for the 2010 season for 8 mos now. Actually training 5; then race prep and taper and peak and about time for a rest after Fitchburg for many.
But I get locked away thinking did I do everything I possibly could, for my athletes? This Nationals I have a group of newbies whereas last year I had 2 "seniors". I have new cat 3's, a 14 yr old at his first Nats, and then of course Nate who, gosh damn when is that phone going to ring? Riding first year U23 and going for it. Yeah he was beaten, but this kid. I was fortunate enough to meet Jim Miller who is USAC Athlete Dirctor and I asked him "what do we have to do?" How can we get Nate on the National team. He answered with "we are doing it". Maybe I will figure out what this means one day.

This sport is ?, so much is crazy. These athletes work so hard, I mean I was one of them, you work so hard just to be in a break one day and ride your butt off. Of course it has taught me much great of life, how to work hard of course; but there is more to it than working hard.
I hope I can get my ideas together so that I can move forward. Something else is there. I am so tired of trying to get my jrs on a U23 I just wanna start my own. Stop begging. This sport seems to be about begging and I cannot stand it anymore. Rather have the $ and do what I want. When I think of the companies where 150K really isn't that much - makes me think I can do it. Just how? That what I have to figure out. If it were easy we all be doing it.

Of course then I have the struggles inside, again, whenever I visit the west and witness the rhythm of life out here. I have been checking out real estate and being someone who started making money later in life, I have been thinking alot where will I own a house. There is something to the simpliness of living, as in Bend. I grew up on 160 acres of farm and I was never bored and I never needed the internet. I don't think I need it now, cept to help the athletes I coach in viewing power files all day and giving them advice as to what to do next. I don't know, I don't think I fit in with this age of technology. I mean I could, but I don't want to. I see people rush out to buy a new i-phone and I would rather be snowshoeing up a mtn where there is no signal. What is wrong with me? is that why I am writing on my blog?
actually I am trying to sort my feelings and not sure why I doing it here as this is public and I am very private person. I started to try and figure out what the hell is a blog... I mean yeah one writes... but do we care about others reading it.... okay I guess it is sharing knowledge in which case this blog is a disaster coz I am not sharing much. now Avery - that dude can write. as can Jim, must be a Wilson thing.

I am driven almost possessed to see the athletes that I think deserve recognition, succeed. I wanna know the game inside and out. maybe this is what I am thinking about. right now I need write a few training plans, rest I will write on the plane. Big time of the season right now and maybe this is what I am feeling. when you coach athletes and you know what each of them need and you are trying to deliver it, searching for the proper tools so they understand. I told Avery to race like he cooks, without a recipe. I liked this one; coz you can't think TOO much in racing, you have to just see it and feel it and know when it is time to suffer and then suffer some more and when to rest and when to eat etc etc. It isn't a book you read and know how to "race". I listen to these guys (the jrs) out here talk about racing to each other - they are masters in some ways, not old but with wisdom. Yeah of course they make simple mistakes, which this is what 2010 Nationals was about this year for the most part and now they know for Fitchburg.

I am going to sign out coz I cannot get my thoughts organized and don't like scatterbrain. Miss everyone, Jim and Nate and Kevin took off and it is way too quiet in this house. All I hear is that crazy sprinkler.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Frustration at Nats

Day 2 Criterium 13/14 Shane Scoggin. I a going to blog about it coz it is going to take me some time to get over and I have to figure out how to apply my frustration in a creative and logical fashion. Shane is at his first National Championship here in Bend, OR with his family and the NCVC support crew. This support system is awesome. Parents, coaches, other parents, fellow teammates. We are all from DC so yeah, it is a trek getting out here. This is "the show", national championships. USA Cycling is the federation behind putting on these events.

Shane was nervous day 1, so the RR was a learning experience. Lining up with 90+ kids was a first for him, seeing the big National Championship banner is WOW, they have a real stage and real annoucers. Yeah Nationals are big. So you would expect many details to be taken care of. Like having a good technical director on board for having the courses approved.
Shane and I went to try and figure out the crit course after he rested up from the RR. We talked about how he is a big fish back in Mabra but out here, there are big fish from all over the country. So in this form of race, we need look after all the details and handling nerves is one step, in many, of learning how to bike race. He realized he needed to get some chow down pre race and work on calming his mind. For a 14 yr old, this is alot to figure out.
The course on paper was wrong, god knows how many national championships I have been to and the courses have been wrong on paper. But I kinda figured out the course - and we rode it a few times. It had some very tight turns, turn 2 and turn 5 especially were very tight. I was not happy thinking about how 90 kids were going to navigate that course and I thought maybe I have the course wrong. Well turned out I had the course right. My stomach was very upset, thinking about Shane on that course with kids half his size - trying to "race" a course this technical with kids of all different size and putting out maybe a max watts of 300 vs max watts of 1200+. It was not going to be a good situation. I of course pushed all this way back in my mind and was ++; I told Shane he had to get good start and he had to go like hell from the gun. It was going to break up into million pieces and if he didn't get out in front, it would be over. He had a good lineup before the callups, 2nd in line. There were 2 tiny kids in front of him (who crashed as soon as the gun went off). I told him he had to get to the start line as soon as they were called up; he wasn't aggressive enough and ended up about 4th row. Not good.
Race started and there was a crash 20m from the line, even before turn 1. Turn 2 - about 50m from the start, 2nd big crash. Shane was in this one but took a free lap and got back in. They put him in way back, and he chased all the way back to a group going for 7th place. There was a kid # 656 I told him to get on from the gun, but 656 and the guy who eventually won (who won the day before and got a call up) jumped from the gun and these 2 were never seen again; they lapped the field. So there were 2 up front, a chase of 4, then a group of about 7 which included Shane. Half way through Shane left his group and tried to bridge across. He was going very well but the group of 4 was working very well together. Shane gave it an all or nothing effort, but when the leaders lapped the group Shane was originally in, this group >> in pace and Shane was brought back. He was out there about 5 laps on his own. He as brought back and for 3 laps he was 200% in the hurt locker. Wasn't good and all I thought was what will I say to him post race if he gets popped. Will I be able to make him understand how GREAT it is to actually RACE and not settle for less. Shane is a Champion. I coach lotta people, have for years now, and all of them are different. This kid has heart. A big one who likely also has a big stroke volume, but he has a heart that goes for the W. He was suffering like a dog and long last, with 3 to go th pressure came off; the 2 guys who lapped the field decided to let the chase group of 4 stay clear. It was 3 to go and Shane had just made contact again with the group he had originally been in (he had been slightly dropped, after he had put in his move to bridge across). I thought okay is he smart enough to rest for 2 laps and go for it?? Answer is HELL YES he knows. Coming into one lap to go, he jumped again! and had a clear gap. This woulda given him 7th. The 5th turn on this course is really tight and we had talked about this corner; he could win it or lose it here. Well, he was after it. But he went into the turn hot and didn't make it out. Suzanne and I were waiting, waiting, and we realized Shane musta had a problem. Then we heard Larry and Justin yelling Shane was down and it wasn't good. Man, the emotions - I am not very good at dealing with this part of racing. My heart sunk; I could tell from his eyes, when he went through that last lap off the front he was determined. The day before he was sad, he was very bummed out about the RR and I knew he was ready for revenge. That was what I saw in his eyes and I held my breathe, knowing that last turn and knowing the possibility of disaster. When you have + in bike racing, it is magic. When you don't, well very sad. This is always the way.
We got down to that corner and Shane was down. I saw his legs all banged up and thank God Jim Wilson was there, who always calms me down. There was a great medic there and Shane was responding very good, so I could at least sign a +. He got up and walked, and whereas I shoulda been filled with joy, I was really angry. There was a USA official there and I was angry, this course shoulda have NEVER been a course for the 10-14 kids. Never. Just the site of anything USA Cycling made me angry at that moment. I may be completely wrong; but I don't think the federation is cutting it right now. I haven't thought this for years actually. Maybe it started with Sue Haywood getting screwed yrs ago. And Sue is class.
When I saw the course and then knew it was the course I had thought; I knew the corners were going to coz major chaous. They did; as Shane was getting cleaned up (he is banged up just about everywhere but nothing major major - just serious ouch covering his body), I asked the medics how many kids had been in there..... more than 25. I heard in the 10-12 most every kid was pulled.
Why do you approve a course, that anyone with 1% of cyling racing brains and technical experience, knows will coz nothing but disaster? The amount of money they charge just to race at Nationals, the fact it is Nationals and people come from all across the USA with bike transport costs alone outrageous, the fact this is Nationals and kids come expecting to race (racing 1 km of a 20km race after traveling halfway cross the country or more is not racing), parents taking this as their vacation etc etc etc etc. Okay - unacceptable. Unacceptable.
That course should never have been approved for these kids. I feel all those kids and parents have been robbbed. What kinda experience did they take home? Bend has a great downtown crit course they use for the other cats (15/16, 17/18, U23) - use some of the profits USA Cycling is reaping in and make it happen. US is trying to grow JR cycling; by last nite??
I don't have the answer but I do know that anyone with any experience in racing, knowing kids even slightly; would conclude that course was unjust. I don't know if I can do anything to remedy this or improve but I am invested in JR cycling and what happened to Shane last nite was absolute bullshit. He shoulda not been racing on that course. He is one of the strongest kids, all the way from DC, racing out here in OR. Paid a fortune to get his bikes out here. Had both parents come out. He is supposed to be taking off on his TT in 17 minutes but instead he is here giving all his TT stuff to the others so they can race. Breaks my heart. He is up walking and this is great. But he should be taking his last pee right now before his start. I know he woulda set one of the fastest times today.
If I can find a video of the start; which shows the crash right off the line and the discrepancy of kids in this race - which USA Cycling should be able to predcit by now??, I will post. Kids 70 lbs vs 160 lbs on a course as technical as it gets. And this is the "show". Gives the kids a great experience, one which they will of course take home and dream about, training even harder. That was a joke. When can we do it again..

What I also need to get an answer to - does an athlete have to pay to protest a result? For example, when the officials screwed up Russ Brown's time this last weekend at TWC, did he have to pay the officials so they would possibly correct their mistake? If this is true, I am going to go even more insane. Where else do you get paid for up??? If this is the rule I am waging a war. Getting paid for screwing up. Now that's why we pay more every year to get a license. Awesome.

I only had one cup of coffee. What do I know; I am only a coach and raced for most of my life. I will be long dead to see IF the day ever happens where we as a nation think Preventive instead of Corrective. Preventive takes in much less profit.... greed and ego drive the corrective version.

Today is time trial day; off to the races. Let's think ++. That who I am.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Racin'

Well here we are in full on racing season - if you are a roadie. Mountain biking is on as well; CX later. But for me, who coaches mostly roadies - the season is in full motion. I am in Bend, OR once again for JR Nationals. LOVE this place and very very high on the list for where we will end up in a few years time. Makes me ? when all my juniors say the same thing.... " I don't wanna go home". What they seeing and understanding is kinda obvious. The peace, the quiet, the environment and air quality and so many, many stimuli which lead to and produce a creative soul. Last nite one of them said this to me again, I don't want to go back to NVA. Makes me think, wow, these guys feel it too. What the wild west does for ones' soul. This is a struggle for me, I know you have to be where the work is BUT feeding ones soul, may be on top the "must have" list for me.

Now - where do I start, as once again it has been some time since I caught up on what is going on for me. Getting the athletes into results mode. Kinda comes down to this as a coach, who is winning and do I have a hand in their training. I am pretty pleased with the juniors are going (the juniors being one of my great joys of coaching) - had to see 3 of them cat up to cat 3 in order to get here and they all did it: David Brookes who is racing 17/18, Avery Wilson and Justin Mauch who are racing 15/16. Nate is racing his first year as U23 and Shane Scoggin first time racing Nationals in the 13/14. Fantastic legs of future talent. I don't know if I just end up with genetically gifted kids or maybe combo of good genes and some good coaching. I think both. End result is what matters and they all flying right now. Of course I know Nate pretty well by now, we been working together many yrs so I expect alot out of myself getting him 100% prepared. I can say with confidence, he is peaking right now on target. He had a fall out at the Gila and we lost about a week, which I was abit worried about but we managed to get on top of this one. I was pretty confident at the Gila everything was on track. But then he had to go on some strong antiB which take some time to recover from. But all engines ready and tomorrow he has the TT. He is VERY confident and so I think of all the work I have done with him, seeing him mentally able to conquer is perhaps the greatest work yet done. It isn't physical at a certain point; everyone is strong. Comes down to who owns the day. Going into an event, owning it in ones mind. If you can do that you have a good shot at it.
This past weekend I had some great success with athletes at the Tour of Washington County. Had 3 good shots of podiums cross 3 categories. Mike Fawell is one of my guys who was ready to break through this year, and I think he has won his last 3 races. The guy is a TT machine, so in the cat 3 category he set the board. He was only 7 sec behind Russ Langley, who appears to be getting some form again. I think Mike can cat up now; so one 2010 goal accomplished. I have several cat 3 racers right now, from all different teams, so very fun me as coach in trying to get them all to win. They all have their specific strengths and limiters, but it does seems that a big hurdle in cat 3 is just getting that confidence thing. Drew Armstrong rode brilliant this weekend - best I ever saw him race in a crit. The light went off. Kinda what I wait and wait and wait for, that switch to go on. Then I can take a huge breathe coz I know they have some wings.
In the Masters race Andreas Gutzeit came oh so close to taking the Masters 3/4 overall - he ended up just 2 sec shy.

Now Coach is usually not one to bitch, but some of the officiating in the last few races starting to be irritating. If it is a GC race and IF the results from the previous stage are wrong > the riders go to ask the official and are told it doesn't matter > when the next stage has 4 time bonuses.... and the win is going to come down to seconds ...... well, this is really super frustrating. Oh I know, we all make mistakes and this is only bike racing, but at $90/pop - but very frustrating for me to see athletes working so hard, doing everything right, to get screwed by officials who won't get it right. I know Mimi very well, this wasn't Mimi; I am saying sometimes I think the officials need own up they are NOT the almighty and not always right. In this particular case it cost my athlete the overall. But not taking the time to get the results Correctly posted prior to the last stage. The rider brought it clearly to attention; it was critical going into the last stage how much the rider was behind. It changed the ENTIRE last stage of how it was raced. I am not always right and I now have the faith in myself to own up. I think we all need keep this in mind. I think some of the officials take the power thing too far and forget to remember "racing dynamics". There is a big difference between how a race will be played out, if there are 6", 13", or 25".
Nough said.

Pro race - think it coulda played in many ways - Nate played a major support role. While I am sure he coulda won the overall, I don't go into team politics. I only am concerned did I do my job and is Nate ready for Nats - June 26th a day I have been thinking about for the last 362 days. Nate took 2nd last year in Nationals for those that don't know and he has vowed to one day win Nationals. I am absolutely sure he can. He is a first year U23 rider this year at Nationals - against some very tough competition. He is going into it physically on top and mentally strongest Nate Wilson I have ever worked with. Sweet. Blair, my other 1,2 rider in the race, rode well and I am targeting Fitchburg and Cascade for him. He took 3rd in the TT and now rides crits with confidence. Todd Hesel took the overall from KBS, their team rode superb from what I saw in the crit. Rick Norton is a true Bad Ass. I remember riding his wheel home to Charlottesville once, a big group was out for a ride and Rick was coming back in. I was kinda too scared to ask if I could ride home with him but I guess I was feeling brave and I did it. Rick was bigtime already and for me, being a complete gumbie - well I was NOT going to get dropped from his wheel. I can still, to this day, the hills we climbed and remember how hard I tried, not to get dropped. I don't think we said more than 2 words the entire ride; I was just in awe riding with Rick Norton. I was a total cycling nerd; couldn't believe how fast the pros were. But he is 40+ now and still king of the bad ass in the peloton. Gets alot harder when you get older. I know when I was looking for a team for Nate, talked to Rick a long time. I knew he would be in good hands, next best step for his development. Thanks Rick, for looking after him. Now I have to find the next step for Nate. He is ready. But first we will get through the next 3 days.....

David Brookes, Justin Mauch, and Shane Scoggin are my newbie National racers here this year. Shane raced yesterday in the 13/14 RR - but he was so nervous at the start, couldn't get anything in his belly, as a result had a rough bonk 1/2 way through. Lesson learned, he is going to have a MUCH better race tonite I already know. He races at 7:30PM tonite.

So - who else, well I have so many other great athletes riding well and training hard >>> I think any HPC athlete does coz I don't really last long with people who aren't willing to do the work. I know, coz I have heard, I work people too hard. But this is what it requires of you wanna do BIKE racing. It isn't an easy game. If you aren't willing to get humbled over and over and over, you may as well get out. Coz it is too damn hard.
Okay - our bikes are in; I am out to ride the TT course with the Avery TT animal machine. Damn he looks good on that TT bike.
I forgot to bring my camera charger and my battery is dead, so not sure what I going to do now. No pics for now

Friday, May 7, 2010


I think Nate coulda used this one for the latest entry to his blog. I may have already called one of my blogs experience. Or Welcome to PRO racing. Or this isn't D20 no more. Or I could think of many titles (sorry Nate). Just different style of racing. How many times do you ever see a local race with gutter action that lasts for 10 MILES??? Has anyone ever seen it round here lasting for 1 mile? I don't remember ever seeing it. Okay maybe at Turkey Day over the top of the hill when it was windy.... Last time I was there was when Saturn and Gen Jeanson were duking it out in Idaho and I wondered how I wasn't dead already. I was still alive and wishing I weren't. Okay, not really. But maybe you get the picture. I never want to try and compare the Bunny Hop to the Gila crit where speeds are 50-60kph the WHOLE 90'. Because these are 2 completely different races with a different list of players in a different ball park. Every individual has obstacles to overcome. I have come to realize I don't know why to all the questions the athletes' ask me. But I do know you just cannot quit. Coz sooner or later you make the break or you win a field sprint or you learn how to descend at speed. I have learned that the sooner you work on your limiters the better you will be. Of course I don't understand why some people get there sooner than others, I have theories of course. Alot is human nature or character of an individual. I know going into anything holding a + attitude is worth many many miles and/or much training.

One big reason I started a women's team yrs ago was to try and bridge that gap, from regional racing to NRC. For women it is not as big a gap I don't think, the depth doesn't exist as it does in men's racing. But women have other issues that often prevent them from making this jump. It is scary to bridge that gap no matter what the gender. Reading Nate's blog makes it all too honest how much different it is, the racing he is trying to do now vs the racing he was doing only 1 year ago. And it isn't ever going to get "easier", it is going to get more manageable. Coz he will learn how to read the races better and when to expend energy or when not to use an ounce of strength. I remember thinking the same thing on so many days, thank GOD I have good legs. Coz if I didn't this day would suck. But I have had plenty of days that did suck from start to finish. I just go to bed praying I feel good tomorrow. It is a hard man's sport cycling. No matter if you are cat 5 trying to get to cat 4. It is all the same. No matter if it is the cat 4 race at the Bunny Hop. 100 people line up and only 1 "wins". Isn't this so fascinating. I may see winning in different ways then the riders. But I know what they all want.

My last 3 days in Silver City were fantastic - we rode, hiked, then rode. Climbed about 15000 in those 2 days of riding - take me about 3650 trips on the W & OD to do this much climbing. It is just different. I tell people all the time, if you wanna be strong - you gotta go climb. If you have the choice of Haines Pt vs repeats on Brickyard - do some of both. Then whenever you can - get to real mtns - Front Royal, Luray Rt 211. Anything that goes up. I had to use a 28 tooth cassette (thanks KevinG) but so what at least I could still turn it. And I had FUN. Which for me, is something I wish I woulda had alot more of all those years of racing. Instead I was too freaking serious most of the time. UGH. Nate you are just 19 riding with the best in the US and some of Europe's best. You need to be patient. It is all going to come your way. It may be tomorrow, may be next week, thing is - all of this is in your future. Doesn't get much better.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crit day 4

Pretty much the play by play has been on facebook; Kevin and Russ rode well to maintain their GC spots of 6th and 8th (respect); Nate and Blair rode the pro FAST race and rode fantastic. I never saw either one of them in trouble. For me, it was a great day! Blair has had some rough gos out there and I know, from experience, when you are down in GC it is hard to get yourself UP. You ? many things, why you sacrificing so much sometimes. But you have to get past the low times back to your dreams; and nothing can stop this. Blair finishing this crit means Blair has learned so much, in 3 short days. Huge congratulations to him. I was so very proud. I may write somewhat emotional blogs at times; but guess what - this sport takes alot of emotion. It all comes down to a real human level, and caring for each other. Freaking hard sport.

Pierre got them all ready for tomorrow, we chowed down on my taco nite mexican food ( for some reason I cannot make brown rice in Silver City - blaming it on the altitude - it always ends up sticky rice and this year we DO have a stove, so God knows what I am doing), and now bedtime. Tomorrow long day but inside I am really excited coz I know all the boys have legs. And when you have legs, anything is possible. I don't know how they fked up the crit times today; not that Nate and Blair were up in GC but it still is nice to see same time as Lance after you been on the ground and back, like Nate. But tomorrow the race suits all the KBS boys and maybe something special will happen. I will never stop getting excited for my riders and all th possibilities. You can never give up, coz you never know what can happen when you try. Defines this sport I swear.

Okay, I am beat.

Post TT and Crit day Tour of the Gila Days 3 and 4

Not too much to report today; crits start in about 2 hrs for the cat 2 guys. The pro guys go at 3:15PM. Cold this AM but going to warmup. Calm wind so far; hope it doesn't crank up too much. Out here I just try to take one day at a time. Get through one day and then think about what we have to do for the next. The biggest factor yesterday was the fact that Kevin's bike arrived at the last second and thanks to our teamwork out here amongst the riders, the Browns - we got it built up in time for Kevin to race on. Russ and Kevin both had solid rides to retain their GC spots. I think they can light some fireworks today in the crit. They are 2 of the strongest guys in their field.

The pro race will be full on; Nate and Blair are going to have to fight in this one. If they can make it past the intitial chaos, they will be fine. Hard handling the pre race nerves I remember now. I don't know if it is harder watching (I think so) than actually racing. I am holding my breathe from start > finish. I will update via text to Jim post the cat 2 race and then update via blog the pro race.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

31 mph winds with gusts 77mph+ Gila Day 2

I don't have many pics today coz my camera got blown 2 at Tour of the Gila. Good day, once again everyone finished in one piece, which in this sport, is alot. Of course the riders always want more, but some days you take what you can get. I want more for the riders too but racing in conditions like today - you have to be happy to finish. Nate and Kevin both took a spill, Kevin on the twisty turny Pinos Altos descent, Nate on the stretch after the Sapillo descent on NM 35. Kevin just had a face like a mtn biker - covered in dirt; Nate took a hit on his elbow and had to get some stitches. He was pissed so I knew he was okay.... he is fine. Going to be sore and banged up, may hurt his TT elbow. But he did incredible - in the front group, said he had to bury it to chase back on after the fall (which happened coz someone threw their water bottle in the road). Blair got through the tough part, and on the twisty descent got stuck between groups. There are so many many skillsets one must acquire, to race this level racing. Having the legs is one thing, I think really important, but there are many other fears to conquer. It takes time. About 3-5 more years than most riders want to spend. I think of how many times I had to tell Nate he would have his day, alot. Many yrs. I know Nate won't mind me saying this coz it is true. Takes so much time and just when you figure out something, there is a new obstacle. But that is why I do love the sport. I didn't elaborate on this much; this sport of road racing is amazing. I have been through all spheres in this sports. Top to bottom and back and sideways. But the amount of support that goes into one single race, at this level, is extraordinary. The mult support systems are several. Each rider is dependent of these very special support systems. The riders that work as hard as they do; how can you not wanna support them? I come to a race like this (real) and again reminded just how extraordinary the sport is. Why I always want to be involved in it and will support road racers.
Back to the racing today; Blair had to do alot of extra work but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I remember many days like this. And I know how hard they are. I am just happy Blair has the power. One step at a time. All we can do. He was so close today, so close. Had he gotten into the group on the descent of Pinos Altos, I am sure he woulda been in that front group. Sure of it. So we need focus bit less on power now and more on certain skillsets. It will come Blair.
Cat 2 race with Kevin and Russ - this race was completely splintered to bits in the first 10 miles; it was a Brutal start (which I knew, had predicted, was going to happen). There was a time bonus sprint 6 miles into the race and the cross winds coming into the sprint were sick. I don't have words to describe the wind today. I was really afraid all hell was going to break loose from the gun. The first sprint happens, then you go about 1 more mile and turn right - and then climb for about 4 miles to Pinos Altos. Nate said the pace on that was sick. I can only imagine. When the cat 2 guys came through - it was in bits and pieces - 80+ guys destroyed in the first 10 miles. Russ and Kevin were both looking good. Kevin made it back on after his fall. I cannot remember exactly where Russ went but he launched hoping to bring some guys with him, and there you go. A successful break on a day when many people wanted to be swept away so they didn't have to fight the winds. It is so COOL!!! when the homeboys kick some butt in races like this. I love it. Nate in school and Blair working FT 9-5; racing against the pros, incredible. I wish I had lots of money and could sponsor the homeboys full on. But we all do what we can right and who knows what the future holds.
Russ's break stuck and we saw them coming into the last turn - Russ looked great!! One guy jumped and got clear, and then Russell Brown took a field sprint! I gave him lots of crap coz I remember him telling me he couldn't sprint. Never say never. Not in a sport that rewards commitment and consistency.
Pierre just called time to go get Nate. Chow down, relax, and tomorrow is the TT. Pro guys go first thing, cat 2's go last I just hope this wind dies down.
Bernard if you read this - Sram guys took care of Nate's bike but gave me hard time coz I didn't have a mechanic. But I mentioned your name and it worked like gold. Thanks

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Land of Enchantment

I promised I would post so here I am. I wish I knew how to place the pictures better but so be it. Another lesson I need get from 16 yr old Avery Wilson......
So today was stage 1 at the Tour of the Gila, for the pro race it is 94 miles from Silver City to Mogollon. The pic above of the terrain says how many houses we saw in 94 miles (that is correct people from MD and NVA there are no houses in the pic). We are in the wild west. The cat 2 race, which Russ Brown and Kevin Gottlieb are racing, also did the 94 miles. I will get some pics of them tomorrow but when they made the turn into the last climb Kevin was in the 2nd group, the front group was only 5 riders - so I am thinking Kevin finished top 10 today, and coulda been 6th. Maybe higher if someone got popped from the front group. Russ was tucked safely in the field, which for today was good coz it got windy as all hell.
Blair and Nate experienced the infamous gutter action of a pro peloton. My NRC racing days are long over, but man the memories of strong cross winds while racing Hewlett Packard years ago are crystal clear. Just single file and it all depends on where you are in the field, how many people blow up single file in front of you and each time someone does blow it is HELL to close the gap. There was a 9' gap which came down to 7'20" the 2nd time through the feedzone (@ 42 miles in) but there was still 52 miles left to race..... I was thinking to myself the chase is going to start and all havoc is going to ensue. Perfect timing for the wind to pick up, which it did. At this point, when the boys decide to chase, you better be sitting pretty. Else it is almost a superhuman effort one must possess not to get knocked out of the front echelon. Blair made it to the front group but cost him some precious fuel, and then he settled into a group behind the front group. Nate was bit far back when the hammer went down - and I am sure Nate learned alot today. This is PRO racing. You rarely get a 2nd chance to correct one single error in your racing. Any time the pace eases up, you get forward. Never stop moving forward. Not to be on the front all day, but just trying to stay in the top 30.
This is why riders should get outta mabra and stick their teeth in this racing - it is way different. To stay in the top 30 when EVERYone wants to be top 30 in the entire field, is hard. Each level gets harder than the last one and you never stop improving. Good day, everyone finished within the time cut, are chilling and Pierre is going to start massages soon.
Tomorrow the race goes from Bayard to Bayard - 80 mile RR with about 5800' of climbing. Some beautiful terrain but some very narrow roads, very tough descents, and lotta UP. Likely be windy again but some of it will be shaded from the winds.
Levi won, Lance was in the race but I didn't see him. Well done KBS

Friday, April 23, 2010

new duds

It is 2 million yrs, yes I am exaggerating again, since I last wrote in my blog. I haven't DLed my pics yet for a while so this is the new clothes we are wearing in 2010. I cannot wait til they come in - another week or so.
Man - where do I start. Life is good, and so busy. Pierre and I work all the time. 7 days/week. The shop is doing fantastic. I have so many things I want to do in the shop: new paint (the walls are awful), new lighting, getting a new VO2 analyzer - the one they use at the OTC, lactic analyzer, maybe a new treadmill. I have been doing a lot of running testing and the current one I have is too narrow. I guess it is like owning a house, only we have the shop and our big dog. I am going to miss Dallas so much again; but thank God the Wilsons's are taking him (so I will not worry). I was afraid when they got their own dog I may not have a sitter, but hopefully Sooty Bear and Dallas DaBoss will get along. Pierre and I take off for Gila on Monday, the race starts on Wednesday. Blair is not feeling so good right now and pray he gets better overnite. He has worked SO hard for this race. As has Nate. All of them do. I will try very hard to post pics and a brief note everyday. This year we have a house with a stove!and a fridge and internet. I have about 30 plans due out on Monday so thank God I have internet at the house where we are staying.
Sunday is the Richmond Duathlon and I have some people racing there. Nancy is racing St Anthony's, many racing Jason Grundel. Racing every weekend. I try to get in my measly 100 miles/week - this is COMBINED running, mtn biking, road biking, walking....... I am trying so hard to make more time; but truth is Pierre and I are busy. It is awesome, the shop is going to make it I would say.
I am infatuated with mountain biking. I don't know what happened, why, how. I just know I did Bakers Dozen, could not clear 2 rocks, and am determined to clear them. It is FUN, it is challenging, I am ready to move on from the road. I never knew if it would happen. Honest. It was, is, has been my life. For as long as I can remember. Of course I will still ride road and maybe even do a few races; but the challenge of mtn biking is so awesome for me right now nd I have FUN. The next thing I will try is cross - as soon as I get my bike in the right size. I set up a camp with Sue Haywood, yes the legend Sue Haywood - anyone can come just email me; and I think I am crazy enough once again to sign up for S100. I know - middle age crisis, I am sure this is it. Better to be doing something like biking than other stuff....
I have a ton of work to get done today and hoping I can get in one hour of something, so ciao for now. Will update from Gila

Friday, January 1, 2010

First post of the New 2010 Year

YEAH BIG D!!! This pic is another of Jim Wilson's (thanks Jim!); my digital camera bit it and am bummed out bout this coz I didn't get a camp pic this year. This really upsets me. I never took pics as a kid but now treasure them. Jim Wilson hd alot to do with this. What a handsome lad in this pic....
What a difference a year makes. I would have never fathomed the changes. I am again in Tucson and just completed another very successful JR training camp. I had Avery, Andy Mt, and James Lim in the 15-16 group. DangeRuss comes in today to add to the U23 camp of Nate, SBk, and KevinG. They are now best mates with Tommy D and likely meeting today for a cuppa at Le Buzz.....Real. The cyclists come to Tucson. For the mountain. Camp was great, we had exceptional weather. Only bit cold atop the mtn and nothing compared to what I just looked at Reston, VA weather a high of 30??? all week. UGH.

Last nite we all had dinner together, it was a feast and I didn't know if I had enough ketchup for SBk but we made it chowing we had a toast (I think I had too much sparkling cider...worse headache ever....) and I wanted to hear everyone's goal (s). I wrote them all down when I came to bed. I realized that my goals are now different. I thought about it so much last nite, after saying I wanted to regain form. I want to be healthy BUT I am a coach now and these are my goals. Coaching. I feel the transition from athlete to business-person is very hard. I seem to have always judged myself on how fast I am; but this matters only when one is a "racer". I always want to be an "athlete" in terms of the fact I take care my heart and my health; but this is very separate from being a competitive athlete. So Nate I am changing my goals from what I said last nite; my goal this year - I have 3-4 really; they are 1) produce some outstanding athletes and results, 2) make the business successful 3) spend lot more time with the people that matter, and 4) get back into good "form" again for my health. I will always LOVE racing; it is a big reason I coach for a career. But I have other fish to fry right now. I was a FT competitive athlete for the majority of my life. I want to do other things. I want to become the best coach I can and this is far more important to me than anything (except loving my family and friends and bestest mate). So yes I am renegging on my New Year Eve vow and changing it to the above. I am allowed to change coz I am a woman.....
I love my job. I know how lucky I am in life to have a job I truly treasure. I always followed my heart and many a long ride wondered what the hell I was doing spending 6 hrs on a bike. But it was who I am. This new year has presented me with so many amazing possibilities. I am excited bout all of them. But I promise myself to make more time for the people that count rather than spend more time on my laptop. It seems in coaching there is always more I can do or think of new ways to get an idea across or "send one more email". But I promise Dallas he is getting his long walks everyday. For his heart. I want to get a 2nd dog so much now.... will never be able to go away coz the Wilson's are likely getting their own dog and pretty soon Carolyn will have to quit her job just to manage the dog household.... just when she thought the boys were leaving the nest....But yeah, I have many plans for this New Year. I am so excited just thinking about them laying here in bed typing. Yeah!!! I have so many athletes' on the verge of BIG breakthroughs - keeps me up at nite. Thinking about training plans and options and how long of an effort or power #. It is incredible.
Happy New Year to all. May all reach for their dreams and goals. Thanks Mom for giving me the guts to go after my dreams and thanks Dad for teaching me how to work hard in order to achieve them. Peace.