Well, the past three months have been very pivotal in my development as an athlete and as a professional in the business of triathlon. Life was chaotic at moments and some big decisions were made.
Unfortunately, about ten days before Boulder Peak I crashed hard on my bike on a threshold repeat session. I somehow lost control on this windy day and overcorrected and then flew off the bike backwards and smacked my pelvis and head on the pavement. In hindsight I totally underestimated the difference in the handling of the time trial bike versus the road bike I have become so comfortable on over the past several months. This took me out of training for 4-5 days with some nice road rash on my lower back, a broken shifter on my TREK Speed Concept 7.5, and a cracked helmet as mementos. Luckily there were no broken bones and no signs of a concussion. I managed to get back together enough to prep the few days before the race. But this did not leave me in good form for a top performance. And my booty was still pretty sore.
Last year Boulder Peak was my first Olympic Distance Triathlon, so this year I was excited to race this course a Professional. Prepping for Draft legal style triathlons this year has proven harder than expected. So it was refreshing to know I would toe the start line and not get lapped out, and that I had more control over my outcome. The swim was not so great, and about tied my time from the previous year, but I did beat a few professional guys out of the water. Right away I passed 2-3 people on the climb away from the reservoir, but on the whole, my biking was not as strong as it should have been. Though, I did clock the fastest run time of the day again, as I did last year, but fell short of my top ten goal and placed 15th. Considering the week leading up to this event, I still crossed the finish line happy and my love for the sport was confirmed. I was in awe of my family and friends that came out to cheer and support. And lets be honest here, sub par race or not, I still came a long way from last year. This was also my one-year race anniversary with my coach Trista Francis.
Two weeks after Boulder Peak, I returned to New Mexico to race the state’s premier Olympic distance race. Chasing 3 Race Productions really amped up the ante with the Lake Cochiti Triathlon this year. I was fortunate to be a part of the event’s first pro panel. The crew presented at Sport Systems consisted of Shonney Vanlandingham, Michael Lovato (http://www.michaellovato.com/), Clay Mosely, Randy Arriola (http://www.randyarriola.com/), Lauren Thompson (http://laurenthompson.blogspot.com/), Eric Lujan, and myself. This assortment of people displayed some of New Mexico’s Professional Talent, whether from careers past, current or just starting. My only competition in the race on Sunday was Arriola and Lovato. I finally shook off all the kinks from the crash and was getting back on track before this race, so I wasn’t worried about having a good race at Cochiti. After a long swim in choppy water and into the sun, I came out about 40 seconds behind Lovato and second overall. The gap opened up a bit on the bike and I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a win in the run. It took about 3 miles for me to catch Lovato in the 10k, and even then another mile to shake him. I really had to work hard for the win this day. I hope in the future that this race will continue and earn a strong reputation as triathlon grows in New Mexico. I am so lucky to be able to train and race in the state with all the great support and upcoming athletes!
BIG BOY DECISIONS
My time from January to August at the Olympic Training Center as one of USAT's 6 collegiate recruits brought in for 2013 helped me grow tremendously as an athlete. Though training wasn’t as successful as I hoped, I did learned a tremendous amount about the sport and gained tons of skills to help me become a successful triathlete in the future.
The adjustment to the lifestyle in Colorado Springs was more that I anticipated. I was surrounded by the best training amenities and provided with top notch meals and lodging. But what I lost was balance and control in my life. Some of what made the adjustment hard, was the fact that our program was a trial, and the goal was to fast track us to elite status. I became a little over trained the first month or two, and continued to struggle with my progress in the water the rest of my time in the Springs. I will say that my cycling greatly improved this year, but this gain did not make a difference in my draft legal racing. There came a point at the end of July when I had to make a career decision. Though my term at the OTC was good through the end of September, I decided that returning to work full time with Trista and leaving Colorado Springs would be the best for the rest of my season and even looking into 2014. I made the necessary arrangements and settled what I could with the program and left on August 14th.
The next week I worked closely with Trista and got back on the iTz Multisport plan. Not only did we problem solve the rest of the season’s races and shake up the stimulus in training, but we worked hard to take care of some of the details on the business side of being a professional athlete. I am not going to lie, I was a little shaken after the OTC and my confidence was shot. But now that I am back in control of my life, the pieces are starting to come back together.
“Sometimes losing a battle helps you find a way to win the war.”