WHOA! That was one hell of a weekend...
I will keep this as short as possible! But before I tell you about my weekend of racing, here's a shout out to a couple of my clients who competed at the GO PRO GAMES after absolutely working their butts off all winter long.
Ysmael is 36 years old, a professional flutist from Venezuela! He competed in his first mountain bike race ever this past weekend and placed 16th out of 40 men...
"I've been wanting to jump into a mountain bike race for a long time and after randomly meeting Coach Heidi on trail one day, I knew she would be the right person to help me achieve my goals in the most positive and fun way. My experience training with Heidi has been far more than I ever thought it could be. I have a full time job, a family, and I practice competitive Capoeira which is so different from biking! Her approach in training me has been extremely different than anything I've done before and I've never been so strong in my life. She constantly listens to me and takes into account what my goals are, how much time I have for training and how my background in other sports compliment the workouts she prescribes. From these discussions, she developed a truly personalized program that challenged me and pushed way past what I thought I could do. She suggested a few races I could do and that could also be fun for my family to attend and watch. My first one went perfectly!! I placed higher than I was expecting and raced much faster than I thought I was able to. I was so well prepared and felt completely confident after all the specific training we had done & pre-riding the course together, which made the race pure fun (and some suffering too, of course!!!). My 12 year old son and wife were there with me and it was one of my favorite weekends of riding so far. My next race is the Breckenridge 30 and I can't wait!!"
Marcello, Ysmael's 12 year old son providing a perfect water bottle feed!!
Marc is 52 years old, an anesthesiologist from Denver, and somehow he's found a enough time to train and join me in The GO PRO Ultimate Mountain Challenge!!
Marc getting pumped up to run "the hardest 10k in the country"...!
"Heidi has been my coach for about 10 months and when we were planning for race season, she suggested we do a couple of races together. The Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the GoPro Games and the Buffalo Creek Xterra. At first, I was nervous that the UMC would be too hard (Kayak, mountain bike, trail run, TT), but with Heidi's creatively fun training plan and her constant enthusiasm and encouragement, I felt confident I could do it. I took a week to join Coach Heidi & CHEF Z at The Cyclist's Menu Tucson Road Camp in January. It was an incredible jump start to the year and my fitness! We find time to train together about once a month. We usually do a few intervals, then practice bike handling skills and I'm a much more efficient rider now as a result.
The UMC experience was grueling and brutal but made so much easier with Heidi's encouragement and help throughout he weekend. Whenever I thought it was too hard, I would think about Heidi and her mental toughness and commitment to my success and that propelled me to continue and to push harder.
Ultimately, I followed through with my goals, trying my best, completing the race, and having as much fun as possible.
I'm excited to see how far Heidi's coaching will take me this summer and beyond. She makes me want to work extra hard!! Not only has she helped me take my fitness to the next level, she is an amazing person who cares about my success."
Congrats you guys!! It's been so cool for me to see your hard work pay off...
OK, I will make my story short & sweet!
Race #1: 4 mile kayak down class 2-3 rapids on the Eagle river
This is my 4th year in a row competing in The Ultimate Mountain Challenge, and it's my one day of every year that I jump into a kayak, turn my brain off, and hope to make it out alive. This year, the river was RAGING. About 1/2 way to the finish line, I weaseled myself into a huge rock hole and completely dumped & swam. I was scared! The GO PRO GAMES has a first class professional river rescue crew and they immediately tossed a rope and pulled me out (although, not to sound dramatic or anything... I felt as though I was holding on for my dear life! Water poured over my head and the river was pulling me along so quickly, it felt very unnatural to me). My kayak on the other hand.......... floated about 1 mile downstream. I had to finish this race. I ran 1 mile in my floppy wet shoes with paddle in hand, jumped back into the boat, and finished the race!! 15 minutes or so behind Gretchen Reeves....
Race #2: 22 mile Mountain Bike Race
It's a climbing course with about 1,500 feet of elevation gain per lap (3 laps). It's classic Colorado mountain biking... one of my favorite style of races. For me, a climb like this is one of the best parts of mountain biking. You have no choice but to push yourself as hard as you can to the top, a short moment to gather yourself, and then a ripper of a descent back down and then you do it all over again. I placed 10th overall in the Pro women's race, but Gretchen still got me by 2 minutes....
Race #3: "The hardest 10k in the country"
1,600 feet of climbing, 1,600 feet of descending = the hardest event in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge. I held my own and surprised myself placing 8th overall, 4 minutes ahead of Gretchen. Extreme and hard, but so much fun. There's something so freeing about getting off the bike and onto my feet. Andrew Chad took a couple of shots of me finishing the 10k (attached below), pure exhaustion!
Race #4: 10 Mile time trial up Vail Pass
This is when I completely turn into a "wildcard". The downhill pounding of that 8AM trail run destroys legs. Oh boy, Vail Pass, 1.5 hours after I finish the trail run... here goes nothing! When TT started I settled in nicely and even though I felt like a turtle, I did everything in my power to hold that pace to the top. It's maybe the best lesson in racing, to know in the back of your mind at all times, that even if you don't feel like you're making progress, HANG IN THERE... because you never know. I won this stage by 48 seconds.
A huge thank you to CHEF Z for your amazing support, and Gretchen Reeves for always pushing me to the limit.
Until next time!