Hello, Crazy Ass Fans! I’ll stick to English as it turns out my French translation in the preview blog actually said “Hello, Fans of Crazy Ass!” Ok, you can be fans of crazy ass also.
What can I say about this weekend. It was magical. Like a magical place of happiness. Like the happiest place on earth. Ok, yes, it was Disneyland. Seriously. They have go carts, gondolas everywhere, beautiful water features, French chalets and a cool downtown with cobblestones and really expensive stores. Everyone is happy and there were even a couple of dudes in gigantic cartoon costumes.
Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked on the location, the race, and of course, that World’s will be here in September. Now that I’ve seen it, and raced well here, I want to qualify even more than I did before. More on that later, here’s how the race went down.
I didn’t swim like a donkey. – Strava File
I actually started very well, and I was in front of David Khan/International Man of Mystery/Texas Swimming Phenom for the first 25 meters, which consisted entirely of running, dolphin dives, and absolutely no real swimming. Then when we started swimming he pulled away like a boat. That isn’t an exaggeration. It looks like he has a small outboard motor strapped to him. He doesn’t make a draft, he makes a wake. Anyway, it’s nuts. But I held my position, swam with Leon Griffin and Trevor Wurtele, and exited in a good spot.
At first I was tired, then I felt ok, then I rode hard, then I was tired again. Strava/PowerTap File.
It took a while for my legs to wake up, but I tried to stay patient and relaxed. Trevor kept pulling away from us on the flats and all I could think was “God damn it! He’s so skinny! No wonder he’s fast, he doesn’t create drag! He’s like a flying broom or some shit!” Anyway, it was kind of frustrating, but I managed to stay with them as we rolled out the long smooth highway and eventually caught David around mile 20.
On the way back in, my legs started to feel better. Then at the longest hill of the course, about 30 miles in, I made a move. This wasn’t a completely pre-planned strategy, but I started to feel good, and had practiced riding that hill hard, so I kind of decided in the moment to go for it. So with a big surge up the hill followed by 15 minutes or so of sustained, hard pedaling, I managed to get out of sight and more importantly, stay on course. To be honest, the course was so well marked/barricaded, you might have crashed trying to ride off of it. Anyway, I probably over cooked it a bit as when I hit the hilly section on the last 10 miles, I was kind of smoked. But since I had a gap, and I didn’t know what else to do, I kept on it and approached the run with a 90 second lead and my fingers crossed.
My run is coming around. – Strava File
The first two miles were hilly and I definitely felt the effects of the hard ride. I got a little worried I’d blown myself and that my run fitness still wasn’t there yet – I’ve still only done a handful of runs over 10 miles. But to my happy surprise, I stayed relaxed, chugged some Red Bull, and wouldn’t you know it, things started to feel better. I wasn’t aiming for a specific pace, but saw mile splits of 5:30, 5:25, and even a 5:18. I was definitely working but not completely crushing myself, just trying to stay relaxed and count down the miles. By the time I turned the second corner at mile 9, I had about a two and half minute lead on Trevor and Matt told me to chill, so I did. This wasn’t hard for me to do because I was pretty freaking tired.
Rolling Into Disneyland was fun. Full Results Here
It was an awesome feeling to roll through the incredible Mont Tremblant village with tons of cheering spectators. Definitely one of the coolest racing experiences of my life. I crossed the finish line, they shot fireworks, I gave the mascot a high 5 and found out I’d broken the course record. My own little Disneyland moment!
Buckling Down for Business Time
This race was “magical,” but certainly didn’t carry the emotional weight of Wildflower, partly because I didn’t let it. I’m stoked to get a win, and a bonus course record. I feel really good about my performance and how I felt. My swimming is coming back around after the MTB crash. My foot is holding up (feels good after, too) and my run is showing glimpses of what it used to be. All things to be excited about leading into the second half of the season.
But after the Eagleman 81.3 fiasco, Matt and I talked about buckling down a bit and approaching this next 6 weeks a little more “business like.” That doesn’t mean I don’t have fun, believe me I still do a lot of that, but I have a job to do. If I’m going to qualify for Worlds – which is still going to be a stretch even after this result – I need to churn through a few races without massive physical and/or emotional highs and lows. I guess that’s what I mean by “business like.” I need to show up, do what I need to do, and move on to the next step.
So that’s the way that I approached this race. I tried to stay a little more calm, both from a worry/doubt side, and a celebration/happiness/jesse-go-crazy side. While it’s a big confidence booster to have a solid performance on the World Championships course, it’s just one step of many that need to happen for me to actually get there, so I can’t let myself get too excited about it.
Sometimes you just have to get down to business.
Racing Again This Weekend, Probably
So with that said, I’m likely racing again this weekend. If I wake up tomorrow and still feel ok, I’m headed to Buffalo Springs 70.3, a race I know little about but it happens to be this weekend and I need the points. I certainly don’t plan on being as prepared physically and mentally for this race as I was this weekend, but that’s part of the business side of the sport and the situation I’m in right now. Knowing that, and how this race fits into the overall goal, will make it possible for me to approach it in a different way. We’ll see how it goes.
Special Props To:
- The Mont Tremblant organizing committee, volunteers, and community. This was a VERY well organized event. Spectacular, honestly. I’m very impressed and your hospitality was amazing. Regardless of World Championships, I’m excited to race here again in the years to come.
- Trevor Wurtele and Leon Griffin – These guys are super tough racers, and class acts on and off the course. Thanks for pushing me along and making the race out there. Always awesome to race good guys you’re happy to have a beer with afterwards. And yes, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Trevor makes a video recap – an example.
- Matt, Kelly, Anthony & Paul of Purplepatch – Thanks for organizing an awesome camp that was incredibly valuable. Special S/O to Anthony for getting 2nd in his AG and qualifying for Worlds, which is doubly great because if I qualify he can help me organize my trip there. Haha, just kidding. No, but seriously.
- David, Laura, Meredith, Brian, and Sarah – Thanks for being training partners and roomies all week!
- Kelly, Don, Geoff and the Pearl Izumi team – These guys pulled some serious magic this week with a new, updated/slightly modified kit ready to go. Really appreciate the support, guys, so valuable to have a partner like you.
Big thanks as always to my sponsors, who honestly have made this “comeback year” possible by sticking with me through the long injury and all the ups and downs. These guys are the best in the business and I’m lucky to be with them:
Gavin, Eric, Mark, Chris and the Specialized Team – Fastest bike split! Bam! Thanks for the help! Rob, Kurt, and Tbone at ROKA – Coming around, dudes! Thank for the support on and off the course. Ashley, Josh, Steve, and Per at Red Bull – Thanks for the support guys, used some “wings” on the run! Picky Bars – You guys is my peeps! Thanks for holding down the fort while I’m peaced out. Jason and the team at Jaybird. Brian, Brooke, and all the guys in Eugene at Rolf Prima. Tim and Mary at Powertap. Alyssa and Larissa at Strava. Justin, Julie, and John at Accenture.
Wif and Bean – I love you! Crazy Ass Fans – I love you too! Not quite in the same way, but I still love you very much. Until next time!