Creating a Cycling Family

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Granite Man Race Report

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 5:54 PM

It’s done! I finished the triathalon I have spent the last 6 months training for, and I fell really good. I was prepared for the race and it showed. I was calm and confident going into the race. John has turned me into a swimmer and it showed.


John and I drove down the night before and stayed in Medford. I was feeling good about things, but I was still a bit unsure about the swim. I had heard so much about these mass-start open water swims that I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that if I was the only one swimming it would be no problem, but I was going to be swimming with 60 others.


The alarm went of at 5:20am. We got our stuff ready and headed out right away. We had built in plenty of time to setup our transition area’s and this really helped keep things running smooth. After not to long, we got our wetsuit’s on and checked out the water. I was feeling great.


As I started swimming, I thought, “ hey! I’m doing this and I’m killing it!” That was a great feeling. I was confident and calm. The swim was really over before I knew it. As I headed for shore, I was so calm I planned out my bike clothes.


Swimming in this race really taught me a lot. Everyone I know had heavily expressed their own insecurities and concerns about open water swimming, so much that I had taken them on. What I learned in this race was these problems were people’s mental barriers holding them back. If you relax, remain calm and focus you can nail the swim.


I got on the bike in record time and headed off. It was a bit disorienting at first while my body adjusted to being on land, but I didn’t crash. The bike leg was difficult, but fun. Mountain biking is much more fun than road time trials.


The transition to the run was really difficult. T2 was so much harder coming off the mountain bike. My legs were tired in so many different ways. I had used more muscles to push the mountain bike than I had ever done on the road. It took over a mile for my legs to even think running was possible. I was nearly walking coming out of T2, but I pushed through it.


The final 4 miles of the race were survival. The run sucked. It was extremely difficult to cut into a rhythm on the trail. I was bombarded by a continually off-camber course filled with large rocks, logs and creek crossings. At times, I thought I might have been going so slow that the finish line had been taken down and I would just run to the car and pass out.


In the end I finished the race right in the middle of the males overall. My bike, swim and transition times were solid. In the end the run was what pushed me down the results list. It’s my hardedst leg and it also seems to be the one where the race is won or lost. I have some work to do before the Tri At The Grove.


The Granite Man taught me a lot, but the biggest lesson I learned was that we are all tougher than we think we are. The human body is much more capable of things than we give it credit for. Our bodies can do amazing things when we get our mind out of the way. To often we tell ourselves that we can’t do something before we even attempt it. That’s just a bunch of B.S. You can do anything you want.



The Best Fifty in California

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 6:09 AM

That come hither look at the doorway and a man on a boy’s bike; These are my companions riding a classic bay area cycling route. About fifty miles in length, Old La Honda-Tunitas Creek is a ride that you will find yourself wanting to do over and over. There are many different loops that can be added to suit your particular mood and weather. We’ve done it in the sun and the pouring rain–either condition is epic. The shed that Eric is so provocatively standing in front of is an open stopping place for snacks, water, tubes and coffee. You pay on the honor system and it operates during the daylight hours.

Darren totally rocked the 20 on the ride.

My First Open Water Swim

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Two week’s ago I did my first open water swim. Now, I have heard a lot of stories from a lot of people about how scary their first open water swim was. There was a lot of freaking out, gasping and general panic in the stories I was told. Great, here this goes. Well whatever I’ve got to do it, I’m got to race in 2 weeks.


John and I went out to the Duck Bill Thrill and watched the race. This was a good opportunity to get a grasp on what I was getting into. As I was watching the swim, I felt pretty confident. “I can do this,” I was thinking. So after an hour we slipped on our wetsuits and headed down to the water away from the race.


It was SO COLD! I put my feet in the water, and I was sure they would fall off. Oh well there is no going back now. John suggested that I put my face in the water and blow bubbles. That was a great idea, because when I put my face in the water I really wanted to panic. It was freezing and I couldn’t breath. I felt like I was going to drown standing on the side of the lake, and blowing bubbles was the only thing that saved me.


Blowing bubbles allowed me to concentrate on something and it kept my lungs moving. I started to relax and began to swim. The hardest part of the whole open water swim is relaxing. There are so many new senses and experiences introduced to you all at once. You just want to freak out, and the most important thing is to not freak out. It’s difficult to get over mentally, but once you realize that you are ok and that the wetsuit will not let you drown, it’s easy. You have to remember that yes I can swim, I am going to do this and I’m going to do great.


Feeling really good after this first introduction to the open water swim, I decided to join John for the Multisport Advantage group swim the following Friday. I was nervous driving out there and a little panicky when I first got in the water, but after 100 meters I just loved it. Swimming in the lake is super fun! There is so much more to think about than in the pool.  I had a distance I could see rather than a lap counter. The swim was just awesome.


I love swimming right now. It’s super fun to continually challenge myself and push beyond what I think I can do. We are all a lot tougher than we think we are. If you just relax and accept that you are going to do this, you will. People have amazing strength’s physically that they just mentally need to allow themselves to use. Relax, have fun, and push yourself to see where you really can go.