Monday, June 9, 2008
So, I wouldn't exactly call my first pro race a success. First pro start, first DNF (did not finish). After a tough swim in super warm water I head out onto the bike course in a good position. About 15 minutes into the ride I took a pretty nasty fall onto a bunch of roots. Basically, I lost control of my front wheel and the large roots stopped me dead in my tracks throwing me over the bars. In mountain biking, crashing is part of the deal and I have been very lucky so far to not have any serious crashes but this one wasn't so forgiving.
--A small preview of the damage (on my upper back)
I crashed just as my buddy and fellow pro Cody Waite caught me so he saw the crash unfold, he asked me if I was okay and I said "yes" immediately. I jumped back onto my bike but something just felt wrong. My back was locked up big time and my right side was killing me. The bike course has a ton of rocks and roots so it isn't friendly on the body. I tried to keep riding but since my back was completely jacked my right hamstring was cramping up (trying to compensate for a lack of power coming from my hips)and I was having trouble gripping the bars hard enough to maintain total control. I really did try to keep going but it was a lost cause so once I saw the main road I jumped on it and off the course for a the long, humbling ride back to transition. I was so upset with myself on the ride back. I was really in the mix with the other pros and had I put together just a decent bike (not even blazing fast) I would have started the run in a very good position to take a top 12 and even potentially a top 10 spot depending on my ability to push through the super hot conditions.
--Thought this beer was perfect..."Endo" beer! Exactly what I did on my bike yesterday, an endo right over the handlebars.
I hate excuses so I won't make any. This crash was my fault entirely and I am extremely upset with myself. I have never had anything but a very minor spill in an Xterra race and I have certainly finished all of them so to crash out of my first pro race truly disgusts me. I know I am too hard on myself at times and this is just part of racing but I am just beating myself up right now. The good thing is that I have some very supportive friends that are making sure I don't get too down on myself so I feel really fortunate to be hanging out with such good people.
While I am very hard on myself I am also good at turning bad experiences into learning experiences and I will use my first DNF as fuel for the next race. So, next it is on to Richmond for the 3rd stop on the Xterra Tour. Lets just say I can't wait and I will be racing with some serious fire in the belly next sunday. I hate failing more then anything so you can be sure I will give it everything I have next weekend.
For now, we are hanging out in Asheville, NC at an amazing mountain house.
For the next few days we will be exploring the trails out here in search of some epic mountain bike adventures. I will be doing some training this week in an effort to get my head on straight...nothing crazy but enough to get me in the right frame of mind for the upcoming race. I am pretty sore for obvious reasons so we will take today minute by minute but I think some activity is going to work wonders on the muscles. I didn't run yesterday so I am not very fatigued, which is good for next weekend. So, the next couple days should be a blast. I will be doing my best to put yesterday behind me and I am sure with this crew and these beautiful mountains I will move past my disappointing performance rather quickly.
Thanks for reading and thanks for all of the support!
--Life in a uhaul!