One Relentless Life

Relentless Forward Motion

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Don’t Gamble That You Will Get Another Chance

Why wait for some other time to come when you will be able to follow your dreams?

If you woke up this morning, you should be chasing your dreams or setting yourself up to chase them. It pains me to see people get in the everyday groove of a “Dream Life.” Finish high school, go to college, get an office job, buy a new house, buy a new car, start a family, cash in your vacation time to pay off some of your credit card debt because you just needed a bigger television with the latest technology (“but it was on sale though”), pay only the interest on your student loans, complain you need a raise, day dream about when you retire and how great it’s going to be.

What about right now? Why not live your dreams now? Rent a small cheap apartment, drive a used car, take a three day vacation every quarter. Travel to a destination every month and explore.  Have one grand trip every year. You can do all of these things with kids. I know people who do.
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A Quick 300 Miles

You never know what’s inside of you until you test the rest of yourself. You can read all of the books, study all of the guides, read every blog, but until you have an experience first hand, you only have an idea. My training partner Indy and I have been training for months for our upcoming bikepacking race. We’ve spent lots of hours in the gym, on the bike, and meditating. We’ve worked on our mobility, reviewed tons of gear, and competed in a number of single day races. The real bread and butter however, is multi-day bikepacking races. So recently we set out to do just that; 3 days, 2 night, and 300 miles of self-supported bikepacking.

Friday night classes were winding down and my ride prep was done. I had my bike all packed excluding the Jimmy John’s I planned on buying across the street on our way out of town. I bought my sandwiches and Indy and I hit the bikepath as a light drizzle fell on our rain gear. We had about 15 miles of path and road until we left town and hit the start of our adventure.

As we turned onto the trail leading out of town, we stopped and took a break to eat. The wind was picking up and the rain was turning into sleet and snow. It was getting colder too. Nevertheless, we pushed on. Heading east with a wind out of the north, we were making good time but not as great as I had hoped; I planned on us making it 65 miles before midnight.

The further we went the more the wind picked up and the colder it got. The sleet started to burn the side of my face and neck. I stopped and put the hood up on my new Patagonia jacket, which was super comfy. We crossed county roads, small bridges, and pedaled through the sand, grass, and moss as we made our way. Indy asked me if the moss felt soft for it being that cold out.

“I don’t know, I guess so, maybe.” I replied.

A few minutes later and his tire was almost entirely flat. I sat with my back to the wind as Indy changed his tire. It only took a few minutes. We can still make it, if we ride a little longer than we originally planned.

Indy got his wheel remounted and we took off again. After a few minutes of pedaling we finally shook off the cold. I was getting used to the sleet. I almost forgot about it pelting me, honestly. I was really losing interest in riding though and I started to dream of my bivy and relaxing for the night. We had a big day coming up tomorrow. Then I heard the womp womp womp of Indy’s tire bouncing as it lost air again.

When we stopped I could heard Indy getting frustrated. It was only a little after 23:00, almost an hour before we planned on stopping for the night, but I was ready for sleep. Indy said he would fix his tube and set up his camp gear if I could find a decent site for us. I pedaled down the path about 100 yards and found a nice spot behind some brush that blocked the wind. I struggled a bit with frozen straps as I wrested my sleep gear out.

I was snuggled in my bag for 20 minutes and hadn’t heard anything from Indy. I wondered if he missed me tucked in the bushes and pushed on down the path looking for me. I sat up and looked back he was still in the same spot. When I climbed out of my bivy and walked down the path, the wind cut right through my clothes. It was getting brutally cold. When I got to Indy he had his mittens on trying to get his tire back on the rim. To me it looked like he was getting too much exposure to the cold and needed to get in his bivy and warm up. He agreed to call it a night and fix the tire in the morning.

I lay in my bag tossing and turning. I was trying out a new bivy sack but it wasn’t quite big enough. With me and my bag inside, I couldn’t close it completely; I could pull it pretty tight, but there was still a pretty large opening right over my face. Sleet hit me right in the face as I lie there. I tried pulling the hood of my jacket over my eyes and my buff up to cover the rest, but it quickly got soaked and uncomfortable. I rolled to my side. The wind was shaking the trees and howling just a few feet above the brush that was blocking our camp area. Whichever side I chose to put up, the wind quickly sucked the warmth right out of me. Tossing and turning, I couldn’t sleep. I decided to wake Indy up and move to a new spot.

I called to Indy to tell him we were moving. He had thought I was comfortably asleep and he welcomed the idea of moving. It was wicked cold getting out of the bag. The straps that held my sleeping pad on my bike had frozen solid. I shivered as I put my rain gear back on to block the wind. I reached out for my shoes and noticed that they had been a nice layer of sleet in the bottoms of them; I took a couple of deep breaths and slid my feet in. So cold! My hands were hurting and the wind was beating the shit out of them. As I slowly packed my gear I took a break every 30 seconds to warm my hands in my coat. Ice formed on my gear in just the few minutes that I had been out of it. Indy packed up and started to fix his tire.

Shivering, we climbed on our bikes and headed back to an overpass we had seen just a few hours ago. As we pedaled, I shook the shakes, and everything started feeling good again, other than my hands and feet. 20 minutes later we hit heaven; a dirty overpass blocking most of the wind. We leaned our bikes and sat back in between the pillars. Just having the wind off us was like taking a portal to a tropical paradise. I unzipped my jacket, took my gloves off, and had a good laugh with Indy. As we were sitting back we could see the waves on the canal pushing upstream, and hear the trees still shaking, but we were covered and comfortable. We ate a quick snack and decided to sleep until the sun came up to get some extra warmth. I laid out my sleeping gear and climbed in. Out of the wind, I didn’t even have to zip my bivy up all the way to be comfortable. My eyes were heavy and sleep came easy this time.

I woke up to Indy’s alarm going off. What the fuck? The sun isn’t even close to being up? I yell at him to turn it off. He yells back that it wasn’t his. I got my phone out and that wasn’t it. What is it? I yelled at Indy again, and he replied that it must be crickets. I was fairly certain that there aren’t crickets in winter in a 0 degree windchill. It was pretty rhythmic too. Half asleep I tried to sort out what it could be. A few more cycles of the sound and I remember that I set the alarm on my Garmin Etrex to see if it would wake me up. It did. I crawled out of my bag, walked over in my socks and shut it off. I climbed back in my bag and immediately fell back asleep.

The next time I woke up, I saw the reflection of the sun coming up. I sat up and looked over my shoulder at the crisp landscape and soul warming sunrise. There is safety in the light. Something mental changes when the sun comes up. You just feel more at ease. The wind had shifted a bit but it was still amazing to be a troll under the bridge. Indy and I packed up again and decided to back track to the gas station we had passed late last night. According to the GPS it was only 5 miles away. We took off riding into the wind.

As we pedaled we discussed where things had gone wrong and what we could do to improve for the future and the upcoming race. The wind blowing in our face sucked but it was only a short way to be indoors. My left shoe wouldn’t lock in straight and I figured the cleat had come loose.  As we pulled up in front people stared at us like we had something wrong with us which is debatable. I had been dreaming of foot warmers the whole way there. I leaned my bike, grabbed my wallet and headed in as Indy made a video to post. I cut a line for the foot and hand warmers. I grabbed them and made a circle by the counter to drop them off. The attendant looked at me like I was an alien. I made another lap of the store and grabbed a whole pile of food and a coffee.

Indy came in as I was sipping coffee and taking my shoes off to put the foot warmers on. As we ate we discussed the plan for the day. We checked the forecast for where we were headed up north. It was supposed to be the same conditions we had last night and 20 degrees colder. We went back and forth and ended up deciding it would be better to pull the plug and head home to fight another day than to push on and risk getting injured. We were to have another 250 or so miles in the loop or we could head back directly into the wind for 50 miles and learn from what we had done the previous night. 50 miles it was. We settled on a plan of riding the 35 miles to the next town and taking a break to warm up again.

Out the door and moving, my feet were warm and the sun was on my back and the wind was in my face. Nice and steady we paced around 7.5 mph. 20 miles in we stopped to eat a bit from our feed bags. I took a leak in the bathroom and sat down outside to eat a half frozen sandwich. I didn’t want to be in the wind. I went back in the bathroom and stood and ate my sandwich. I would rather smell piss and be out of the wind. Food done, we got back on the bikes. There was a guy getting ready to go fishing as we left. We joked about who was crazier. On we went.

35 miles down, 15 to go. We hit the next town, ordered the top notch $5 breakfast pizza and got some Gatorades. All warmed up we hit the road again. A mile down the road and I was thirsty again. Good news, I had 2 of the 3 liters of water left in my bag. Bad news, it was frozen solid. I considered stopping every time we passed a store. I also knew that I would be home in a few hours and all would be well. Slow and steady we made it back.

I walked inside my house to the greatest feelings; warmth and food. I ate until my stomach hurt, took my wet clothes off and showered. I napped on and off for the rest of the afternoon and slept all night.

There’s something to be said about getting out of your comfort zone. It makes taking it easy so much nicer. If I were to just wake up and get on the couch, I wouldn’t appreciate it. After a hard fought ride in the cold, sleet, and wind, my couch was one of the most amazing things in the world. We tend to take for granted the amazing things we have in life when they are available all of the time. Take a minute and be thankful. Thanks for reading.


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Get Free Speed: Upgrade Your Tires!

You know what makes tires fast? Smaller knobs and a tighter tread pattern. My intuition tells me so. That is why when I raced the Tour Divide, and almost every other mountain bike race, I used Kenda Small Block 8s. There are mountain bike style knobs on them, they are close together, they really don’t make much noise on the road, so they have to be the best.

I was wrong. (If you tell anyone this, I will be ruined). I was doing research for the new tires that I will be running on this years inaugural American Trail Race and I come across http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/. This website rates all types of tires from road to touring to mountain bike to fat bikes. If you want to read about how they test tires check out this link http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/the-test.

Kendra Small Block 8 tires

The Kenda Small Block 8

The Small Blocks have a rolling resistance of 35.6 watts per tire at 25 PSI. With an average cyclist being able to put out around 200 watts for an all day effort, you are chewing up 35% of your power just in tire drag.

In come the Continental Race King RaceSports. At 25 PSI they have a rolling resistance of 22.4. That drops power loss in tire drag down to 22.5%, a huge energy saving just in tires.

Continental Race King tires

Continental Race Kings

So there is some food for thought the next time you are considering new tires.

Spend some dollars today, save some time tomorrow, and get some free speed out of the deal while you’re at it.


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24 Hours of Wausau Mountain Bike Race- Training Program

Here are all of the phases of my training program from the Wausau 24 hour race. There are some events that are not listed on there that I took part in addition to the training.

I rode TOMRV , I had a week of climbing 14ers, I ran the Grand Canyon rim to rim, as well as a few miscellaneous things. I also strained a ligament in my hip about 5 or 6 weeks out from the race and had to start my taper early. This was a completely random injury; I don’t feel like I was over trained, these things just happen sometimes.

You can see that I was pretty strict about filling out the numbers when I started but after a few months, I just went to writing it down in a note book and talking to my coach (Nathan Tackett- #Tackettraining) whenever I felt the need. He is a stellar coach and bases his programs off of science and proven training methods. I can’t praise him enough.

In no way am I saying this program would be best for you, as it was built specifically to my needs. Every person has different base training levels, strengths, and weakness. It might work for you but, I will make zero guarantees.

Without future ado- here is my training program.

If you have any questions about any of it, shoot me an email using my contact page.  If you want to talk to Nathan about having a training plan set up, let me know and I will have him get a hold of you.

Being Fearless

There are people that see me as fearless. This is not true. I have fears. I have just worked extremely hard on not letting my fears stop me from doing what I want.

I had just finished 2500 of the 2800 miles in the Tour Divide and I sat crying in a parking lot of a gas station. I had finally let my fears overwhelm me. I worried about running out of food, running out of water, getting hurt and not being found until after my death.

I had let my fearful “what ifs” run so wild in my head that it was crippling me. I had to call Alex and tell her that I was a failure. I believed that everyone that knew me was disappointed in me. After she talked me down, I started to think about why I was afraid. Like most fears, it was irrational. I had plenty of water, food, and I wasn’t taking any unnecessary risks. I have training and knowledge to help me survive most any situation. I thought of all of the things that could possibly go wrong and then paired them with what I had done to be prepared if that situation arrived. I finally calmed myself when I realized that I had prepared as best a person could in my situation. I got back on my bike. Calm and collected, I pedaled off knowing that what was bothering me most was my mind. The fear was just something I let build up and take over.

The moral of this story is, don’t aim to be fearless. Learn to work through your fears as they arrive and not play out all your fears in what if situations. If something happens, sort it out then. Before that, prepare yourself as well as possible.

Fear will only stop you if you let it.

Don’t let it.

Do Not Accept Being OK

You have the choice to wake up every morning and choose whether you are going to be an unstoppable monster or you are just going to be OK.

If you tell yourself that you are an unstoppable goal crushing monster, even if you are not 100% there yet, you will work yourself in that direction. If you have settled for OK, any result that you have, positive or negative, will be fine because you have settled.
If you had a friend that followed you around all day and said negative things to you, you wouldn’t stay friends very long. I want to ask you why you would do that to yourself? Do not ever take away your own self worth. EVER.

Wake up, put your feet on the floor, remind yourself how god damn amazing you are, and get to crushing whatever your goals are.

You have a very limited amount of time to be alive. Make every day worth it. You are one of a kind, but you are not better or greater than anyone else. If you want something bad enough, the world doesn’t owe it to you, you owe it to yourself to get it. Work on your skills. Learn, put the time in. I will always be there to help you.

BE AN UNSTOPPABLE MONSTER!

 

Training Logs- Does anyone want to see them?

I haven’t really published anything in the way of my training logs, or anything in depth about my training at all. My questions for you, the people that read this, what would you like to read about or see? I am more than willing to post all of my rides, workouts, events and what they are comprised of if anyone thinks it will help them.

With that being said, my training program for the Tour Divide 2017 starts tomorrow. I will have ten months of prep on top of what I have built up since last fall. I am ready to crush it and I will only get mentally and physically stronger. So if you want to read about any of my training,  comment below or shoot me a message via my contact page.


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Wausau 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race Report

Everyone is standing lined up on the start line. The Le Mans style start will play well to me; I am not strictly a cyclist and I run very regularly. I have some nerves going right now, but that’s good. As soon as I get on the bike everything will calm down and settle in. It is just like a plane taking off. You start  off shaking and lurching, working through the turbulence. Then you hit cruising altitude and settle in. This race is just like that.

The count down is at one minute.

30 seconds.

10 seconds.

GO!

I settle into an easy pace and let the others run themselves into the ground. It’s only a quarter mile run to the bikes, and this won’t win or lose the race. That time will come during the night. A few elbows here and there, a u-turn around the course tape and we are back to the bikes. I pick mine up and jump on. Everyone is scrambling to get into the woods first. My biggest concern right now is not getting carried away. I hate letting people pass me, but I’m in it for the long haul and most of the racers are on teams or are planning on sleeping during the night. I have no such plans.

The single track starts. Left hand turn and then a nice little drop to get the groove going. We make it to the first rock section with people trying to pass on all sides. It’s a madhouse and I cannot see a line that I want to ride. I jump off my bike cyclocross style, running the section with my bike over my shoulder and jump back on. Things are starting to settle down and it feels almost like a nice group ride. I’m chatting with the other racers riding in line and having a blast.

We pop out of the woods and head onto our first big climb. I can already tell climbing and endurance are going to be my strength during this race; lots of the racers are better riders, but I can make the time up on climbs and by not stopping. There is a little descent, a short climb and we are on to the second section of the race. This part of the course is listed as black (expert) advance single track. They are not joking. I clear the first section with a very little finesse and a little bit more white knuckling and clenched butt cheeks. We round the corner quickly and I am leading this pack. I quickly scan for a line and see a large rock to go up and over that looks clear on the other side. It looked clear, but as I climb the rock, I see the other side is actually a drop onto medium sized rocks. Not good.

I have the choice of dropping the center of my bike on these rocks and possibly ruining my crank or bailing. I make a split second decision to bail. I lock up the breaks. My feet are still clipped in. This is going to be bad. I end up over my handle bars still clipped in and land on the rocks. My right knee and forearm take the brunt of the impact. It’s unpleasant, but I’ve had worse. It isn’t even close to stopping me. I jump up quickly and try to get back on my bike. The seat is facing to the right and the handle bars to the left.

“This is going to be a long day,” I say to myself as I get moving again. I still have nine or so miles to get back to the pits and have my bike straightened out. I get out of the technical rock section and back on double track; a little climbing then a little descending. Then I hit the the third section of trails, which instantly reminds me of the forbidden forest in Harry Potter. Here I am, at 10:30 in the morning, surrounded by gnarly trees with almost no light cutting through the branches. I’m still pedaling onward.

Some tight twists and turns and we are on to check point Charley.  This place is raging with fun. They have techno house music playing, a 6th barrel of beer on tap and they are grilling out brats and burgers. That’s enticing on most days, but today I’m racing, so I just zoom by and yell “Oww oWWWWWWW!” The guys cheer like we’re old friends and I am on my way.

Up and down some rolling double track and we are on to the last three mile section. This is a super fun pump track section with berms thrown in for good measure. I am relaxing and enjoying myself. The only things bothering me are my twisted seat rubbing my butt cheeks weird and having to over steer right to go straight. Still, I’m having fun. I pop out on the last little bit of double track. I take a Quick left, then a quick right and I am back at the start/finish line. I ride around the island of trees and yell again “Oww oWWWWWWW!” I finish the lap and hit the pit area. My first lap is 75 minutes. Nathan, my coach, is there to get me whatever I need. I eat and drink while my water pack is being filled and Matt the mechanic is fixing my bike. Two minutes and I am set and out on another lap. No time is wasted.

At this point, I am really starting to settle in. I’m watching my heart rate and keeping it between 140 and 145 beats per minute. Super chill. I groove through section one, make the big climb and hit the rock garden that is section two. I still cannot find a good line that I am comfortable riding. I ride what I can and walk what I have to. Again, I’m in this for the long haul, not risking a huge wreck to save thirty seconds. Slow is smooth, smooth is steady, and steady is fast. A guy blasts by me. He is also racing the 24 solo. He is riding crazy lines and falling off his bike, throwing caution to the wind. I pass him as he tries to get back on his bike. He goes off trail to pass me. We hit the next rock section and he hammers straight and fast as long as he can only to fly off his bike again. I tell him, “Slow is smooth, smooth is steady, and steady is fast.” He yells, “FAST IS FAST BRO!” It’s his ride and he can do it as he pleases. A few minutes later, I pass him at the next aid station. I cruise on through to the end of the lap. Nice and consistent. 77 minutes.

The real race starts when the sun goes down. It doesn’t matter if I can ride ten laps before sundown if I have to sleep all night before I can ride again. I stick to my game plan. I am mentally breaking the lap into four sections. First flow section when I leave. Rock Garden; when I get done with this section my risk of wrecking is greatly reduced. Enchanted Forest is the half way point. Check Point Charley and then I am into the final flow section.

The sun is going down and I am staying consistent. I am only adding 2-4 minutes to my lap each time around. Now that the sun is down, I take off my heart rate monitor and watch. I don’t care what my body is doing. My only goals are to keep moving, take short breaks, and make it straight through the night.

I keep moving. Ride a lap. Hit the pits. Talk to Nate, drink cold coffee, and then get back on the course. Everything is smooth.

I look down and see that the power indicator on my light is red. This isn’t good. It should last for 7 hours and I am not even on hour 4. I really have to pee but, I want to make it back without relying solely on my helmet light. I tie my junk in the proverbial knot and get to riding. I make it a good 15 minutes, but still have 20 to get back. All of a sudden I hit a huge root. The seat slams into my gooch and I relax and let a whole penis worth of pee shoot into my shorts. Fudge. I give in and stop to pee. Back on to the bike. I still have to get back to the pits to switch batteries. A few short minutes later the battery dies. I’m stuck with just the headlamp.  My eyes adjust well until another rider comes by with a bright light. Then I have to slow down and let them readjust. I make it back, switch the battery and get back out there.

I’m actually not feeling bad at all. It’s well after midnight and sleep isn’t knocking at the door or anywhere in the neighborhood for that matter. It is getting quiet out in the woods; everyone must be sleeping. The 12 hour riders are gone now and the 24 hour riders are either spread out or somewhere else. I can hear the woman who has been squeaking the rubber chicken off in the distance; it has been pretty nice to see her smiling face out there. I have being making terrible jokes about the chicken all day. I ride by her and she smiles and says I am looking strong. I am feeling pretty good other than my lower back is getting fatigued from all of the bumps and roots.

A little time goes by and I see an owl standing in the middle of the trail. I catch this with just enough time to think “SHIT!” and hit the brakes. There is no owl there. I shake it off and keep riding. I don’t feel tired. Is my brain getting tired? It has to be around 4:00 in the morning now. I see a rider sitting on the side of the trail staring off into nowhere with his light blazing. I ask if he is okay, he says yes and that his eyes are just tired. I keep pedaling. Then he passes me with blazing speed. I find him a minute later sitting on the side of the trail staring into nowhere. I pass him again. This repeats a couple more times. I finally tell him that he should probably get some sleep. He is getting mentally tired and maybe my suggestion will get him to stop for a while. Less racers to compete against. He says he is fine and rides by me once again. I leave the technical section thirty seconds later and turn left up the hill. I should be able to see him, but he is gone completely. No lights, no sound. I am completely alone. Did I imagine him? Was he me wanting to quit or did he bail into the woods to sleep. I shine my headlight around as I ride and see no signs of him at all. I have to keep moving.

I get to the start/finish line and let out my calling card howl “Oww oWWWWWWW!” No one is at the timing station. I am damn near the only person still awake. I head toward the pit area and see Nate shine his headlamp at me. He has been sleeping by the fire for an hour at a time and getting up to prep everything for me when I get back. I am not really sleepy that I know of and the sun is about to come back up. My buddy Rick has just returned to the race from getting stitches from wrecking in the night. My lights are both about to die. I switch out my headlamp and Rick offers me a light for my handlebars. We make the switch and I am on my way. The sun will be up in 45 minutes.

I ride off into the woods. The bumps in the trail shake the handle bar light and it points down. I push it up. Then my helmet light falls, I push it up. This is happening ever couple minutes. I get pissed and take the handle bar light off and throw it in my pack. Now I just have to adjust my helmet light every time I hit a bump. I repeat this process until the sun comes up. I’m starting to feel weird. I’m not sleepy. My body is aching but my mind is strong. I don’t know what’s wrong. I cannot will this feeling away. I am happy to be out here. I don’t feel hungry. Maybe my blood sugar is low. I eat a GU pack. Nothing changes. I am at what feels like a snail pace now. I quickly drink all of the water in my pack. Nothing changes. I cannot shake this. I am dreaming of making it to Check Point Charley to get one of those burgers. When I get close I cannot hear any music. Everyone is asleep. I don’t have the energy or will power to walk the 100 feet to the grill and check if there is food. I eat one of the bars that are laying on the table and refill my water pack. I feel strange. I slowly make it back to the pit area.

When I arrive, Nate tells me that I am in 6th place with the 5th place person right around me somewhere. If I go now, I can beat him. I have to sit and cover my face for a minute. I look like I am crying with my face covered, but I’m just trying to make myself feel normal again. I eat two Oatmeal cream pies and drink half a Powerade. It feels like garbage in my stomach. I have to get up and move if I want to get 5th. I have to. Back hurting, head spinning, and stomach feeling like hell, I hit the course for another lap. As soon as I turn the corner, I start burping uncontrollably and at random intervals. Every burp is followed by puke. I stop the first few times so I don’t get it on me or the bike. After that, I stop caring; I puke right onto my handlebars and fork, on my race number and sometimes on myself. It might sound gross, but it’s actually making me feel better. I get my groove back but have very little left in the tank to push hard. I go through the motions I’ve completed so many times in the previous 24 hours. I see the fifteen year old kid that I rode with yesterday for a while. He is a great rider. I actually haven’t seen him all night. I ask how he is doing and what lap he is on. He says he is 3 or 4 laps behind me. Good. I don’t know that I could win a sprint right now. He pedals on and I keep riding my pace. There is only a mile left. An older guy with a 24 hour race number on starts to pass me. This has to be that guy who is in 5th. I ask him what lap he is on. He stares. I ask again and he ignores me and picks up the pace. We are on the final 1/4 smooth stretch to the finish. I guess it will come down to a sprint finish for 5th after all. I put down the hammer and give everything I have left to crush this old man’s soul. He gives up the chase and I coast across the line in 6th place. The person that I needed to hold is actually the 15 year old that casually passed me and said he was a few laps back. Well played little man. Well played.

I slowly pedal to the pit area and lay on the ground.  My back hurts, I am starting to get sleepy and I really want a beer. I can’t stomach a beer. I am just going to lay here for a bit.

195 miles in 24:20. 6th in solo men’s category and 45th overall including teams. Average break between laps 6.7 minutes. Average lap 90 minutes. Fastest lap 75 minutes. Slowest 120 minutes.

I feel very strongly about the results of this race. I didn’t hit the mileage goal that I set, but that is perfectly fine. I gave it an honest all out effort and learned about where I can improve. I am going to focus on these weaknesses and bring them in line with everything else.


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Can or Can’t, you are right. Being Positive. Thought of the Day

I was just out riding my bike and trying to make a Live Facebook Video and my phone died. It happens. I didn’t charge it last night. The important part is the thoughts that were rambling in my nugget. So here it goes.

On a large enough scale the universe as a whole is a net neutral place. You might ride 20 miles up hill. Then you are going to be able to descend the same amount back down. You might ride into a headwind but, at some point you will get a killer tail wind. Every person in the world has the same opportunities to choose to see the good or the bad. I do understand that some people are born into absolutely horrendous circumstances while others win the genetic lottery, have wealthy families and above average intelligence. But none of that really makes a difference on how you choose to see you situation; you can dwell on the good or the bad.

The good news is that it is really up to you on what you see. If you want to see all of the bad, you will seek it out. If you want to see the good you will seek it out. This is called confirmation bias. Have you meet that person that swears that they look at the clock everyday at the same time? They don’t. They look at the clock hundreds of times a day. Whenever it isn’t their lucky time and they look, their brain makes a snap categorization of the time and then chooses to let it go as a non-confirmation. They might even miss the magic time in the day. Their brain ignores that. Might be a few days before they see it again. When they do!!! AHHHHHHAAAAA!

A person’s brain cannot process all of the information that is being sent into it. It is impossible. You would have a melt down instantly. So your brain has to find patterns to sort the input and process it or not as fast as possible. Think about what the bottom of your feet feel like right now. I bet 30 seconds ago you didn’t even take that into consideration. It wasn’t important to your decision making process. What type of car do you drive? I bet you see people driving that car all of the time. Why? Confirmation bias. You brain see and ignores thousands of cars a day. It is a non-event. Then you see the car you drive, which you associate with “car” and bang, you see them every where.

What does this have to do with everything or anything? You have the choice to see the good or the bad. If you are consistently looking for good things to happen to you, you will find them. You have that lucky friend that wins everything. They don’t really. They just ignore all of the losses it took to get the win.

Here is what I do. If it helps you, sweet. If it doesn’t, make this article an non-event. Take the time each day to appreciate the things that have gone right. The things that you find happiness in. The things that don’t make you happy, agree that it is just something that has happened in between you happiness. You get a flat tire on your bike? Don’t worry about the flat tire, think about all of the awesome miles you have ridden between flats. Got two in a row? I bet it has been a really long time since that has happen. Tons of great miles in there. Have a bad day training? Let it go. Bad days have to happen as part of the process to make your self better. Is your goal to run a 5k? Don’t think about only being able to run 1 mile. Think about how much better that mile feels every time you run it. You haven’t even started yet? That’s perfect too. You have made the decision that you are going to work toward you goals. That is the hard part. Choosing to better yourself.

You get my point. If you want to see the good, you can find it. Anytime and anywhere. If it is just a really shit time for you, remember that is not normal for you. That is just something that happens every now and then.

Want to try an experiment? For the next 7 days, write down 15 positive things about your life. Start everyday with “I woke up and I get another day to be stellar.” Bam! You already have one done. Then as your day goes on, search out those positive events and list them. The bad ones just let them come in and go out as a non-event. A pass through to another positive. If you have more than 15, keep listing them. At the end of the day, read the list of that day and all of the days previous. I bet you will be amazed at how many great things happen to you.

I’m serious, try this out, and you will be pleasantly surprised. I want to know how it goes, so hit me up in the comments or send me a message and let me know.

Catch you cool cats later,

Mike


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Call Me Crazy: Thought of the day

The Tour Divide starts next week. Muhammad Ali died last week. Those are two separate things. They are connected though. Ali made some of the craziest public statements about his success and his greatness. He said that it keep him hungry for improvement so that he would not look like a fool publicly.  So here is my statement.

In 2017 I will race the Tour Divide and finish in 15 days. Fifteen. That is 180~ miles a day. That is 50 percent more per day than I rode last year. I will do it. I have been training my ass off. I have been studying gear, nutrition, cross training, riding hill sprints until I am sick of my bike.

One more statement- The Tour Divide will be the first race in my 10 thousand mile bike packing race project over the course of the following 12 months. I will do this. You have my word. When I am tired I will push harder. When I don’t have the motivation I will work harder to find it. This is what I am doing. This isn’t a dream. This isn’t words I am just typing and saying. This is a plan of action. I will die with my shield or on it. You have my word on that. You can call me crazy. People said the same thing last year when I trained for 14 week and left for 2800 miles of racing. I finished the race within the cut off. I am more driven now.

Stay focused on your goals my friends. You can do amazing things if you stay positive and get moving. I am not lucky or gifted. I am relentless.

Contact me if you want to sponsor me. I am going H>A>M!

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