Now that I have time to sit back and reflect on my year it's the perfect moment to think about my goals for next year, the kinds of races I want to do, whether I want to stay focused on marathon distances or shift towards traditional XC races. Having had success in both worlds I'm leaning towards more XC races in the California area.


I don't have the luxury of traveling to far off races, but I've got my eye on a few. Leadville will definitely be on my list, having done it twice under 9 hours. My goal will be a sub 9-hour Leadville. I still need to qualify so that's a few races right there. I'd like to do a few of the NUE Series 100 milers, but we'll see how full my schedule gets. I feel like the competitive side of me is slowly becoming satiated with all of the success I've had the past couple of years. There's always room to improve and different race formats to conquer.

Everyone's hyped up on Cyclo-cross and Enduro racing these days. I can see myself trying my hand at Enduro, but then again I don't consider myself a gravity type, although I've made some significant improvements with my handling skills.

I'll go into the 2014 race season with a lot less pressure, making sure I have fun by getting to see the beautiful state of California, and maybe back up in my hometown region of the Pacific Northwest.


The best part about forgetting my shoes for the lunch ride today was finding out that people love to play ping pong here, and you all know how much I love ping pong. I got my game on and broke a nice sweat. I was a bit rusty, but eventually found my rhythm.

CTS Coach

20130814-190948.jpg My Carmichael Training Systems coach over the past couple of years raced the Leadville 100, too. He put in an incredible time of 7:16. Clayton's been an incredible source of inspiration and knowledge during my training. I highly recommend looking into some sort of training program if you plan on doing the Leadville 100. I've learned so much about myself, limiters and strengths, how to train and how to keep improving.

Rest Week

I'll be laying off the bike for most of the week this week in preparation for the Tahoe Trail 100 this coming weekend. I haven't done this before, intentionally, but I hope it'll recharge my legs and give me that punch I'm looking for come race day. I'm planning on going up early in the day Friday, leaving me little time to get settled, but having done the race last year I feel confident in knowing the entire course.

Rest Day

Took the day off from riding. Debating whether or not I'd like to race this weekend. There's the Sonoma Ricochet race series on Saturday. I did the first one a couple of weeks ago, and think it would be fun to do another one. We'll see how I feel later in the week.


I've raced almost every weekend for the past month. My body needs some rest and active recovery. I've slowly watched the hours in the saddle dwindle each week, trying to recover as much as possible between each race. I hope to ramp up my riding in the next week or so, getting ready for the Tahoe Trail 100 qualifier next month.

Indoor Session

steady-state Didn't make it out in the morning as usual, so I had to settle for an indoor steady-state session. It's been a while since I've done any interval training, so it felt rather awkward trying to keep my watts up. I'm racing on Sunday so I wanted to prime my legs a bit without exerting myself too much.


mondays I'm more than halfway through my race season, and I'm starting to feel a bit of burnout. Maybe I'm still adjusting to my new job and schedule, which includes a long commute, intense lunch rides, and hyper focused work days. Or maybe all the racing is catching up to me. I do love riding and racing, but it's hard finding the time to balance everything, especially training. I sometimes feel slow on the bike, but my results are saying otherwise, which is important that I get enough rest during the days between races. It's Monday, and I feel guilty for not riding. I try to do one rest day a week, but I go between feeling like I can't get enough of it and doing too much of it. Balance is the key.

Still Sore

My legs are still a bit sore from Tamarancho, yet I've decided to do another race this weekend. It'll be important for me to lay off the gas during the week. I finally had time to clean my bike and check out my faulty drivetrain. It was only a bit of cable stretch that needed adjustment. I should be good to go. In the meantime I hope to get in a few recovery rides between now and Saturday. It feels strange to not put in a lot of hours in the saddle, but I'm definitely at the peak of my race season. I feel the need to maximize my fitness while I'm feeling strong before the next big set of challenges. It could also be my addiction to racing, especially since I'm having the best season and fitness ever in my life.

Hydrate, Stretch, Repeat

Today's mission: stay hydrated, eat well, stretch and repeat. While I haven't done my stretching just yet, I have been drinking a fair amount of water in preparation for tomorrow's epic XC race around Lake Sonoma. It's going to be a hot one, and I'll definitely be rocking my sweat band. Despite not fully catching up on my sleep, my legs are feeling pretty good. Mentally I'm prepared to take a beating, and my bike is all dialed in. I had to swap out my rear tire for a SnakeSkin version of the Racing Ralphs. I've had too many close calls with it flatting on me right before a big event. I'm also using Orange Seal instead of Stans. So far so good. My suspension is all dialed in, too, which was giving me grief the past month. Servicing the seals myself did the trick.

I was expecting more of my friends to race SoNoMas, but with the projected heat and other plans it looks like I'll be up there with my friend Ryan, and maybe even a coworker or two.

Race Prep

sonomas-race-face Here I am from a year ago, at the start line of SoNoMas. The last time I was here new Lake Sonoma I crashed pretty badly, cracking my helmet and riding glasses at one of the Ricochet Races. Last year at SoNoMas I overcooked a rutted downhill section and banged my knee up while putting a big scar on the top tube of my Epic. I spent the rest of the race hobbling and recovering with a lackluster result.

It's great to read my own race recap from a year ago, knowing the limiters I've overcome this past year, proper tire choice and race tactics. This year I'm looking forward to putting in a better time and maybe even podium.

Recovering in Napa

I reached my limit of riding this week, clocking in over 14 hours in the saddle, with back-to-back 70 mile rides to top it off. I've got my a race next weekend, and plan on spending most of my week recovering and storing up my energy. I'm up here in the Napa Valley to recharge my batteries, maybe get in a light spin or two, and definitely catching up on my sleep.

Boggs Prep

boggs-race-mod Tomorrow I'm racing Bike Monkey's 8 Hour event in Boggs Mountain State Forest. I'm going solo, while most of my friends are in teams. It should be fun, and extremely challenging. The only other event I've done that comes close is Leadville, and I finished the 100 mile course in 8 hours and 20 some minutes. My training has led me up to these long endurance races.

I had planned on racing the entire weekend, starting with the hill climb, XC and Enduro, but because of the move and new job I decided to scale back a bit. 8 hour XC race is more than enough for me.

My friend David gave me a wealth of advice, nudging me to put this bell on my bars. It can get backed up at times, especially with 500+ riders on course, from beginners to pros. I'm hoping to line up at the very front as to avoid the chaos of the mass start. Wish me luck!

Shasta Bound

Heading up to Redding, CA this afternoon for the Lemurian Shasta Classic XC race, which is tomorrow morning. I'm going up with my friend Josh, who races in the same category as me. We both suffered quite a bit at the Sea Otter Classic, and we're both hoping to redeem ourselves tomorrow. It's a long haul up, which is why we're going a day early. It's gonna be nice and hot up there, too. I'm feeling pretty good, having spent most of the week resting and doing a few active recovery rides.

Rest Hard

I learned my lesson the week leading up to the Sea Otter Classic. I need to rest as hard as I train. After the Napa Valley Dirt Classic I only had five days in between to recharge, but failed to do so by packing in a few high intensity rides during the week. Plus the additional stress of leaving work compounded the situation. So this week my plan is to make sure I fully recharge my batteries, test out my legs here and there, and see how I feel towards the end of the week. The Lemurian Shasta Classic is just around the corner, and I want to do well.

Ready, Set, GO!

ready-set-go This weekend I've got the Napa Valley Dirt classic. It's one of the bigger local races that attracts a strong field of NorCal's finest. I'm not sure how well I'll do, but I'm feeling pretty good. I went for a quick spin through the Headlands this morning to get the engine started.

I want to do well, obviously, but I'm treating this as a B race in preparation to Sea Otter next Friday. My neck has been bothering me lately, but I think it'll be fine come race day. My legs feel a bit off, but I know I've got to give them another day or two of rest. My game plan till Sunday is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It feels good to have had a few races and wins under my belt going into this event. It takes the pressure off from having to perform at my absolute best.

Must Rest

Having put in a lot of hours in the saddle last week (14 hours) I'm in need of some rest. I've got a big block of racing coming up this month, starting with the Napa Valley Dirt Classic, followed by the Sea Otter Classic, the Lemurian Shasta Classic and the Boggs 8 Hour race (solo). It's a race every weekend for the next month, and I've got to make sure I gauge my efforts right.

Rainy Day Off

I was gonna go play in the dirt this morning, but the rain was too hard and depressing to get out of bed. I needed to catch up on my sleep anyways. My ride into work was wet and soggy. My day at work was… bleh. Hopefully I can pick up the threads tomorrow and get in a good ride.