If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. When I was flying home from the East coast on Monday I was thinking about “why”. I was really nervous about Ross’s health so I never once even thought of the fact I was about to miss the European tour. So now that I know he is going to be all right, mostly due to the fact he was wearing a GREAT Lazer helmet, I am again thinking about “why” I am not going over there. I really like the following quote:

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.
Dean Acheson

Maybe I don’t know right now why I am not going to be in Europe but by the end of the season it should all become clear. In the meantime, I have an enormous hole in my schedule where European travel and events once stood. With the change, first off, I will be able to attend Interbike – YAY! Second, I will have a break after Ogden which is another big bonus because I was really nervous about the travel from altitude to Europe. And third, I have NOTHING really on my schedule until Ogden aside from the Crested Butte regional XTERRA, so I have made some adjustments to my schedule….

I will be playing with my new toy over the coming weeks….

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Can You Tell The Difference?


I called Ross right after the race in Richmond to tell him the good news. He was just making his bottles on the West coast to go out for a fun ride when I had finished racing on the East coast. He was super excited that things went well because the two of us had been so mystified by last weekend. So my last words were, "Have a good ride honey, see ya soon in Heathrow!"

Unfortunately, the evil trail at the end of our road that ate my brand new arm and legwarmers has now claimed another victim. Ross’s crash was pretty horrific and I have to send my heartfelt thank you and hugs and gratitude to Trish Sinclair, Ann Yew and Day Deans-Buchan for being by Ross’s side for more than 24 hours while I raced home to see him in the hospital. We are also so lucky to have so many good friends so to start the list thank you to Paul, Lisa, Brent, Walt and Bill so far. All of the rest of you who are sending happy thoughts and wishes I am working on trying to thank you all in time. Read on for some photographic evidence but I warn you it ain’t pretty…..



Ross is featured in Inside Triathlon this month ripping up the trails in Alabama (from 2007)

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All Hail The BMC Fourstroke 01- Conquering Richmond on a FULLY!

Photo by Nils Nilson (XTERRA)

I have been converted.

I raced the BMC Fourstroke 01 in Richmond this past weekend and after that experience will not likely ride a hard tail ever again. BMC makes the lightest dual suspension bike you can ride that still feels like a hard tail when you are climbing. There really is no tradeoff. I ride a stock bike that anyone can buy at their local bike store and it weighs ONE pound heavier than the hard tail I rode at Worlds last year.

All right Conrad, I’ll say it. You’re right, I’m wrong, I’m sorry….. ha!

Okay but I won in Richmond so things are good and lets talk about how I felt much more like me this past weekend. I managed to hold off both mountain bike phenoms, Jenny and Shonny, plus Candy Angle who held on to fourth and super runner Danelle Kabush who ran up from seventh to fifth. Mad props to Josiah Middaugh who broke away from Dan Hugo to take the win. I am stoked for Josiah to climb back up on the top spot…

(Conrad unfortunately was not riding Maxxis and had a flat-two races in a row!!! No meat pies for you in Wales…)

Tyler Johnson took third, Andy Noble was fourth and Craig Evans was solid in fifth. So, read on for the tale of Richmond ….

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See It Here First

The unveiling of my new weapon. Weight cost: 1lb over my 2007 hardtail.

I am in Richmond, VA now just getting ready for our Championships event on Sunday. For the record, I take being THE fastest cyclist in XTERRA very seriously. All due respect to all of the competitors in the race, I don’t believe there is anyone toeing that start line that I cannot remain in the same zip code on the bike in particular, but even the swim or the run. If there was any doubt that last weekend was an off-day, from the start of the swim to the end of the run, I invite anyone to compare my splits in 2008 to the same race in 2007, on an identical course, in HOTTER temperatures, resulting in a complete blackout in the finish. And still a much closer second place. All I can say is that number one, humidity is not my best friend and number two, I have never wanted to erase a terrible nightmare with a good performance in my life.

So say hello to my little friend… the Fourstroke 01.

Meltdown in Alabama – WTF????

First off, congratulations to both Conrad and Shonny for putting together outstanding races under pretty tough conditions. Shonny took her first ever XTERRA win and Conrad came back from a flat tire to continue his streak of XTERRA domination and perfect score in the overall series. Knowing how tough it is to be consistent in this sport I definitely look up to Conrad for continued awesome performances.

For me, this weekend was not just terrible, it was absolutely ridiculous. I have NEVER in my life, had to stop and walk on a run. NEVER. On two occasions I have not remembered the final three kilometers of the run, seven times I have been on an IV drip, once I was on my way to the hospital but never, ever have I walked the run. This weekend I walked the entire second half of the run course, unless it was downhill. Even so, my heart rate for walking the climbs was 190 bpm. Obviously I was not going to catch Shonny walking and of course most of the field was going to run past me before the end of the race. I went down like Big Brown at the Belmont…. And like that horse, right away I wasn’t right. On the bike I had average of 195bpm for a four minute slower bike split (than the last TWO starts on this same course… on what I felt would be a faster course) because I was trying SO hard to keep it steady with no luck. Just pedaling was sending my heart rate out of control heart. Obviously something was going on that I was not aware of. I was doomed from the start. How in the world did this happen? Well I will go through the list to eliminate certain theories…..

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Definition of XTERRA According To The New Melanie Dictionary of the Universe

I was recently asked to define XTERRA in my own words.



X-TERR-A [eks-tare-uh] noun; adjective;verb

beyond or more than an Olympic distance triathlon; a 1500m swim, 30- 40 km mountain bike leg, 10-12 kilometer run in variable environments –adjective (an XTERRA experience)
cooler or better than a road triathlon of any sort –noun (the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, HI)
Triathlon with something extra or additional including natural hazards, uncontrollable challenges or setbacks and unexpected beauty in nature. –noun (I am planning to race the XTERRA USA and European Tour)
To live to your ultimate potential. –verb (I am going to XTERRA as long as I possibly can)


I invite all of you to add your definitions in the comments section…

Ummm, Yeah, Abort the Mission…

Well I didn’t leave QUITE yet for Alabama. There were a number of compelling reasons why I changed my flight to leave a week later and skip the BUMP mountain bike race all of which added up to a change of plans. I was pretty stressed out getting ready to leave for six weeks of racing and when I up and decided to make it five weeks it suddenly became much more manageable and a lot of stress lifted. Mission accomplished. It was unfortunate to miss the BUMP race but that mountain bike race didn’t really help me last year given I LOST the XTERRA after I did it.. ha! That was not why I didn’t go… I really did need to stay in Victoria for the weekend because we met a half brother Ross and his siblings only recently found out about. It was very cool. So besides lots of family stuff… here is how I spent my extra bonus week in Victoria….

Welcome the new 2009 Fox F-Series fork to the program…

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