Well the cat is out of the bag on Mel’s project.. the MelRad Racing Team. Conrad and I plan to show our teammates what it takes to win, which includes having confidence, paying attention to detail and working hard. Oh, and having kickass lineup of sponsors that support us to do that. Stay tuned for the final details on that front.
I would like to thank the judges at Triathlete Magazine for nominating me the Female Offroad Triathlete of the Year. My year was memorable and contained a few flashes of excellence. I appreciate the judges noticing that at most points in the season I was at my best ever. However, there was Worlds which, what more can I say? Another lowlight was Alabama which was memorable in how mystified I was afterwards at my performance. Those races were contrasted with Temecula (fastest bike split), Richmond (fastest bike split), Ogden (solid race at altitude) and Tahoe (course record by nearly 5 minutes). The altitude events following my first half Ironman at Vineman were good learning experiences. First, I learned it takes more than a week to recover from a half Ironman and then race at 9000 feet. Crested Butte was horrible. It got slightly better by the time we came to Beaver Creek (8000 feet and change) where my result reflected that but I was much better when I went to the Snowbasin event. This year I have placed all of the half Ironmans I plan to do AFTER the primary XTERRA season in response to this lesson. I could probably race a half Ironman 1-2 weeks after a half Ironman but I do not regain the power required to race an XTERRA that soon. I think particularly not if the XTERRA is at high altitude which could represent a weakness if I do not prepare properly.
I was very happy with the 2008 season and I know where I am going to be in 2009. I was only getting started at minimizing the weaknesses last year. I recognize that the decision on who would win XTERRA Athlete of the year must have been a tough one with Julie defending last year’s win, Shonny having a breakout season with two wins and a second overall, and Danelle going 2 for 2 World Championships with 2 silver medals at the XTERRA Worlds and the XTERRA Trail Run Worlds. I look at 2009 as a new era in XTERRA racing. The competition is fierce and the level is much higher than it has ever been.
I am excited to be named among the top of the list of athletes in the sport. You can expect more great performances this coming season and having the recognition from the media and my peers really helps me get motivated to prove that.
Not that I needed much help in the motivation department….