Trekworld is Trek’s own personal Interbike trade show.  Given the range of offerings from Trek and Bontrager it is a no brainer that Trek avoids dragging all of this stuff across the country to Las Vegas and instead has their own open house in Madison, Wisconsin to show dealers what is coming for 2013.  Madison is also a cool place so I am sure Trek dealers across the country look forward to this annual event.  This is my first time at Trek and Trekworld.  I was invited along with Chris and Linsey, some of the mountain bike team including Aaron Gwin, Heather and JHK, Katie Compton, Jens Voigt, Melissa Stockwell and some of road people including Axel Merckx and the Trek Livestrong U23 guys plus more.  There were loads of memorable moments so I will summarize how the quick trip went.

First, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it on the trip.  The Saturday before I left I had a long ride plus a long build run planned and on my way back from the ride I was stung twice in the face by a wasp or bee right on the eye.  I was sure I was going to turn into an alien.  MC was awesome and went to get Benadryl for me while I sat on the floor blown to bits feeling sorry for myself thinking about how I was going to meet everyone with a swollen face and immediately dreading the run.  I took the Benadryl and then opted for the treadmill just in case I blew to pieces and ended up 10km from home unable to return which turned out to be a good option .  I got the work done before starting to feel really crappy as the bee venom attacked me.  The post run fallout was extreme.  I don’t know if it is because I am super allergic, which I am or whether it is because of the anti histamine but I could not sleep, had massive skin aches and a huge headache all night. I thought I had come down with West Nile, ebola or at least swine flu.  I was very apprehensive  of a day of travel.

So the next day it turns out I did not have ebola which was excellent news and I arrived to Madison to head to a fancy party at John Burke’s house.  This was a pregame warmup for the next two days of Trek happiness.  Lots of excellent toys, super fun people and good times were ahead.  Good to see the boys from Elevation Cycles although that did mean explaining again what happened in Colorado which has now become somewhat comedic relief for every conversation.  My face started puffing up that night but oh well, it was just ugly for the photos 🙂

The triathletes started the next day with a swim at a local health club followed by a morning touring the race department and the other awesome spots at Trek.  Highlights of that day included riding the new Superfly SL 29er which is ridiculous awesome.  Lowlight included crashing the new Superfly SL on a logride because the log seemed like it was coated with ice.  Oops.  I have to say I was so excited to be riding the stunts in the super fun Trek trails after quite a long block of road triathlon racing.  I do heart offroad more than road at the end of the day, despite how exciting the long distance road format of triathlon is.  It just can’t compare to how awesome riding dirt is.

You aren’t testing product hard enough if blood is not drawn.  Poor Renegade Hilo got a little stain 🙂

That night we went to the expo and saw all the new offerings for 2013.  We also were introduced to Bo Jackson and Melissa Stockwell – two inspiring people.  Highlights on the Bontrager side for me include the new Paradigm saddle which is on my most wanted list, all of the aero wheels which are awesome, the District, all of the new mountain bikes but especially both Superfly SL and Superfly 100s.   There is so much awesome stuff it is hard to get into it all but those are the standouts for Mel.  Kirsten and Jamie, our garage door opener project is done.  Trek has designed a garage door opener that goes right in your stem cap.  They are smarter than we are although great minds think alike.

Visiting Trek was a fun review of my athletic past since I already know a lot of folks in the company from my days of mountain bike racing.  There are so many to mention but it was good to catch up with Bontrager’s Michael Browne and Trek’s Ben Coates and Dean Gore.  People I know from waaaaaaaaaaaay back.  So nice to see everyone and it is amazing how happy everyone is at Trek-it is an excellent place to work! I also got to meet Sophie who did my visa and Stacey who did my kit was a huge bonus!

Sunday’s highlight was taking the Superfly 100 out for a solid test ride with Woody and Bill from Procity Trek Store Victoria, Brandon and Chris Lieto. I got back on that log ride (essential to crush any obstacle you crashed on ASAP and put it behind you) and then proceeded to destroy singletrack at max velocity on that Superfly 100.  The improvements on the duallie for 2013 are insane… that thing is a weapon and I am pretty excited to add that bike to my quiver of awesomeness.  We also got to preview some of the plans for the triathlon future which are very exciting!

I was lucky to get bikes that were all Shimano components and I have to say even the new XT groups are quite fantastic.  I have noticed that the electronic age has arrived and nearly every dealer is talking either DuraAce or Ultegra electronic everything which is absolutely no surprise!

Now I am headed back to the homestead to finish off the prep for 70.3 Worlds in Las Vegas.  Seeing what an awesome company Trek is and all the things they are doing for us as athletes and for their dealers was really inspiring for me.  Their mission is to make everyone wildly successful which for me was a massive shot of motivation.  Not that I really needed much more… I cannot wait to get the work done for the World Championships events to come. 

2012 IM 70.3 Boulder

First off, I was so impressed with how fast Liz Blatchford, Mel Haushilt and Leanda Cave were at the Boulder 70.3.  That was such a hot and difficult race that they made look so easy. Very impressive racing by all of them and everyone that finished that day should  be happy with their effort.

It is amazing how much your mind will affect your body’s ability to perform.  I have experienced both sides of the spectrum now.. my mind taking over and pushing me harder than my body can handle and now the opposite, my mind taking my foot off the gas and inhibiting my ability to perform with whatever I have on the day.

This past weekend I had the worst race of my 70.3 career.  It was very crappy.  I had some problems for sure but none that would have created the result I earned.  I squandered a lot of time that day reviewing my season and the decisions I have made which made it impossible to perform to whatever my ability was that  day.  I also wasted extra time contemplating whether I should finish the race.   It was clear I completely lost the plot. I like to fancy myself as the triathlete with balance and frankly, the frustration I have been feeling over how some of this season has gone has been tipping my balance and disrupting my perspective.  This race was not well planned or executed and I certainly set myself up for failure… but I still could have done better.

I enjoy incredible privilege and opportunity every time I get to a start line and I am so angry with myself that I didn’t maximize that opportunity on Sunday.  I wasn’t going to win that day as I was decidedly off form and not being in strong race form wasn’t the problem.  I ended up losing it mentally because of too many negative thoughts about little problems I was having that I couldn’t do anything about that started compounding.  It was a character building/embarrassing/devastating/uninspiring/humbling day but ultimately totally it was necessary to finish that race.  I wasted a lot of time looking around for reasons why it wasn’t going my way and not enough time looking inside to see what I could do to salvage what I could from the day.  I think I went at least 8 spots further back than I really needed to mostly because I lost it mentally very early on a very hard day physically and it was a good reminder to keep it together when things get tough.  I don’t want that to happen again.  I made myself finish ensuring that I know that I don’t have the option to drop out.  If I want to be a sissy and go slower than I need to again I will know exactly what it is going to feel like to let myself down.   It was not a proud moment on a very bad day.

The most frustrating part of all of this is the knowledge, with the benefit of hindsight, that changing my plans to try to make up for setbacks earlier in the season has all been fruitless.  That was going through my head over and over during the race.  I never meant to do the race in Boulder, Calgary or in Beaver Creek.  The chain of events goes back to April and the 5th place I earned in Vegas when I wasn’t healthy and although I am sure the Beaver Creek XTERRA race might have gone well, ultimately 3 flats meant I only matched that 5th place performance and as a result I wasted my time going.  Going to that XTERRA meant I had to find another 70.3 to get qualification for Worlds so my last choices of races were the only ones left before the cutoff and those were Calgary and Boulder (Boulder only being an “extra” points event). Sometimes you need a bit of luck with your preparation and unfortunately, I haven’t created the luck I was looking for.

I didn’t stay in Colorado before Calgary and Boulder 70.3s because I felt I can train with better quality for later in the season at home.  I underestimated the altitude in Calgary and overdid it before that event which resulted in a tough last 10km.  After that race I was pretty tired going into the next race at altitude which never works out for me.  I felt like a bag of crap in Vail and not much better down in Boulder from the start gun and it showed.  I need 2 weeks of focused effort to race with any ability at altitude and that didn’t happen so my result was terrible.  However, the ONLY reason I did those two altitude races was qualification for Vegas.

Chasing points for XTERRA and for 70.3 is making my racing absolute crap and it is super frustrating for me.  Next go around I will just stick to the plan to go to races I want to be at that I think suit my ability.  I will not travel around to a bunch of events that don’t make sense.  The fields at 70.3 in particular are too strong and the effort it takes to go well at that distance is wasted if it isn’t thought through and planned properly.  I am  not happy racing with this kind of form and unhappiness does not make you fast.

Back to work.  I fully intend to turn down the suck and turn up the rock. 

Thank you to all the amazing competitors and volunteers in Boulder.  You guys were so great and thank you to the athletes I was running with on Sunday. You guys were fun to be around… even if there were moments where I definitely WAS NOT!  Thank you to Doug and Sara for being awesome hosts… we did have a lot of fun that week with you even if that day was average.  All the best in your upcoming wedding!  xx