2nd @ ITU CROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AND TIED FOR 3RD PLACE IN THE XTERRA USA SERIES!!!!!
From start to finish the 2012 season has been an amazing, crazy and very focused year. I started the season with a few videos to share a typical training and work day in the life of TeamCraigEvans. I feel I am a different type of PRO athlete than most, because of my daily “work/life balance” with my very demanding job and my fantastic family. I would not change it for anything!
My goal this year was to share with many that you do not have to be a PRO to race at the top, you just have to be a little “CRAZY” and willing to go the extra mile to get to the goals you want. I train mostly at night in the Ninja training room, my basement after my kids go to bed. My main focus this year (hopefully most of you know) was my nutrition and more specific Xterra short explosive training. The nutrition side went perfect with the support from my coach – Kurt Purham @PBM Coaching and @Breakthrough Nutrition – Clifton and Melissa. I can not thank them enough for the wonderful season we put together. My training was the best it has ever been and it showed on race day.
The season honestly is a blur, however if I had to say “what was my best performance” I will definitely say placing 2nd over all to the “Legend – Conrad Stoltz” was one of the greatest race experiences I have ever experienced. I hope everyone in the sport can feel the way I did crossing the finish-line that day, light as a feather and floating!
I have taken a few week off since Xterra World Championships in Maui and re-energized for the winter suffer fest. It’s already getting pretty cold and my raynaud’s is kicking in like crazy (not fun stuff). My goal this winter is to keep everyone posted on my training and keep pushing the limits to prepare for the 2013 season.
A great man once said “the more you train the luckier your get in your races” I am announcing now – 2013 will be a very lucky year! Thanks DAD, I miss you bro! See you on the start line……..
Thanks to Rick with “Stumbling Towards Greatness” for the 2012 video footage!
Ahh…….. Stepped off the plane at the Denver International Airport and my breath was immediately taken……by the beauty of the mountains that surround it and I was a mile high above sea level!
There were a lot of questions from my competition and friends as to “why the heck are you going to Xterra Mountain Championships” – simple answer, I am a PRO and needed to start to act like one. Also, I was doing some research for later races in the year and wanted to test some theories.
Race Morning – I woke up a bit tired from waking up every hour trying to breathe. Not the best night sleep ever. Race number 3 was placed on my bike and run belt, my current rank in the US from my recent performances at Xterra West, ITU Cross World Championships and East Championships. I was relaxed but very uncertain of my race ahead and what the altitude would do to my lungs during the race. Plan 1: be smart, start slow and build to a manageble pace without blowing up = mission accomplished, this was the easiest swim I have ever done and I was leading Branden and Conrad and all of the race favorites still smiling.
Leading the Field at 7600'
I quickly realized entering transition that there was not much oxygen for my normal 735′ ft lungs to process so I gave up the lead to Branden and Conrad. Entered first and left transition 3rd! On the bike I easily slid into my Pearl Izumi shoes and started pedaling at my goal cadence of 95 rpm down the foot pathway. 4 min into the race, Ben Hofman rode passed me and I hopped on his wheel. We rode back up to Branden and Conrad and then the climb began (the longest climb I have ever done in a race) I began going backwards in race positions. After the 7th place guy passed me in the race I realized I was not going to place better than my other races so this race began to become a training race. I started cheering my competition on while being passed and giving splits to other riders. Then the down hill began from over 10,000′ ft. I caught a couple of guys on the descent and had a blast on one of the most beautiful courses I have ever ridden. Off the bike in 11th.
Ripping the descents
The final test began = Run solid for training. I came off the bike not really stressed in the legs (only the lungs) so I took off like it was a 5K, a rough mistake when the first climb was straight up “ouch” – but the key is to fight and finish strong. I still was able to pull off a 42 min run split and smiles at the finish.
Enjoying the final stretch
Final thoughts – Fantastic racing weekend with friends and competitors! It is always a great time seeing the “Xterra Family” at one of the greatest sports in history. Looking forward to my next.
Next up Music City Triathlon – Road triathlon (Olympic Distance) in Nashville. Good thing I can breathe again!