March 05, 2009

Hike-o-Bike Vision

The last few days have been pretty crazy for me...Life stress I guess. I had a few blows financially in the last few days and I am just trying to roll it over to some goodness. . he he.. I am stoked that my foot is 100% and I am totally rested. Taper? I am not sure but I have done very little in the last couple of weeks as far as training. Sometimes life just gets in the way ;-)

This will be my third time going into "The Vision Quest" and I can say that each time has been unique and challenging in its own way. The first time I got to the starting line I did not know what I was getting myself into... Marius had talked me into signing up and I approached it as a journey for the day and I think the race was the hardest effort I experienced on the bike or anywhere up to that point. The most miles and time I have ever spent on the bike for sure! I would have never imagined that just three years later my hundred pounder wife would be attempting the same journey. I learned the most from that race and the "fun" from the experience has kept me coming back for more.

the steeeps of the hike o bike sections

So that is what is so key about this year for me. Monique is going big! No County Coup race for her...She stepped right up to VQ and is going for it! The pressure of the cut off times and all is a threat but it keeps it exciting!! Somehow this gets me more stoked than completing the race myself. Seeing her enjoy, progress and push to a new level has been awesome and I am so proud of her. She has rode all the sections except for Upper Holy Jim trail and the last West Horse Thief/Trabbucco trail sections so today we made a trip to take care of the later trails. Probably not the best ride just days before the race but it was awesome to get out and ride with my best friend. We both needed it...

Why do they call West Horse Thief a hike-a-bike? Reaching this point in the Vision Quest is about 35 miles and 4-5hours into the race. From where Monique is standing you climb approximately 1500 feet in just over a mile. Humbling. Even in a rested body the grade just brings you to a crawl. You can see the switchbacks in the background of the picture working up to the main divide road. This is the part of the race where it takes your passion to push on and the downhill of Trabucco is your reward!

Last year I made some improvements and was surprised how good I felt after the race. My time dropped from 8:05 to 6:49 without changing much in my training from the year before. I know I could have pushed myself a lot more and I plan on going beyond this year...Even if I backed off in the last few weeks I have a few harder efforts to use as experience now. I am turning all this "life stress" into fuel and fully plan on crushing myself like never before! Its going to be interesting.

I am grateful for the job, friends and the opportunity to challenge myself with these little races. . . At the end of the day it is and always will be about "fun" for me and I am stoked that God has given Monique and me a passion that we can share on the trails. . . I am looking forward to the next 10-15 years of us crushing eachother with training and racing together. HA!!

See ya out there friends!


Luke said...

git it you two!! i will be drafting off you the whole way slater! ;)

Pedal Circles said...

Awesome post, Slater.

It's great that you guys enjoy the same things and challenge each other. Looking forward to seeing you guys tomorrow.

I'm sure Monique is going to do great! She has an awesome attitude and knows what to expect on her journey.

sean.clancy said...

Way to go killer!
You are going to crush a LOT of
dreams this summer. Just not mine! ha!