Thursday, April 17, 2014

Start the season right!

It's been a while... I'll promise that this year I'll keep the better log of what I'm doing and my races so let's get started!
I've always known from previous races and past seasons that I was a good swimmer, a great mountain biker, and a really terrible horrible runner. I had fairly good season last year, won a couple of local races had some good finishes in regional and national races, but looking back on them I could've had even better result if I had worked a little bit on my run. 

So this year I'm working on my run... I know your probably thinking yeah right Mat, but no! I am serious. I am working with a coach I am very happy to say that I am getting help and it has paid off tremendously, On that note it's time to let you know about the 2014 Xterra West Championship in Las Vegas 2014.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

LaGrande Xterra

After the epic race at Vashon it was hard to not be anxious for the 2013 Xterra Lagrange. The distances of each leg are closer to the actual Olympic distance, the competition was out, and the 95 degree heat sure did not help.
We stayed at the lake the night before the race I had time to pre ride a section of the bike course. Enjoyed an awesome relaxing evening on the lake and got ready for the next day.

For some reason I could not fall asleep and had a pretty short night, morning came I was up and ready to roll.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Vashon Xterra 2013 season kick off

I always love racing the Vashon Xterra it's the first northwest Xterra and a good way to see how your training is going. This year more the ever I have been eager to race because of my work on the run, for the past couple seasons I would train swimming and cycling, but never once put on my running shoes. This year I actually took a step back on the bike, I am now only riding two to three times a week, I am still swimming four to five times a week because I just really enjoy it, and for the first year I am running five days a week.
It was a long and painful road I have always had a hard time with consistency and enjoying running. I made myself a schedule, I varied my runs in length location and intensity. Not seen my pace drop for the first two months I got a little frustrated and started to look for a new plan when I realized that yes my times were not dropping but I was hating running less i was actually looking forward to put my running shoes on. It is not until the third month that I started to notice performance gain, all the sudden my easy long runs were at a 7 min pace and track workouts were getting to the low 5:20 min per mile. I should mention in that last month I lost a lot of weight, naturally through running, still eating and drinking the same amount if not more, but I went from 190 lbs to 175 lbs in a short three weeks. Enough about running and more race report.
I woke up in a great mood and ready to race, I picked up my friend and training partner Kevin, and we headed to the ferry. On the way over I was running through the course for Kevin, being his first time on the Vashon course. We got to the race course in time and quickly set up transition, I chose to set up away from the bike out because it got extremely crowded and the back of transition was empty. We quickly rode a lap of the bike course and had just enough time to get to the pre race meeting.

The water was in the low 60's but did not feel that cold I chose to swim in a sleeveless wetsuit, even if the water was cold the mobility of a sleeveless suit is a greater advantage. The gun went off and we all started to swim towards to first boat, I was in first place quickly but noticed that a couple guys were not far behind. The boats moved around quite a bit and made it difficult to go in a straight line, I came around the first boat and had to dive down under water to avoid two paddle boards the were perfectly place in the way of the race. Headed for the next boat I was feeling good or maybe it was seeing the huge jelly fish underneath me, i decided to pick it up. Turned around to second boat and headed to shore, the tide was out and about half way distance to shore I noticed the sand floor was extremely shallow, I swam until I could touch the floor with my hands then got up, water just under knee height I ran to shore. On my way up the steps I took a quick look to so see my lead, i was shocked so much so that I had to look again to make sure I was not dreaming, I was entering T1 yet the second swimmer was not yet out of the water. I had a great lead it was just a matter of keeping in on the bike. T1 was fast under a min, and I was gone time to shine on the bike leg.

I took my first lap fairly easy not pushing to much and recovering from the swim, on the second lap my parent shouted what I heard to be "you have a 40sec lead" I instantly thought I was loosing my lead and I needed to pick it up a little, it is not until after the race that I realized i had miss heard and i really had a 2:40 sec lead. on the start of the third lap I had a four min lead and still no second place in sight. By the end of the bike leg I had a little over six min lead on second, but now came the most crucial time of the race where I have been passed so many times before, the run leg.

I started strong and thought to myself all I have to do is maintain my lead the first km was slow as it is all up hill, the second km is fairly flat trail, I was able to relax and loosen up a little. I came to the road at the start of the 3 km and decided to push it I had a good lead and on the road I could open it up a little more. Seeing my parent cheering and my dad still yelling out splits was a great moral boost I went into the trails once again at speed and was able to keep it all the way to back to the road. I had been passed and lost first place on that last stretch of road the previous year, and was not about to let that happen again I powered through the rest of the run, finished the road section and came down the hill at full speed towards the finish line 1hour 37min, i won no one passed me on the run i was so relived my work on the run had paid off. I beat my goal time of 1:45 was able to keep my six min lead over second place. Overall a great and well executed race I was happy with all my splits and even more with my run, a great start to the 2013 northwest seasons lets see if I can keep it up.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Teach me more!

Back in beautiful Morgan Hill, CA at the Specialized head quarters, this time for the master body geometry fit technian course.

Fit lab; where we spent most of the time assessing and fitting each other, the picture does not do justice to this room it's got 12 fit stations, 3of them are equipped with video analysis which makes it so much easier for the fitters and for the customer to see them-selves.

Going from the fit lab to "the cage" (demo bike area) this is the parking lot for specialized's employees

Getting ready for the lunch ride! Yes, everyday Specialized employees are strongly encourage to go for a ride to break up the day.
2013 Specialized Sworks Roubaix SL4
2013 Specialized Venge Pro
Specialized Turbo
(Unavailable in the USA, because according to the DOT any vehicle that tops 27mph must have a license plate...)
During one of the rides, must be hard to live in cali, great day in late febuary, low 70s, blue skies and sunny

Official, level two done... see you next year for the fit certification!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tear Maker

2013 Cannondale F29 Carbon Ultimate

Thank you Cannondale for producing such a fast machine, the 2013 F29 Carbon Ultimate out of the box with tubes, heavy tires, pedals and cages 18.8lbs. Comes race season I should be racing in the low 18lbs to the high 17lbs slightly lighter than its predecessor.
As usual full carbon Enve handle bars and wheels. New for this year Magura full carbon brakes, so far only good things to say to my surprise better stopping power than last year's avid XX setup.
The geometry and feel of the bike is so familiar to last years but the new hassle free and boot-less lefty is such an upgrade. With already 10 hours of ridding and 150miles on it, I have not had to reset the bearing yet, although a little stiff at first now broken in the small bump absorption is very similar to the old fork, butter smooth yet such a fast, light, stiff, responsive fork.
It's winter here in the North West, and I need to train plus the bike needed to be baptized. First rides have been cold and wet. Here are a couple of pictures of icy mud collecting on the bike looks pretty cool, although a heated front derailleur would have be nice so I properly shift!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Season in Pictures

Xterra Las Vegas



Not the greatest way to start the season with a flat on miles 3 of the bike, i still finished but podium was definitly out of sight.
Still found the time to relax after the race

Xterra Vashon


got passed and had to settle for second in the last 1/4 mile of the race
 Second place overall very happy with a great start of the NW series
Thanks to the support of awsome friends
Took the beast to the island, $9000 dollar bike in a $700 truck, get you priorites straight!

Xterra Lagrande

What would i do without mom?

This pictures is not an accurate representation of how hard the climbs were on this course

 Great race beautiful hot day much needed cool down.

Xterra World

700+ athletes
Rough start in the big waves


 final 1/4 mile in the sand

Place 6th in World Championship (ag)

Thanks to all the great support from familly and friends which lead to an amzing season