Friday, July 17, 2009

No Gifts!

(By guest blogger Phil Kriz - “The Competition”)

I probably get to benefit more than anyone else by reading Joanne’s blog about our journey to the Leadville 100 and wanted to contribute to it a little before our first race.

Since we are not even close to being elite athletes, training for races like the Mt Evans Hill Climb and the Leadville 100 takes discipline, a plan, and lots & lots of time.

The training has evolved into a big part of our life together. A lot of the training is boring, hard work. However, that is balanced by fun outdoor rides together, the sense of accomplishment, and the enjoyment of friendly competition that has formed over time between Joanne and me.

As has been said by several great bike racers – “No Gifts!”

When race day comes, there are “no gifts” and we both know that we are going to put it all on the line to beat each other.

Joanne is my best friend, my riding partner, and there is no one’s butt I would rather kick when the shotgun goes off!

However, so far Joanne has earned the bragging rights for the best times between the two of us on the Hill Climb and the Leadville 100. No gifts. She has beaten me fair and square each time. That is what makes it soooo tasty!!

Sure, I would like to set a new personal record on both of these events. But, what makes these events so much more fun is seeing how well you do against your riding buddies!!!

Just watch the first part of the video clip of Lance where he talks about Levi trash talking about the Leadville 100; you’ll see what I mean.

I think the importance of how you do against your buddies is especially true for the average rider (most of us) that has no hope of ever, ever obtaining a podium spot.

Joanne is my competition.

The whole time I am riding in these races an internal dialog occurs. A single thought repeats over and over - “How am I doing compared to Joanne?” If I am ahead, I think: “Don’t let her claw her way back!”; “Push!”; “Make her hurt!”; “Don’t let her see you are hurting!”; etc.

If I am behind, I think all kinds of nasty mean thoughts. Some of the nicer are: “This race was her dumb idea!” Even though this is rarely true, it just feels great to say to myself when I am getting my butt kicked. “I am going to buy those $2,000 wheels next year!” Even though I know I am too cheap to follow through and that I know it wouldn’t help – it also feels great to say that to myself.

When I finally get across the finish line, all the competitive thoughts disappear almost instantly. All I can think is that I hope Joanne is alright – safe and healthy. Life would be so empty if you didn’t have a riding buddy to compete against and share the adventure with!

The Prize

This year I wanted something tangible and silly to go with the bragging rights for the victor. So, in the spirit of these two races there is a prize for the winner of each:

Mt Evans Hill Climb – the “mountain goat”

The local symbol of that race – “the climber”

Leadville 100 – the “Lion,” symbolizing the winner with the “heart of a lion.”

So - this year, not only do we have bragging rights on the line, we have serious trophies.

The Mt Evans Hill Climb is tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. I do believe that you are both a little crazy! It's good that Joey has found someone to pit herself against. Who knew that the baby would be sooo competitive! I'm looking forward to the race results. Good luck to you both. I do love the trophies.