It has been three weeks since my last race of the XTERRA season and I have had plenty of time to reflect on the last year. I can’t say I am 100% satisfied with last year but certainly the results were mostly all there. I wouldn’t want to throw the season in the bin because for the most part it was pretty darn awesome. I am really proud of winning five races in a row, winning the Nationals and series for the second year in a row and staying up on the podium in every race I entered. Two pretty good years in a row but still, they have both left me wanting a bit more.
They say that “If you do what you have always done, don’t be surprised if you get what you have always got” or something like that. So in the spirit of that, I am making some changes leading into 2010. Those changes are going to be reflected in my program and that of the MelRad Racing Team.
The first change I am making is in my training and lead up to the season next year. It is disappointing to not arrive at the World Championships with my best form but it is motivating to see the level to which the sport is rising. For three years in a row I’ve shown up at that race not as good as I would like and unfortunately, you are only as good as your last race in this sport, so the season prior to that can be long forgotten. Thus, 2010 will be 100% focused on what needs to be done to perform well at that event. Secondly, Maui is unlike any other XTERRA. It really isn’t a mountain bike event.. it is a dusty road event and it requires the same skill set that a road event would require. So, with both of these things in mind, freshness for the late season and preparedness for a road style off road race, I have made some decisions and changes for next season.
I am planning a much later start and a very focused offroad schedule next year (read: do what needs to be done and no more). Secondly, I will be training with some different groups than I did last season. I knew I was going to be leaving the NTC group to go swim with another group back in the fall. I think a change to a swimming program rather than a triathlon program is going to be very difficult for me but I think the change will be good. I can’t swim at my present lack of ability anymore. I have found a coach who might be able to do something with my abominable swimming. We’ll see. He says he’s up for it. More on that later.
Secondly, I will be devoting a large chunk of time to learning how to run well. I am training in Victoria with a very, very strong group of runners coached by Jon Brown (marathon legend). I am hoping his expertise will help me to not only be a better runner but also help me to help my athletes be much, much better runners. This is another reason why my season will be shifted to as late a start as possible. So, running with runners, swimming with swimmers and you guessed it… riding with cyclists. I look forward to training this winter with Houshang Amiri and his squad through http://pacificcyclingcentre.ca/home.html here in Victoria. I have missed the group that I trained with which helped me get a World Title in 2006. Sometimes you come full circle to find the best place for you was where you started.
Finally, there has been some misunderstanding as far as MelRad Racing is concerned. I have the opportunity to give my athletes the support of all of my sponsors and all of my knowledge to try and achieve their goals so I am holding all spots to MelRad Racing for athletes who are coached by me until I have decided I have enough athletes and/or all of the spots to the team are taken. As their coach I want to help them win. I have an outstanding lineup of pro and amateur athletes who are confirmed to be racing for MelRad in 2010 with a very few spots available. The team will be nearly HALF the size of 2009 in order to better support the athletes we choose. I have made a call to the XTERRA community to see if anyone is interested in coaching to see if anyone would like to have a season coached by me. I will close coaching applications by January and then will not accept any new athletes, to the coaching program or to MelRad Racing, by then.
So for those of you not interested in a coach but feel you have something really special to bring to the MelRad Racing team then I would encourage you to apply. But keep this in mind. MelRad Racing will not sponsor anyone who is just looking to get free stuff. That is NOT what we are about. We want someone who is truly an ambassador without compare. We want the person recognized in their community as the leader in attitude, altruism and amiability. I don’t really care if you won a bunch of races if you didn’t inspire people in the process. We are going to support people who are out there with a big, fat smile on their face enjoying life and blogging about their adventures. We are going to look for people nominated by their peers as the most amazing candidate for MelRad Racing that we simply could not overlook them in the selection process.
So please apply at racing at melrad dot com. However, your application must have a nomination from another person in the XTERRA community explaining WHY you should be considered. I don’t want to only hear from you how awesome you are, I want to hear it from another person who thinks so. Make sure you put at the top WHY you should be considered. I encourage you to put your results somewhere near the bottom. The application will be evaluated that way.
In addition, you must be willing and able to submit monthly updates to www.melrad.com documenting your season with the team. If you are not interested or can’t be bothered to write anything, please don’t apply.
So, applications for coaching and for the team will be accepted until January 1. If you are looking for coaching, please send an inquiry through the CONTACT tab on this website. If you want consideration for the team, go to racing at melrad dot com. But don’t forget to include your nomination from a friend. It won’t be considered without it.
Thanks and happy offseason!