Game Face on;  ilg at 50…still toeing the Start Line and making the Game chi-full…“i’m totally stoked to finish 2nd place in the 50+ AG here at the DWC Championships…considering that Ivan (Unkovskoy) was the only person to beat me over the course of 4 various cycling events?   That’s like finishing second to Ned Overend or John Tomac!…for a yoga teacher who trains at a fraction of the volume of these guys do on a bike in THIS mecca of world-class cyclists?  are you kidding me?   this New Old Daddy is TOALLY stoked!  and i don’t even have fancy bike racing equipment!  i see my second place as a huge  HOORAH! for all c(om)men men who don’t train on bikes a lot but rather rely on what i  teach, Wholistic Fitness™!”

Sunday:  Event #1 of 4:   Road Criterium
i awake nervous.   i have that Sense which used to save me and my partners during my climbing career;  something is gonna happen today…crit racing – as you know – is by nature dangerous.  for an Old New Daddy who just breached the 50 year-old mark and who makes his living through yoga, fitness training, and typing (internet fitness training),  if i go down hard in a crit?   it’s all over for my family whose very existence here on the slippery slope which Durango has somehow become since when i grew up here, is a deeply pressurizing consideration.   i show up.  the field is over 30.  way too big for this short 6-cornered high-speed course which – ironically enough – lies just a stone’s throw east of the hospital.    one guys goes down hard on the freakin’ warm up laps!   the entire parking lot over which our course has been plotted is way more slippery than a week ago during our practice crit.    they must have run a street sweeper over it or something leaving a thin film of slick something over the asphalt…the start gun goes off and i stay as cool as possible…”just stay upright” is my affirmation as i run my heart rate to nearly 180 through the high-speed corners with the lead group….i manage to hang just off the lead group until minute 40 of our 45-minute hammerfest until a lapped rider clips a pedal at 35 mph in corner #5.  the after affect of that split-second?   6 riders are down on the asphalt ripping holes into their kit, skin, flesh and spirit.  my personal pantheon of Deities help s(om)ehow to keep me upright, though i have to do an impromptu bunny-hop over one crashing rider’s rear wheel…”i am definitely getting too old for this,”  runs my thought stream…  i hold on to finish surprisingly well taking 3rd place out of 18 VERY MUCH FASTER cyclists than i!   thank you Tribal Mantra and WF Deities!

Tuesday:  Event #2 of 4:   Mountain Bike Time Trial
i recall the pleasing glint of Grandfather Sun’s rays off the Gambel Oak as i raced through the 5-mile semi-techy course.  i usually ride mid-morning and Grandfather’s arms of light is more annoying than beautiful when mountain biking at high speed through twisty-turny singletrack…yet this evening,  i found myself entranced by a deluge of natural and social  elements;   the angle of setting sunlight, the gregarious c(om)mradarie of the big turnout of mountain bikers, the texture of the rain-hinted air…yum!   i felt zero pressure and knew this would be my weakest event given the fact that i am still nursing a sprained left thumb from skiing last winter and have not spent much time at all on my mountain bike.  i finished 7th out of 13 in what would, come Sunday,  be my throw-away event.

Thursday:  Event #3 of 4:   Road Bike Time Trial
though i had a(nother) long new (old) Daddy day…i sensed that i had Go(o)d legs for this 15-mile torture test of will vs. clock.   i used my Cervelo Time Trial Bike which may or may not have been wise…there is enough climbing 400′ on the course to offer a traditional road bike (if modified with aero bars and wheelset) a chance against a specialized TT bike…regardless,  i went out hard focusing on the Tribal Mantra, pedal cadence, and appropriate gearing to meet the course which i pre-rode the day before and oh, yeah..decades before as well!  in the end i averaged nearly 25 mph in wind, solo, and finished second only to the legendary Ivan Unkovskoy…

Saturday:  Event #4 of 4:   Road Race
one of those mornings where during my early morning ritual of yoga, pranayam, and prayer/meditation i had that sense of;  well,  anyone who beats me today is gonna have to dig down sacredly deep…and that makes it okay for me to lose.   see, in Wholistic Fitness® my racing philosophy is, “The Way to win is to make it okay to lose,”  what this does is free the c(om)petitor from outside/peer/sponsorship pressure and just get back to whatever it was that made your Heart Leap with Sacred Joy when you rode your bike, skied on your skis, tumbled on your feet, climbed on your fingertips…so,  relaxed awareness was my mental/emotional state cruising the convenient 500 meters from my casa to the Start Line of the 50-mile Road Race; the final event of the Championships.  since i had the Bulls-Eye on my jersey (Ivan had graduated to the first group since mathematically he was the winner of the 50+ category),  my job was simple yet harsh:  chase down EVERY attack and finish no less than in 3rd place.  oh, the attacks went off…i recall another local cycling icon; Hal McLean doing his best to attack me over and over again to ‘soften my legs’ for his ally;  Jim Barnes…i answered every Hal attack and then some…come the final lap of three,  the peleton knew i was the strongest on the final kicker rollers (it was my years of strength training, plyometrics, and reliance upon SUNRIDER Herbs, ASEA Sacred Water, and MAP Amino Acids that DEFINITELY did the difference in my explosive endurance compared to these conventionally trained, sport-specific cyclists)…so,  as Jim Barnes slithered off the front after i had been pulling the entire peleton for over a mile,  i simply sat up, pulled to the left and gestured my thoughts to the 30+ peleton sucking my rear wheel, “REALLY?!   you are ALL gonna just let this guy ride off to the win?   I don’t need to chase to him…mathetically,  i’ve already beaten him…so,  why not at least HELP ME chase him and go for the win?”    the peleton may as well have been deaf.   so,  not only did i end up pulling the entire peleton for the final 2.5 miles,   when it came down to the last 100 meters and all the other fresher riders who had been hiding behind my wheel started to sprint?   i still beat all but two of them.  so there.  once again;  chalk another one up for those of us who choose to train wholistically instead of specifically.

during the long 13-mile solo ride home,  i had to hammer fast into the omnipresent Animas River Valley headwind to make it to my 5 year-old daughters birthday party where i immediately had to transform into the cartoon character known as “Swiper” and put out way more energy for the kids then i did during the road race…

and that, my Friends Along The Path?

is what’s called,

being a Grown Up…

Eat Your Secret Herbs,
Drink Your Sacred Water,
and Take Your MAP Aminos…
follow your WF Training Programs and BRING THE CHI to whaEVER it is that you are doing…

May my humble efforts once again inspire your own Practice ever Higher…

feeble ilg

3 Responses to “Race Report: ilg finishes 2nd only to the great Unkovskoy at the DWC Championships!!!”

  1. Leferisen John says:

    Cycling-warrior into “swiper”…. love it!!

  2. Kit Johaneson says:

    It is just Ilg walking the path for us and setting another living example.
    Ai Imawa
    Fit Kit

  3. Swiper, no swiping! Great race report!

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