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Monday, December 1, 2014

Restorative Yoga - Calm Energy

For the first time last night I went to a restorative yoga class at RallySport health and fitness club here in Boulder. This is also where I do all of my strength and weight training. The trainers that work there are amazing, so I was confidant showing up to a yoga class as a beginner.

I was not sure what to expect, as this was my first time in this class. Right off the bat I want to say that the teacher, Pamela, was amazing. She knew how to instruct us on the positions in the best way possible. Her tone of voice was very gentle. The speed that she talked was nice and slow. The yoga and stretching terms that she used were very simple, so somebody who was not a yoga pro could still follow along. She was very relaxed overall which really helped the class relax.

I really liked how she emphasized that comfort and relaxation were more important than trying to do a pose, rather than overextend oneself. This made sense to me when I would glance over at Pamela, as she was correctly doing the poses, with much more flexibility and yoganess than myself. (Yes I did just make up the word yoganess, or is that a word already?) She clearly made the point that we should do what we think feels good for our bodies, even if it was not following her instructions exactly.

Some of the time she encouraged us to close our eyes as she talked us through the poses. She said this would help us tune into our bodies’ senses better, which it did. She was also very observative of the class overall; so if she saw somebody or a group of people struggling, she would suggest alternative poses that may benefit them, and the rest of the class at the same time.

There were lots of different types, shapes, and sizes of people in the class. This was a good thing in my opinion. When I would look around the class I noticed that everybody was following the instructor's directions the best way each person could. This made me feel comfortable on how I was performing the poses, which helped me relax too.

The instructor made sure each individual would check in with all of their bodies’ feelings over the course of the class. She encouraged us to feel out everything and try to relax as much as possible in the process.

The class was 90 minutes long. Before the class I thought that this time interval would be too long, however that was not the case. The first time that I felt I needed to check in with the time was when there were only 15 minutes left. By this point the lights were very dim and I can confidently say that most of us in the class were so relaxed and calm we were almost falling asleep. This was a great feeling.

I felt as though somebody had just flipped a switch and turned me on to “relax mode” which I really enjoyed. The instructor had encouraged the class to try to continue through the rest of our evening with this mindset and our feelings that we were experiencing during the class.

After the class was over it was interesting to observe and do a little people watching as everybody put away their blankets, props, and yoga mats. Nobody was in a rush to do anything. There was a short line to put the props away as they were stored in an awkward place; and nobody was jockeying for position or trying to get there first. This was cool to see and feel, knowing that most other people in the class were ‘on my level’ so to speak.

Most of all I enjoyed the relaxation aspect of this class, while knowing that I was helping my mind, body, and spirit all at the same time. The calm energy in the room was awesome and something that I haven’t experienced in a long time. It may sound cheesy to some of you, but then again you probably haven’t experienced this amazing feeling, so I feel sorry for you. I can now see how yoga is amazingly helpful for anybody with stress, anxiety, other negative feelings, and for athletes trying to gain an edge. I would recommend a yoga class to anybody who is willing to give it an honest try, and looking to be more relaxed overall. I don’t think it could hurt.

Remember to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @coltpeterson45 for more frequent updates and pictures.

Thanks for reading my thoughts on my first restorative yoga class.

Namaste.

-Colt Peterson




Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Collegaite Track Nationals

Track Nationals…and whats going on in my head…

Wow I learned a lot this trip; as far as bike racing, getting along with collegiate teammates, being independent, what its like to get another silver medal in the team pursuit against Marian on their home track, and most unfortunately of all, what crashing at 35+ mph and getting a concussion is like.

Yes, you read correctly. In the scratch race, which was the very last race of nationals, was when another rider took me out. Before this, the race was going according to plan and staying together for the most part. I was hoping for a field sprint, because this year I thought that I could win it if it came down to that. With one lap to go I was behind Zach Noonan about 5 or 6 positions back from the front and we were engaging in a massive slingshot on the racers who were in front of us. As we hit the back straight of the track with a half lap to go, I was just above the red line, and starting to fly by the guys who were on the black line.

Right as I entered the last turn, a guy, who happens to be a professional this year, thought that there was a gap he could squeeze into between Noonan’s rear wheel and my front wheel as we were passing him, as a much faster speed. Clearly there was no room, and I was protecting my front wheel at all costs at the time, because I thought I knew his intentions, but that wasn’t good enough to keep it upright. He bumped me a little and somehow my handlebars were taken out from underneath me. It all happened so fast.

At one second I was going considerably faster than the guys on the black line in front of me, then the next second I was on the ground with the other rider. I don’t remember much after that. I do remember a different racer coming up to me after the race telling me that he was right behind the crash, and he was 100% sure that it was the other guys fault, which is what he said he saw from his point of view. I told him that he should go tell the other racer who crashed that, thought I doubt he did. To say the least, I was very surprised that this rider had made this maneuver at the very end of a scratch race, while going mock speed.

But hey that’s bike racing, or I mean collegiate bike racing, right? You never know whats going to happen.

This was the very last way that I wanted to end my season and Collegiate Track Nationals, all the way out in Indianapolis. I had never had a bad concussion until this one, and let me tell you, it sucks. For the first week I wasn’t supposed to do anything that involved using my brain. Trying to email my teachers the day of the accident to let them know what happened was almost impossible. As time has slowly lingered on, I have been able to get back into the routine of school and trying to get up to speed again. Looking back the accident could have been a lot worse.

This experience has taught me a lot, especially how fragile and important the brain is.

As I was under the medical tent getting cleaned up screaming like a little girl, I remember somebody saying something like “yea these racers know what could happen in a bike race, and if they aren’t okay with that, they shouldn’t get on the line.” When I first heard this I was in a lot of pain, however looking back at this statement one as to realize that it is one hundred percent true. If a racer can’t accept the possible consequences of something going wrong in a race, then he or she should not line up. It really is as simple as that.

Thanks for the quick read, drop me a line on what you think, and what could be better with these posts, talk soon!

-Colt Peterson

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bannock Street Criterium in Denver

Wow, it has been a while. I guess this is the first time I've really had the urge to write on my blog. It's mostly about bike racing, which is awesome because what I felt on the bike today during the race was actually pretty cool in my opinion. This was one of my better races of the season, so far this year.

Yesterday I raced the Bannock Street Criterium in Denver. I woke up early to eat breakfast, went for a easy spin ride, then a good nap. Before leaving for the race, I ate again (yeah I know, I'm going to get fat). Everything was going according to plan until me and a couple of friends were warming up on the bike path at the race and a bee bounced off of my shoulder and then stung my leg. I know first world problems right? When the biggest of your worries before a bike race is getting stung by a bee, I have never had a bad reaction to bee stings so I wasn't too worried, hahaha. "OUCH" I yelled out like a little girl while riding. I pulled over and got the stinger out and decided there was nothing I could do, so I kept warming up before the race and tried to not irritate it.

It was hot at the race course, so I opted to start towards the back and stay cool in the shade and not bake in the sun like most of the other racers were, although a good start position can be crucial, I know. I didn't think this was going to be a risk so I didn't sweat it. Maybe it was all of the adrenalin from the bee sting?

Anyways within the first couple of laps I managed to get to the front and tried to hold my position there throughout the race, as well as asserting myself into break away moves that could be potentially dangerous. I had a team mate in the race as we switched off on a lot of break away attempts. Last year a break went very early on and that was the race. Not this year, it all came down to a field sprint.

With 5 laps to go I found my team mate Andrew's wheel and had let him know that I was behind him. From there I tried to talk Andrew through what I thought would be the most ideal lead-out for the situation we were in together. With a couple laps to go things got dicey and I heard somebody say; "take it down a notch", and I don't know who said it or who they were talking to but in my mind I thought *Take it down a notch? There's a couple laps to go...if anything I'm trying to take it up a notch and win a bike race here* Who ever said this could have been referring to a previous aggressive move, but I didn't get yelled at by anybody I made contact or bumped shoulders with, so no harm no foul in my opinion. Anyways I didn't have time to worry about any of that, it was now 1 to go and things were looking great for me and my lead out man, which I was so grateful to have for a change! Others racers seemed to respect the lead-out that my teammate was executing oh so greatly, so I think that was important as well.

My team mate just started to lead me out on the uphill with about 1000m to go before the right hand turn at 750 meters to go...then I saw Kit Recca attack on the inside before we hit the last turn. I had to jump off of my team mates wheel when things got crazy to re-adjust my line coming into the last corner and to make up some ground on Kit. We went around the corner with about 700 meters to go and I thought it was time to go as I was coming out of the turn, not hesitating or waiting for anybody else to start the sprint, I opened it up, as I thought it was right at the time. It was looking great until about 5 meters to go when a wheel from George Simpson popped up on my right side and barely nipped me at the line by a half wheel. I couldn't hold him off at the very end, DANG!!! 2nd place for me, but I left it all on the line and wasn't complaining with the result.

After the race George had told me "yeah you started to pull away and gap me at first and then I caught you" says the winner of the Colorado Collegiate Conference Champion. I'm thinking he got some sling shot action from my draft and that was enough to edge me out right at the line, but I could be wrong. Or it could have been the brute strength that comes along with being a good time trial rider as well.

There were things that I think I could have done better for next time, but thats part of learning to race and how I'll get better. Me and my team mate walked away with some serious cash each, so we weren't complaining; plus we both couldn't stop smiling because we were both happy with how it turned out and it looked like we both had fun. It was good to feel this on the bike even though I didn't get the win. At the end of the day I gave it all I could with the situation I was given, walked away with a result, some cash, and most of importantly had real fun, which was great to feel on the bike.


Photo Credit: Dejan Smaic


Ok, thats all I have to report for now, thanks for reading, talk soon.

I like to get feedback on my blog posts, so feel free to drop a line on what you think...

-Colt Peterson






Saturday, January 4, 2014

WINTER.

Winter.

On a serious note the weather has been amazing here in Boulder, for it being winter. Most days the sun is out and the temperatures have allowed me to ride outside. However on the other hand, it snowed all today. It doesn’t really matter to me right now because I’m stuck in bed with the flu and I have been sleeping most of the day with a cold towel on my head.

I decided to stay in Boulder, Colorado and train over most of Winter Break. So far I have been able to put in a couple big weeks of training; even throughout the holidays, which is nice. I have been exploring small new roads here in Colorado. I have really been enjoying working out in the gym at RallySport, here in Boulder. So far, I have been enjoying winter break.

I went to my new home of Washington state for a few days over Christmas. I got in a few good mountain bike rides with some cool friends. It is always fun to visit new trails out of state. It’s another way that shows how different cycling is from place to place in the United States. I had a blast to say the least. It was great to see my family and friends in Washington, which I always enjoy.

For new years eve I just hung out with a few friends here in Boulder and things didn’t get too crazy. I still trained a few hours on the 1st so it couldn’t of been that bad…right?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @coltpeterson45 to follow what is going on with me more closely.

Anyways, that’s all I have to report for this time. Thanks for reading and talk to you all soon!

-Colt Peterson


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

SUMMER.


What did I do over summer? That is the question that some of my readers might be wondering. The short answer to that question is that I did a lot, but of course I’m going to fill you in on some of the details.

I spent most of the summer in Boulder, Colorado. For those of you who don’t know, I go to school at University of Colorado, which is in the city of Boulder. I had lots of fun being in Boulder for many different reasons. During the summer, the weather is nice and cool in the early morning, then it gets extremely hot in the afternoon, and then usually it cools down in the evening with some refreshing thunderstorms and light rain. When it didn’t rain or thunderstorm and was still super hot in the evening, I usually cooled off in the creek after the day’s training. It feels so nice to be in the creek and it also helps with recovering from a hard workout, so it’s a win - win.

I spent quality time hanging out with a lot of my school friends, which was also nice and relaxing. Last but not least by any means, I spent lots of time training and learning about being a top professional cyclist in the United States. Its amazing how different things are when an athlete has the opportunity to focus solely on being an athlete and not worry about anything else in life. However there is a fine balance of focusing on being an athlete 100% and not getting burnt out on being an athlete, which I will talk about in another blog post.

When I wasn’t in Boulder I was on the road going to bike races with Team Rio Grande. The biggest and toughest race of the summer that I went to was the Cascade Cycling Classic. It took place in Bend, Oregon. For those of you who have been to Bend, you know how amazing it is there and how lucky racers are to have an amazing race be there. This race has been tough for me mentally and physically over the past couple of years. I did better than the previous year, but still did not preform as well as I would have liked. This race helped me realize a few things that I was doing wrong and a few things that I am already working on to do better for next season. I’m going to dominate you next year Cascade!

After Cascade I visited family in a couple different places and took a few days off from riding my bike. I saw family in Washington State and played on the lake with a few of the water toys our family has. It was fun to get in some wakeboarding, inner tubing, bridge jumping, paddle boarding, jet-ski riding and sea-doo riding all with my family. I have lots of relatives there because that’s where my dad grew up. The last time that I saw my family there was a few years ago so it was nice to see them and see how much has changed. I cant believe how grown up my younger cousins are. I remember when they were little babies, now they were schooling me on how to play Xbox 360. I didn’t think it would happen that fast but it sure did.

My favorite part of the trip wasn’t all of the exciting things we did on the lake, but spending time with my family. It was a great trip and fit right into my bike-racing schedule because it was after the National Championships in Wisconsin and Cascade Cycling Classic, in Oregon. Another reason this trip fit into my schedule was because after Cascade I was already extremely close to Washington State. This was an extremely fun trip and it was great to see my family again.

This summer one of the things that I could of done better was setting a schedule and having more consistency in my training and life all together. Over the summer I didn’t really have any set schedule to follow on a daily basis. Some days I was super motivated and out the door to train early in the morning. Other days I lollygagged around and waited until the late afternoon to go ride because I didn’t have many people to set up a concrete schedule with. On the less critical or easy days of training I this it’s okay once in a while to be less structured. However this is one of the things that I really like about school and how it helps me stay on track.

School makes my training schedule much better and really sets up the consistency for me. I set up my classes so I always have plenty of time to train each day. When I’m in school, I have the time to train and I’m either going to do it because I have the time already set, or I’m not going to do it because I will be busy with class. I literally tell myself “Colt you can not lollygag around till two in the afternoon because you have class, so get your ass out of bed and go train.” Having this schedule in place helps me stay consistent. During the summer I should of set up multiple different training partners and created more of a schedule and more consistency. This is just one of the minor things that I could of done better this summer that I thought I would share with my followers. At the same time don’t get me wrong, I still got out and trained everyday. I was not lazy by any means, its just that this is one thing that would have made my training much better over the summer, which I can improve on for next year.

Thanks for reading, and look for another blog post soon about how my Junior year at Colorado University is going and what I do in my free time while in school.

-Colt Peterson


Monday, May 27, 2013

Beginning of Summer...

BOOM! Summer is here and I couldn’t be happier. I haven’t written on my blog in a while because I was so busy with school, traveling and racing with the team I just had other important priorities that came first. But here is an update on a few things…

REDLANDS:
I had written a paragraph about each day of racing, but they were so boring I couldn’t torture my readers with it. So I am just going to talk about a couple things. This race was hard for me physically because I lacked serious race fitness compared to the rest of the field. The Colorado season starts in March and it was still snowing on and off until mid April, so the weather here really prohibited how much training and racing I could get in on the bike. I was skate skiing about a week before we left for Redlands, hahahaaaa… not many racers can say hey were skiing for cross training that close to a big race. I had done one crit before showing up to the start line of Redlands, which is in the beginning of April. Most of the other teams had been racing their bikes in great weather starting on January 1st.

These may sound like excuses to somebody who doesn’t know much about cycling, but this is real, okay people! Race fitness isn’t just some mystery or made up thing, is it REAL! You can train as hard and long as you want, but if you lack race fitness compared to the rest of the field, then you’re still probably going to be struggling. This is the lesson that I learned over the course of this trip. At the end of the stage race, I had done better than the year before, and learned a lot about how I’m going to do better in the future. These things are a huge positive and I’m happy with how the trip went.

WEATHER:
I am really excited that the weather here in Colorado is starting to cooperate with a cyclist’s lifestyle. It has been in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s and sunny as ever! It was just snowing in April, however this is not irregular for being in Boulder or Colorado, but it definitely wasn’t this cold and snowy in April last year. The good side of this is hopefully now that Boulder has all of this moisture from the snow, there won’t be any fires in the summer. Also we didn’t really have a spring; it went straight from winter, to summer. I am excited to soak up some Boulder sunrays while spending most of the summer here.

SCHOOL:
I was bummed to miss out on doing Tour of Gila in New Mexico with Team Rio Grande, but I had to focus on finishing strong in school as finals were the same week as the race. I did really well on my finals and classes this year. I’m proud of this due to the fact of how much school I missed while being gone to race. I am going to be a junior in College next year, holy crap! I still don’t even have full facial hair, what is going on? Hahaaaa. This year absolutely flew by. I remember starting the year like it was yesterday thinking “Oh look at all these young freshman, they think they have it all figured out because they made it to college”. I’m sure I’ll think the same thing starting my Junior year in the fall. More than anything I am excited that I can focus on being a bike racer while not having to worry about anything else. Yes I know I am a lucky kid! I get to spend my summer in Boulder, traveling and racing with my team all over the US, not going to school, not working, while focusing on becoming a better cyclist and having fun.


Oh and before I forget, I finally caved and got an Instagram, I am having fun posting silly pictures, you might enjoy it, I know I do...you can follow me at: @coltpeterson45

Stay tuned; look for another new blog post soon, and thanks for reading!

-Colt Peterson
Instagram: coltpeterson45
Twitter: coltpeterson45






Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Team Rio Grande Launch Party Weekend


At the beginning of the month the team got together with Pat McGaughran for a delicious dinner. For those of you who don’t know, Pat owns all of the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurants, and is one of the main reasons why the team exists this year. It was pretty unique to sit down and get to know him as a person. We made reservations for dinner way in advanced, but when we got there we still had to wait a few minutes. We all waited in line just like everybody else. Pat didn't want any special treatment from his workers just because he owned the place. This was cool to see.

It was fun asking him questions and hearing stories that related to the restaurant that not many people know of. For example I asked him where the “tres, no mas” line came from. This refers to the limit of margaritas one is allowed to consume in one night which is “three, no more” translated into English. The short story of him explaining how this line was created was when they realized that half their customers were drunk from ordering so many margaritas in one night, they knew something had to change. He told us stories about how the restaurant started, what got him into cycling, and what inspired him to sponsor a cycling team for another year. It was cool to feel that Pat wanted to get to know each of us personally and as a team. This is preferable over the attitude of; oh I’m just sponsoring this team, I don’t have to put in any effort, its whatever. I think it is safe to say that Pat is a great guy and as a team we are very lucky to have him as a sponsor. I believe that the character of individuals like this is a huge reason for having success in business, life, and in developing professional cyclists.

The following night was the official Team Rio Grande launch party, once again at the Rio Grande. None of the riders were complaining, we had amazing Mexican food with plenty of variety two nights in a row! This launch party was a much different environment from what I have experienced before, it was a very professional atmosphere. The riders on the team looked very professional in all of our matching Team Rio Grande shirts.

Dave Towle was on the microphone entertaining the guests, talking about the team and sponsors, interviewing the riders as the night went on, and eventually passed off the microphone to the sponsors to say something about the team.

Personally I was nervous about being interviewed in front of our sponsors, team mates, manager and other guests at the launch party. However I talked with Dave before I was put on the spot, and got a feeling of what it was going to be like. I straight up asked him “whats this interview going to be like in front of everybody?” and he replied “nothing bad, just like we were talking now."

Dave Towle called each one of us up infront of everybody and asked us a few questions for our interviews like what it was like moving from pancake flat riding in Southern California at sea level to the high altitude mountains in Boulder, what each of us were hoping to accomplish as the season went on, what races we were looking forward to the most, what we thought of the doping scandals going on, how the older riders could help the younger ones, and so on...



Aaron talks about how he is focusing on the positive he sees in cycling with all of the drama going on lately, all while not worrying about what others are doing as far as doping.


DT: So Colt, what was it like moving from pancake flat riding in Southern California to the high altitude mountains of Boulder?
Colt: It was a nice change, the altitude was tough at first, and I'm definitely still adapting to the long climbs here.


Dr. Pruitt talks about the joy he gets from helping aspiring cyclists turn into professionals through his support with Boulder Center for Sports Medicine.


Kennett tried to sarcastically say that he was drawn to the team because of the great smell of the Rio Grande Restaurant as he was walking by, then shortly found out there was a team starting up again.


Scott Tietzel talks about sharing his vast number of experiences on the bike and how he can help others by sharing those experiences and lessons.


Nick talked about how "Colorado doesn't have any real mountains" which gave the audience a little giggle. Don't worry, we still tease Nick for saying this.


Team manager Trevor Connor talks about his fitness increasing as the rear goes on and juggling being a rider and team manager all at the same time!


Overlooking the party.


Kim and Jakes Cakes, thanks for the cake!


Trevor presents Dr. Pruitt with a token of our appreciation for everything he has done so far.


Ground level shot of the party.


BCSM was kind enough to raffle away a bike fit!


Kennett and Jake!
When jake was interviewed (no picture found) he expressed that he was happy to teach young guys, like me, the difference between right and wrong, from having lots of experience at a very high level of racing.


A few of the team members lookin' good in the team shirts!

That is all for now ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for reading, stay tuned for another post soon and remember to follow me on twitter (@coltpeterson45) for more daily updates! Thanks again!