I know you are probably wondering about my training regimen. How do I prepare for a 15 mile race at altitude? Well, it starts with me having a beer the night before in the Winterpark Village. The bartender asked what I was up to. I told him I was there for the Epic Singletrack race. With surprise on his face he said, “Wow. Cool.” I couldn’t tell if that was a “Wow. She’s so young and hot and she mountain bikes too?” or a “Wow. She’s older than my mom. She could break something.” Either way, I took it as a compliment. Someone else asked me if I had looked at the course ahead of time or read about it. Nah I said. This is going to be the like the three times I gave birth. No reading about it, no classes. Just show up and hope it all works out.
Somewhere between the start line and 20 feet up the trail I thought, "Why do I do this?” And then maybe around mile three I thought, “That’s it. This is my last race.” That happens sometimes. Negative Nelly shows up. I know you can’t believe that happens to this Pollyanna. But it’s true and rather than give you a bunch of bull crap about how every minute was amazing and beautiful and glorious, I will cut to the chase. It wasn’t. Some parts were really tough. And it wasn’t until about mile five or maybe it was the first creek crossing; I pulled my head out of my ass. Going through the creek with all my might was what Oprah calls my AHA moment.
Hitting the water woke me up. It was like my giddy up, yeeha and hell yeah moment all rolled into one. After that I took the time to look around and see how drop dead gorgeous it was. And I realized that I was cool just for being out there and once again I said to myself, “Just because the other girls are ahead of me it doesn’t mean I’m not good. It means they are better than me. You are lucky to be out here.”
Almost four years ago after the birth of my third child, my body got sick. I couldn’t hardly hold a tooth brush, change a diaper, walk down the stairs without holding onto the railing for dear life and putting on a shirt and bra took longer than I’d like to admit. I couldn’t get down on the floor without looking like I was having a seizure let alone ride my pink mountain bike. The long and the short of it is that whatever the heck it was that invaded my body is still there. It’s been tamped into submission and driven out for the most part but it’s there enough to remind me of how bad it was and how good I have it. And just how lucky I am to go out and give it my all to a race, to a ride, to something I’m never going to be the best at.
Overall it was a great race. It was well organized and well marked and I personally said, “Thank you” to every volunteer at each bend in the trail. In your next race, be sure to save some breath to say thanks to the people who make it all happen. I placed 11th out of 12. My least favorite part was a super painful and long uphill. My favorite part? The kind of downhill some of us dream about; tight, long and fast. I raced Cat 2 for the first time. And I was the only one in baggies. Plus there was free beer. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.
There are more races on the schedule. All you have to do is sign up. What are you waiting for?