I’ve never been a fan of racing into shape but that is exactly what I am doing this fall after my normal summer hiatus from training – and I’m having the time of my life doing it too!! Which is kinda surprising me and making me giggle. I like to giggle ;-)
My tag line for 11 years now (Wesley is 11) has been mom, coach, racer – not always in that order. Summertime mom and coach have had top billing and racer takes a back seat. With my athletes in their peak races I prefer to spend June and July focusing on their peaks and successes. Summer is kids out of school time and I prefer playing with them rather than spending my time out training. The final nail in the summer fitness here in St George is the fact it is too darn hot to pedal hard in July and August, effectively shelving quality training right there. I really enjoy my coach/mom mode in the summer except that I land in late August pretty much out of race shape when the really cool fall races are scheduled.
This year a new race series, The Utah State Championship series was established in Utah. It was a 4 race series and I missed the first 3 races while I was in mom/coach mode. I wanted to show and support at least one of their races as I think it is a really great new series. The final race was on August 20th. Yep I was not in race shape but August 20th is my birthday and I decided for my birthday I wanted to race, so I did :-) Not only was I out of race shape I had never ridden the course or the trails before – totally unprepared :-) No pressure, just a birthday race. A small but fast pro women field had me off the back, sucking wind immediately – gosh these ladies are fast!!! On lap 2 I was in last place!! Last place…and I was still giggling and having a good time :-) I was also pedaling as hard as I could! I managed to pull back one place by the end and finish not quite last.
I was psyched to support the last race of the USCS series. I experienced clock work registration, a fun course so well marked I was able to ride it at race speed sight unseen.
I was surprised how much fun I had racing. I had missed racing. I hadn’t raced since April. It felt good to ride fast even though my fast was not as fast as most everybody else’s. I looked at the calendar and next weekend was Mt Ogden 100k -ooooohhh. Another course I had not ridden and another race I would like to experience. I hooked up a ride with Bill and a place to stay with Sarah, entered and it was a go!!
It was hot and dusty
My legs were a little happier at race pace at Mt Ogden 100k and race pace was a little slower being a longer race. I don’t have race speed but I still have my diesel engine. I finished in 6:55, 3rd place,clocking 62 miles, 9100ft of elev gain and 400 TSS. Climby!! Also descendy!! ALL of the descending was on singletrack and there were some fun trails out there. Super awesome fun course. I deffo will go back and do that race again.
Great organization, really fun course and good vibes. The aid station volunteers were full of energy rushing to fill my camelback and getting everything I needed. Other stations I didn’t stop at I was cheered on or had shirtless cute guys running alongside me pouring icy water on my back. That made me giggle :-) Bill won his category in the 100k (congrats Bill!) so success for us!
…and then last week unfortunately one of my athletes pulled out of Park City Point to Point which was disappointing for Coach Lynda BUT not quite so disappointing for racer Lynda cause I got her slot (thanks MB ;-) !! There are 17 Pro women registered for Park City Point to Point!! I squeaked in on the last day to transfer. It is the biggest pro women field I have ever seen at an endurance race and it is also deep. I’m very excited to toe the line with these ladies continuing my surprise unplanned race into shape binge.
If you know me, you know I am (an over?) planner and ending up on a spontaneous race binge of this size is, well….making me giggle. The unplanned and unpreparedness of it all seems to have released any sort of performance expectations I had and allowed me just to relax and experience all the things I really enjoy about racing…and I do really like racing my mountain bike, tee hee hee :-)