Friday, March 16, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

I have been super lazy about blogging. I have a ton of excuses but won't even start. 2012 has started off amazing! Trying to figure out what I wanted to focus on with regards to running or MTBing was hard. However I finally got a grip and have signed up for most the races I want to do.  With Ulmstead 100M looming I have spent most of my time running and very little time on the bike. After Javelina 100M where my lack of overall mileage really showed me who's boss I wanted to get more time on my legs for Ulmstead.  Without the aid and accountability of coach I was left to my own devices. It's been interesting trying to corral my desire to run with all my friends all the time. I have been fairly diligent. There were a couple of weeks where I got out of control but all in all I would say it's been a good challenge. I won't use the word success yet. After Ulmstead I will be able to tell if flying coachless has worked. Since I have the fortunate opportunity to work with 3 great coaches I have tried to combine some of the methodology I learned plus add in what I know I need.

The biggest news I have to share is the amazing race I had a Old Pueblo 24HR MTB.  With my longest session on my MTB being 2 hours I was really concerned about how my body would hold up for 24 hours in the desert. Since I have been logging some really great miles and awesome running workouts I was certain I would have no issue hanging strong for the 24 hours.  But, what about my butt!  Not to mention my hands and feet.  All the contact points with bike have very little endurance.

Even undertrained I was really excited to go back to this race. It's really much easier to go into an event with very low expectations :) In 2011 this was first MTB race I entered. At that time I was still learning how to pedal, which brake was the front and how to unclip without incident. I was incredibly thrilled to just see what kind of MTBer I have become in a years times. On Friday we went out to per-ride the course and from the moment I clipped in I was forever enlightened. I was not the same person who showed up there last year.  Absolutely everything was different! My body, my outlook, my mental state, my ability and almost every single ounce of me was different, better and certainly more confident. With a smile as wide as I my face would allow I rode with ease of effort and not one ounce of fear. I blew my own mind! At this point in life to be able to experience such a huge shift is a gift. Within just one short year, wow.

There wasn't one piece of that course that scared me. There wasn't one section I felt anxious about and for most of the race I had to remind myself to not get cocky or go too fast.  A far cry from the race report form last year.  I rode 34 more miles in 2 hours less this year.  On top of it I felt good the whole time.  My back was hurting some and I felt my contact points but I am still in shock at how my body responded.  Better yet the strength and power I had on the bike was night and day. I did take one good fall but my bike took the brunt of it. I took out a paddle cactus and over 20 thorns got my front tire.  Thanks to STANS I just spun it and bounced it a couple of time and it re-sealed perfectly.  I did make the mistake of trying to pull a few thorns out.  After watching the bubbling and hearing air quickly leave my front tire I just spun it again and it sealed.  My hand got a couple of thorns but I pulled them out with my teeth and was off.  With only a small bruise on my knee and an extra boost of adrenaline I was reminded that night riding is not yet my strong suit.

Though I had great race Bill did not.  He and Darin were off to a blazing start but Bill fell on his second lap and dislocated his shoulder. I had no idea he was at the hospital being put under so they could re-set the shoulder.  On my 8th lap I was getting very suspicious since I hadn't seen them.  After they arrived back and Bill was sleeping all drugged up Darin came out and gave me the news then rode with me.  We came home and Bill had shoulder surgery.  He is doing really well and is already making huge progress with his PT.

Now that Old Pueblo 24 HR MTB was done it was 6 weeks of Peak training for Ulmstead 100M.


  1. Poor Bill, oh my God! Surgery too! Wish him well for me. But you, honey, busted so many laps out there, crazy!!! Now you are going to go and enjoy Umstead. I read so many comparing reports of old course and new one and really interested to know what you think. It's a very nice set up, hope the weather cooperates. Have a great run! Sub-19, girl!

  2. Steven Tursi has left a new comment on your post "What a difference a year makes!":

    Hi R, you probably don't know me but I've been reading your blog ever since you won GTR100 in 2008. I was running the 50 that year. I've really enjoyed reading about your various adventures these past 3.5 years. Congrats on all you've accomplished.

    Anyway, I'm writing because I didn't know until just now that you're running Umstead! I'll be excited to see you racing again. Like at GTR, you'll be lapping me. Probably twice, maybe 3 times. When that happens, I'll be sure to say hi. You'll know me as the guy who looks like he has no business running a 100. (:

    1. Steve, you've come a long way since that GTR'08, baby!

  3. Welcome back girl! Congrats on a strong finish with MTB race. Looks like training has been good to you, and will be peaking just in time. It's been warmer then usual with humidity on the east coast - Get some sauna (heat training) time in. This will be your strongest race yet. Go kick some Rooster.
    Hope Bill is recovering well so he can get back out on trails.

  4. Hi Olga! Thanks for the kind words, it means a lot - I really hope to see you and Larry soon!