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Showing posts from July, 2017

Summer Plotting and True North

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Summer is a hard time of year when the focus is on one big event. Summer is the time for having fun, traveling and expoloring - not buckling down and focusing. Everyone else is racing all over the country or going on exciting trips for new singletrack. The Facebook and instagram highlight reel from friends is filled with awesome vistas and sweet trails, as well as the occasional podium shot. It's easy to get distracted by everyone one else's adventures and worried that no matter how much you are doing it's not enough. There's always the fear of missing out with the coverage of other races and other riders. It's something I've dealt with for the last few years and I'm very familiar with the feeling.
After Growler, I turned my focus to August - to the one kind of racing I have never done. Stage racing. The Breck Epic in fact - six days of big, high country singletrack around Breckenridge. With stages between 20 and 40 miles, it's going to be a long week …

Dawn Patrol

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Guess what! It's summer and that means it's hot. Really hot. Okay, not Arizona hot and we don't have the humidity of the east coast or south. But still, hot is relative and when it's 90 before noon, you know it's going to be a long day. How to manage getting workouts and long rides done with that kind of heat? My personal favorite is dawn patrol - getting up early and getting out there before the sunrise, in the cool temperatures of the morning. Granted, that's something all runners know about and usually do - especially the people running before running of to work. It's easy with running though - not much more then an hour gets you a solid workout and a few good miles. I think nothing of getting my run started before the sun after doing it for years. Before school, then before work. I always ran in the morning. Got it done, and then had the rest of the day for the rest of the things I needed to do without stressing about when I was going to run.

Cycling se…

Return to Salida

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The last attempt at Salida didn't turn out well. This trip? Much better - despite several last minute changes in plans and ride locations We made plans to meet Todd and Amber Saturday night then find a place to camp. That meant Nick and I had time to do our own ride Saturday morning. Of course, we picked Starvation Creek... The climb up Poncha Creek Road doesn't seem too bad when I don't have 90 miles under my tires! We made good time up the climb, almost creating the summit before the rain came. The one ride Nick decided to not wear his pack... we got drenched on the road across to the Starvation drop in. Luckily the rain stopped just as we reached the drop in - but we were still wet and cold. I had to change gloves before we started descending! I was super happy I'd worn my thin wool Swiftwick socks - my feet would have been frozen otherwise. Nick didn't have spare gloves and his hands were already getting numb from the cold and wet. So it was a sedate pace down…

Confidence Comes with Taking Chances

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I'll admit - I'm hesitant to go on big rides and monster loops alone. I look at the photos and the Strava rides of other women, wondering how they manage the courage to head up into the mountains solo. For my long rides, I tend to do loops - up down and round, staying close to home and off the "back country" trails.  I've never gone further then Blue Columbine alone while on my bike. I worry about something happening, getting injured or so many other things that can go wrong. It's not that things can't go wrong on my up, down repeat loops - it's just that I'm closer to home and Nick can come and get me if things do happen. But that doesn't mean I don't look at the map - dreaming of the big loops and taking chances alone in the back country.

Thursday was the day to change that. I had my map, I had the Spot, I had my water treatment method (a steripen - which works great when it works) and a backpack with warm clothes and food. Didn't th…

Hindsight

They say hindsight is 20/20 - that when you look back at decisions you struggled with, the answer is perfectly clear what you should have done. That's true - to a point. It's really easy to say "oh, I should have done this instead of that." But that doesn't take into account the changes to how a different path then would have affected the present. Back in April, I wrote about identity and how I'd be willing to give up running distance if it meant I could still ride my bike. I was willing to change my identity as a runner permently if needed as long as I could completely reform myself into a rider. But it didn't take long to realize that even that wouldn't be enough if I wanted to let my eye recover without drugs. One ride off the drugs and I was losing my vision again. So back on the atropine drops - and I've stayed on the drops since then. One drop a day, new sunglasses and I've been able to basically resume all my normal activities.

It'…