It has been a few weeks since the Crested Butte 40 and my last update. We have had the Anderson clan in town since the CB 40 so things have been busy but lots of fun!
I’m not sure what I was expecting at the Crested Butte 40 but I knew I needed to start slow and not get caught up in the sprint off the start line. For the first time in my life, I climbed the first switchbacks in last place but actually had passed a few girls by the time we hit the first descent. I had been worried about the Cat 1 men catching me in the first miles but I managed to stay in front of them until the technical riding and continued with them for the first 9 miles. And that’s when I felt like I’d been racing for 50 miles and could barely make it up the next road climb. As much as I wanted to quit, I suffered on at a ridiculously slow pace until the first aid station at mile 19. After a few jokes and some great support from Ian, Alissa and Juniper I began catching people (men and women) on the long road climb up to Deer Creek. By the time we hit the hike-a-bike, I was feeling decent and put my adventure racing suffering skills to work and began to pick up the pace. The final climb up Mt. Crested Butte was still brutal, but I managed to not let anyone pass me and continued to catch a bunch of people that had blown by me early in the race. As horrible as I felt, it was nice to finish strong and know that I have maintained some endurance. Now I just need to continue to get that high end back with lots of speed work and hard training.
Although I hadn’t expected a lot for the race, I was somewhat disappointed with my finish. I raced against a group of super strong women but I had hoped not to finish forty five minutes behind the leader. It will take time to get back into race shape but I’m not the most patient person in the world. This gives me a good idea of where I stand and how much work is left to be done.
Summer’s finally here both by the calendar date and the weather! I had a busy week of training with lots of intervals running and riding. I’m slowly starting to feel stronger during these sessions even when I pushed both kids in the Chariot last Friday for some running hill repeats. That was a tough session!
I am racing in the Mountain States Cup Crested Butte 40 next weekend so I had to get out for at least one long mountain bike ride beforehand. I set out early Saturday morning and headed over Cottonwood Pass to Gypsum and then up into the Eagle maze of amazing singletrack. At about three and a half hours of riding, I came up on the tail end of a cattle drive and ended up driving about six cattle back to the group. Just a little smelly. Despite being slowed down by the cowboys, I was able to really enjoy four hours and fifty miles of riding.
Sunday was Father’s Day which meant I left early again so Ian could be a father on Father’s Day. Isn’t that what the day is for? Oh well, but it was great of him to let me get out for two plus hours of trail running with Elinor before he enjoyed a long ride. I was amazed how great my legs felt after a hard week of training which gave me more confidence the CTS coaching has been a very good investment.
I’m a little (okay, a lot) nervous for the race this weekend. The CB40 is technical and therefor not a fast forty miler. My ride on Saturday was the longest in ten months (and the longest I have left Axel so far). What if it takes me six hours to finish? Will I be able to make it without stopping to nurse? I raced for five days when Juniper was five months old but hadn’t done a race this long this early in the game.