Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday: Less Freaked Out, More Stoked Out!

Driving into town yesterday. I'm falling...
In some respects a LOT has changed since last week at this time, in other respects things are much the same. Most importantly I have basically made a 180 mentally. Last week when I pre-rode the Leadville course (over the course of 3 days) I was so freaked out. Seeing other people pre-riding made me anxious, thinking about if I would find a camping spot in the increasingly busy town, if I would find a seat in the coffee shop (the best place to get online and check email...), if someone way faster than me was coming to do the race, if I could stay with them on the climbs... all freaked me out. I was running around getting more and more worked up, anxious, nervous and scared. Then my back started hurting, probably because that's where I harbor my stress, and that REALLY freaked me out.

Twin Lakes, near the halfway point of the course has become my favorite place lately. I have parked here and eaten lunch with a view of the lakes and mountains half a dozen times in the last two weeks!

But that weekend away from town, all the rad people in my life sending encouraging messages and being reminded what a great team of people I have working with me made such a HUGE difference. From the awesome body work from CTS coach Dave in Colorado Springs to the personal message on Facebook from Chloe Woodruff (!!!!) I am SO lucky to have so much support and so excited to give it my all on Saturday. The anxiety and freaked-outedness has been (almost all) replaced with confidence in my coach's plan, in the super rad bike I get to race and in the little fact that mountain biking is supposed to be fun, and that's why I'm here. I'm going to give it my all on Saturday, but I'm also going to be smiling from ear to ear if the race is anything like the last two rides I've done here.
The top of the largest climb in the race (called Columbine) is INCREDIBLY beautiful! Sadly I wont be up there long on Sat, but at least the sights on the way up will distract me from the pain :)

Tuesday I got a second shot at climbing Columbine and instead of focusing on the pain and power numbers the whole time, I actually enjoyed it. I concentrated on percieved effort and the top, which was agonizing last week, was actually fun! And then the descent was SCREAMING fast and wicked fun. I know it's fine road, but hey, it's still mountain biking!

And today I took a second shot at the other hardest climb of the race, Powerline. Last week I felt like someone was stabbing my left shoulder with a steam knife when I climbed this trail, I was in agony, and I hated how the climb reduced me to a crawl. It was still hard today, but this time I felt like I was actually riding, my back felt great, and the worst part was over in a mere 8 minutes!!

What a difference a week makes :)

Thanks friends and family and coaches and team and team managers and all the people who got me here and support me. You guys are amazing and I love you and I am SO stoked to race my bike 100 miles one more time this summer!!!

You see these snowy mountains everywhere you go here. I love it, it's like having a majestic mountain watching over me :)  Every time I see this range it's beautiful in a new way, with a brilliant blue sky, wrapped in low clouds, covered in a new dusting of snow (two mornings ago!), I can't get over their beauty.
Now I need a shower... real bad :)


  1. You got this. That smile will take you everywhere! You are an inspiration to so many women, young and old! (older) lol -

  2. Saw your results, Chapeau my friend

  3. Awesome job Larissa, really impressive result!!

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