Thursday, July 26, 2018

Set Aside the Ego or Go For Broke?

It's pretty obvious at this point that I have a very addictive personality. Pair that with a big ego, an absolute love of riding bikes all day every day, and the ability to sustain an absurd amount of suffering and you end up with my current dilemma... do I go for broke and do an 100 mile mtb race every weekend for 6 weeks in a row OR do I take a knee, be smart and bow out one weekend to prevent a possible absolute implosion of my body?

Kicked off the summer of suffering with the F50. 
The plan for this summer was never to do 6 100 milers in 6 weeks. Honestly, after Tatanka, the first 100 miler of the summer which took place 3 days after the Firecracker 50, I felt defeated and dreaded the number of ultra races on tap for the summer. But I pushed through Breck 100, still feeling tired, and flew to Bend anxious about recovery and stress of travel etc still unsure of the plan to race so much in such a short period of time. But now, 3 races in, this is starting to feel normal! And this is where my problem arises. Feeling good isn't motivation to take a knee and rest for a weekend. Feeling good makes me want to charge on, to do every 100 mile race possible, to challenge myself in this insane way to see what I am actually capable of!
Tatanka, before the dying started. 

The plan all along was to do a few 100 mile mountain bike races, take a weekend off and then race Leadville. It seemed legit back in May, when I was still in school, working and training and looking forward to a summer of travel, living in the van and racing. The original plan consisted of 3 ultra endurance races before Leadville, with a weekend off to reset before attempting to defend my Leadville title. Somehow that morphed into 4 100 milers before Leadville, and now there is a possibility of racing 5, which would make Leadville the 6th 100 mile mtb race in 6 weeks. At the beginning of the summer, after Tatanka and Breck, I was acutely aware of the time needed to recover from these efforts. I spent the entire week after Tatanka resting, sitting on the couch, squeezing my legs in the Elevated Legs, drinking gallons of water, letting my body rebuild. But the more races I do, the more I've lost track of how much of an impact ultra endurance races have on the body, and I need to ACTIVELY remember that it is NOT NORMAL to do so many of these races back to back to back. And this is where the addictive personality/ego are playing against me. Sitting on the porch on a Thursday morning, Telluride100 in 2 days, I am SO SO tempted to drive down there, race Telluride, and then knock out Pierre's Hole 100 in Wyoming the following weekend, leaving no weekends off before the big grand finale. How cool of an accomplishment would it be to win 6 100 milers in 6 weeks?
Breck, just long enough after that I was alive again :)

BUT, as hard as it is to miss a race, I am trying to make good decisions, to listen to logic and not the ego, SO I'm going to sit this one out. As much as I love racing my bike, as much as I love the scenery and the town of Telluride, I'm trying to remember that the cumulative fatigue and stress of the last 4 weeks may not FEEL that bad today, but it's there and it's a dangerous thing to ignore/push through.  It's insanely hard to pump the brakes and stay 'home' but I'm choosing to listen to everyone around me telling me rest is best.
High Cascades, somewhere near mile 60, loving life. 
The cool thing is that I have re-arranged a few things and now am going to go knock out Pierre's Hole on August 4th, a rad NUE race in a place I've never been. I was SUPPOSED to race Telluride this weekend and skip Pierre's Hole, but the whole point of this summer was to race in places I've never been, meet new people, tackle the NUE series for the first time and all that good stuff. I love Telluride, but I'm choosing to do something new, and coach wont let me do both. So sorry T, I'll miss that epic climb up Black Bear Pass. I'll miss the epic views and equally epic suffering on the last ascent, but trying to make good decisions :) Good luck everyone racing Telluride!!! Hope you look up and enjoy the scenery every time the pain seems unmanageable, it's the best distraction ever!


  1. I would stay with the original plan of weekend off before Leadville.Is it worth the gamble?��🤔

  2. Nice sharing. I like everything this post. I also want to a little bit more about the Nelson Ledges