Ready. Set. GO!!!!! Not even a minute into the first stage of the 2017 Breck Epic, and my heart rate is bumping. I always love those "neutral rollouts" where I have to work like hell to not get dropped...
The real truth about this race is I'm lucky to be here. I have the Amy D Foundation (www.amydfoundation.org) to thank for this. I would not have been able to be here without the Foundation's help, and it's what will keep me going all week.
As I have mentioned many times over, I am really new to mountain biking. Quickly falling head over heels with the sport, I jumped in and decided a year back to try and make a go at racing. For my time and experience, I have really done well. Today I learned that I have a lot of learning and growing to do and, honestly, this fact makes me really happy.
When you arrive at the start line knowing that you will be competing against women who have been racing professionally ten years longer than you have been riding, it can be a bit intimidating. There are Olympians, National Champions and just plain amazing athletes racing this event with me. It's going to be an amazing week!
Today's route was a grind. Long, steep, loose climbs that called for granny-gear spinning. Personally, I like these kinds of courses - I like to test my climbing limits and see if I can ride them without having to get off the bike. There were also fun, fast descents with bermed turns and rollers that made me giggle all the way down.
I didn't feel good today. Perhaps it is due to the lack of sleep this past week. Or, the sinus infection that I am on antibiotics currently for. And then, maybe I just didn't have what it took to make it happen today. This is a learning process for me. This race will test my limits and teach me more about myself every stage. Experience is something that a rider can't just work hard and quickly acquire. No, it will take time and energy to gain experience, and that is what I am doing this week.
Tomorrow is another day, and I will race with a little more heart and determination. I know what to expect now, and I am already less nervous. I want to push my limits, while hopefully keeping the rubber side down!