This year I’m going to focus all of my efforts on long distance mountain bike racing and I’m excited to tell you about what I have planned. First though, I wanted to do a recap on what brought me to embarking on these bold adventures.
About four years ago I decided I’d really like to try to run. In October 2014, I got on a treadmill and tried to run a mile. I couldn’t, or I didn’t. Knowing what I know now, I could of run a mile, I just didn’t know that running is hard and that’s okay. Anyway I kept at it and in February 2015 I ran my first ever race, the Lake Effect half marathon. As a indication of things to follow, I jumped right into a distance beyond my comfort zone but ran it in 2 hours 20 minutes and it race started what I intend to be a lifetime of pushing myself to be fitter, tougher and stronger. I spent most of that year running, and completed my first marathon that year in just over 4 hours.
Mountain biking last week on one of our warmer days
That summer I was dating someone who was training for a full Ironman and his training, and triathlon in general was really peaking my interest. In another “fuck it, it’ll be fine” moment I signed up for Irongirl (a local short distance triathlon), then a half iron distance then a full Ironman. Less than a year after my first triathlon and about 18 months after my first ever race I did Ironman Lake Placid 2016. I’m updating you on this because you’ll see a pattern emerging here that leads nicely into my, once again, over ambitious goals for 2019.
So I did a few marathons, I did a few Ironmans, now my sights are firmly set on two of the toughest long distance mountain bike races in the country. This year I intend to complete Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race and Marji Gesick 100 mile mountain bike race. I’m going to add that at this point, I’ve only ever mountain biked a handful of times. I have bought a mountain bike that I’m in love with and I’m training daily on really improving my fitness and ability to generate power on the bike. It’s currently the middle of winter in upstate New York so most of my training is happening indoors with cold but fun weekend rides outside.
This might be more fun than triathlon!
For Marji Gesick (the race that no woman has ever finished under cut off time of 12 hours), I’m in. They are trying hard to get more women into mountain biking so have kindly opened the race to any woman who wants to race it (for men, the waiting list is long!). For Leadville, the process to get in is difficult and I don’t yet have a spot. I’m entered into the lottery with Adam, Kristen and Toby, the people I raced Ironcross with (see last blog post) and I’ll find out tomorrow if we got a lottery spot. If not I’ll try and qualify!
Anyone interested in reading more about these races can look at their websites.