In the last few weeks, summer is coming to a close, the rain hasn't stopped and the student are coming back. In my job, it ebbs and flows from so crazy, I can't breathe and might pull all of my hair out to..... now, I need to focus long term so I don't fall back into crazy mode. In the mean time, I have been trying to play in outdoors when I can and jump into some races.
I have found myself in this cycle where I don't race often, so when I do race, I get so nervous I can hardly bring myself to the start line. I am using some of this fall to jump into more race to decrease nervousness, knowing every single one won't be the best. I even brought myself to register for an off-road triathlon embarking on a death defying (in my eyes) mountain bike course!
A few weekends ago, I geared up for the Steamboat Olympic Triathlon which ended with tears on the side of road.
This was an unfortunate mishap in our sport and our town. But in the end, when you spend your night spray painting tacks black to throw onto asphalt to ruin a local triathlon, who is more unfortunate? Not me.
We finished the day, on a new (to us) hike from up the Upper Falls.
A few days later, I was swimming with Heather at Masters and she mentioned she was putting on the first Xterra all-women's off-road triathlon. My immediate answer, "heck no, I can't mountain bike." Then I thought about it and what an opportunity? I had been contemplating the pressure I put on myself and here, there is no pressure, no expectations (for the most part). I signed up late and spent the week or so leading up scared about what the mountain bike would entail.
I woke up race day with pouring rain, not surprised, since Steamboat has turned into Portland. I started to hope it was cancelled. But the swim went off... and I tried to pull away to give me the most room on the mountain bike.
I transitioned onto the bike. I managed the road to the mountain pretty well. Ha. Then I climbed and climbed... I still saw no one behind me. I finally started descending, thinking to myself, 'Man, I am good." Then they came, the breaths and the 'Can I Pass?' It was at the end of the trail where mud took hold of my wheel, threw me to my ground and made me work until transition. I ripped of my MB shoes and went on the run, picking off the girls in front of me off.
I passed two on the way up and the last girl on the way down mouthing mantras to myself. I was happy, it was fun, rainy and sloppy and always feels good to finish. I am glad it was an all women race since downhill mountain biking and having cyclists trying to get by me made me frantic and discombobulated. I am motivated to get back out my mountain bike and start learning the skills.
Great people and great racing!