Bear Brook Classic, Training Update

Commitment:
When you find a way over every hurdle in your path and nothing but success is an option.

On Saturday I raced my first Mountain Bike Race. I signed up for it in July, the first week race registration opened. At that point, I knew that I wanted to work towards the Leadwoman race and the only way to do that was 1) actually race on a mountain bike and 2) figure out a way to finish the 100 mile run race. But first things first. 

I signed up for the Bear Brook Classic and then from July to October I changed my mind a million times about 1) what my goals were (100 mile run, 100 mile run not in Leadville, biking only, etc) 2) thinking about Ironman Lake Placid in 2022 3) not signing up for anything and just training for Ironman Florida and 4) just spending hours on race websites and calendars. 

Three weeks ago I made my decision – 2022 is all about Leadville and if all goes well 2023 will be about Leadwoman. I hired a coach and I’m feeling the pressure to do all my training days. It’s stressing me out a bit but it’s what I need. I think. Maybe. I’m pretty sure of it. Bring on the hemming and hawing. 

Which brings me to the Bear Brook Classic. In July I signed up for the Cat 2 (Sport) Women – 40+. At the time there were two distances: 10 & 20. I’ve been riding Bear Brook for about two years now and by July I had only biked about 10 miles at the most on a mountain bike. When I sign up for races I always think:  I want to sign up for a big race and train for it. Ten miles seemed so short so I signed up for the 20. I ended up biking 12 miles a few weeks later at Bear Brook, which was hard but doable. I knew I could do 20 miles. 

August and September were more triathlon training months. I mountain biked on average once a week. On the morning of October 2, race morning, I wasn’t even sure I was going to race. It was a rest day for Ironman Training and I didn’t train at all to race on a mountain bike – just trail riding. However, after I got my butt in gear, I decided the race would be interval and speed work. 

I’m glad I went because it was a great experience. The long course was 18 miles. 

The Finish Line at Bear Brook

The good: knowing that I couldn’t go out too fast, not trying to kill it on the first mile, getting settled in and just riding and having fun. I knew the course, there were only a few turns onto trails I didn’t know. Knowing the course helped a lot especially on a few downhill sections that I knew would have a quick uphill and I’d have to change gears to get up fast. 

The bad: not lubing my chain before the race, not carrying more food/gels. One more gel would’ve helped my energy level towards the end. 

I didn’t know what to expect going into the race and it just takes one experience to help confidence and know how I need to train: biking fast. 

One thing I’ve been struggling with is changing negative thinking (just do one lap, this is hard) to positive thinking (I can do this!) while racing. It’s so easy to just stop and be done. I particularly struggle with loops – it’s so easy to only do one. My brain wanted me to stop, do one loop and go home. I knew that I just had to go out on the second loop and I would be fine. And I was.  I have to remember that  for Florida.

I still don’t know my finishing place in my division but at the end of the day – who really cares. Okay, I care a little. I’m guessing second from last – those women were fast! 

I do love mountain biking but I also love running, hiking, and swimming. I love trying to do it all even if I suck at it all. I’m in it for the Adventure! 

I’ll be signing up for next year. Now it’s just 4 weeks to Ironman Florida and I’m in total-focus mode. I will remember the quote above: Find a way over every hurdle in my path so only Success is an option. This weekend was a success and I can’t wait to finish Florida. For the next 4 weeks: No missed training days. No excuses. Just do it.

Training Update, Ironman Mountain Biking and more

Training Stats:
– Average Resting Heart Rate: 44
– Training Status: Productive
– Total Vert last week: 6,844
– Total Hours last week: 13:53
– Plan for this week: 13 hours: Swim, Bike, Run, Weights, Hike

I’m excited for this week: I have my mountain bike AND my tri bike back from respective shops so I’m ready to ride. The rain will hopefully not hamper this week and I can ride and run trails. 

Bear Brook was so muddy and wet last week and I only did one run on the Concord trails. This week I’m hoping to do more trails and more mountain biking. While I’m 15 weeks out from Ironman Florida (my Mont Tremblant roll over race) I am still planning a few other races beforehand which means mountain biking and trail running and big hikes in the White Mountains. 

Biking this loop was the hardest mountain bike ride in a while. My new goal: get to know this loop and make it easy.

On Saturday I got to ride the Timberman bike course with Kristin, my high school friend. We met up last year while racing the Capital Wells triathlon in Sunapee. Saturday started out a cool 60 with sun. It was fun to catch up and ride the awesome roads around Laconia before heading into work. 

Saturday was a perfect day at Gunstock. Temps in the 70s and gorgeous blue sky. What a day. 

Sunday was a spin class at my new gym (interval work), long run in Concord and an open water swim with Sonja.

Long Pond Swim in Northwood with Sonja. We are in open water swim training mode.

Sonja and I signed up for the AquaBike Course at Capital Wells Sunapee in September. I’ve never done a swim/bike race but do love swimming in Lake Sunapee.

I also found the woman who we saw on Isolation who was doing the Direttissima. Stefanie Bishop and I started following her on Instagram. She is writing up a race report and asked followers for questions. I asked her how she trained for it. Her short answer for now: 

Just what I needed to know.

More time in the gym and time on feet. 

Ironman Training Update, Biking in Maine

This past week was a bike-centric week and recovery from the 50K. My quads hurt for three days post-race so swimming and biking felt great. 

The week I finished with 15 hours of biking and 45 minutes of swimming: no running. 

I got my long 5 hour tri bike ride in on Friday before heading up to Carrabassett Valley to mountain bike. It was great to get out of town and visit Patrice and Clay. The trails at the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Center are amazing; and endless. It was fun to just follow them around and get two good great training days in. 

Riding on fatigued legs from my 77 mile bike on Friday was great training. We rode 15 miles on Saturday and just about 8 on Sunday. While Sunday was an easy ride I was still a bit fatigued. All Good Training.

Today, Monday is a run day. I haven’t run for eight days so I’m excited to see what my legs do. Yesterday I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Timberman. My race calendar is filling up but it’s so fun to have a full summer of races and overdoing it like I also do. Life is good.

I am an Ultrarunner with a Biking Problem

I really needed this run today. 20 miles in the book: mainly trail, some vert and ending on flat for a few miles. I needed it to get my legs used to running when I don’t want to. It really was more mental – and I got it done. 

I opted to run today instead of bike because it was so windy and cold.

I started the run around the quarry with some beautiful views. I headed toward the West End Trails knowing that I would get some serious miles and vert.

I have been falling at least once on every trail run this season due to the little stumps that miss my eye. As I laid on the ground I looked back at this little bugger and snarled. “I hate you,” I said to it. And then took a picture of it.

My fall was not too hard this time but come. on.

Tomorrow is going to be less windy so I’ll get my 50+ mile bike ride in. My plan is to ride to Sunapee State Park and back. I’m sure my legs will be dead tomorrow morning but I need to see 50 on my watch. Ironman is on the horizon.

I also have race calendar changes:

I added Blood Root in Vermont 50K and a Pemi Loop. I did the Blood Root in 2019 so I know what I’m getting myself into: mud, black flies and running up mountains. It’s going to hurt. But knowing I’m doing this race in 15 days motivated me to complete the 20 miles today. I needed to see 20 miles on my Garmin. I’m going to do a Pemi Loop midweek; most likely solo. It’s going to be interesting but this race calendar is keeping me motivated.

Last week: 10.5 training hours

This week: 10 training hours (so far, but the goal is 15)

A few changes to the 2021 Race Calendar

I added the Mid State Massive knowing that I’m never going to get into the Vermont 100 since I’m 108 on the waiting list. A few nights ago after a great training day, I registered for the Midstate Massive. I’ve been reading blogs and watching YouTube videos about the race. My plan is to volunteer at the Vermont 100 and see what the 100 mile race is all about and learn everything I can. My plan prior to Leadville included volunteering at an ultra and it just didn’t happen. This time – IT MUST.

Here is my list of all the things I need to do to finish a 100 miler that I didn’t do while training for Leadville:

  1. Run at night
  2. Hill repeats
  3. Speed work
  4. Strength training
  5. Walk a lot
  6. Volunteer at a 100 mile race

Why do I need to finish a 100 mile race? 

I want to know what it’s like to cross a 100 mile finish line. I want to understand what my body has to do in order to run 100 miles. I need to finish what I started. I want the buckle.

Back to the present: today is a long bike ride and run. However before that a short mountain bike ride on the Concord trails.

78 days to Ironman Coeur d’Alene.