First time riding Bear Brook

Do you ever just know you’re going to love something and avoid it because you know that it may take over your life?

Well, this happens to me a lot because I love trying new things and having new experiences.

So, there is this happy place called Bear Brook. I’ve been hearing that the mountain biking is awesome. I’ve been avoiding going there for two years because I knew I would love it. It’s just easier and less time consuming to ride from my house to the Concord trails. It’s so much work packing up my bike and gear to drive to a trailhead.

But, the trails at Bear Brook are AWESOME and totally worth the effort to get there. I’m addicted and will be going as much as I can. Talk about FLOWY. I’m grown accustomed to so many rocks and roots and elevation gain in Concord. The loop around Bear Brook was fun and adventurous; and VERY mosquito-y tonight. I’m not usually one for so many caps in a blog post, but there you have it. What a great ride.

I’m ready for more trails and exploring outside of Concord for bike trails. Despite everything: I’m ready for Summer 2020. 

Well. So. But. Life Is Good. You just need to get on the trails.

Mountain Biking and Living in the Moment

I’ve lost count of how many weeks I’ve been working from home. I think three but it may be four. I really like working from home because I get to hang out all day with my dogs and take many walks around the block. When I walk I think of writing ideas and create sentences. 

One of the benefits of working from home is I can take lunch breaks whenever I want, specifically the warmest part of the day so I can run or bike.

When I run I think of everything: what I’m going to eat, who I need to call, past boyfriends, trips I’ve taken, races, the Cuomo brothers and their daily banter; basically everything. When I mountain bike I think of nothing except the line in front of me; the line I will take around rocks and roots, and maybe going over a big rock and catching a little air off a perfectly placed rock. 

When I really think about all the sports I do from ultra running to Ironman, the sport I’m really the best at is mountain biking. As I maneuver over obstacles my body seems to know how to move with the bike, and my flow is natural and efficient. Yet, I spent years running and training for ultrarunning, and I pretty much suck at it. To me, running is minimalistic and satisfies my need to be low maintenance; I can run anywhere and all I really need is a pair of shoes. With mountain biking you need a bike, comfortable bike shorts, gloves, a helmet, replacement tubes and more. 

Colorado 2012

I mountain biked more when I lived out west. I biked all around Winter Park and all over the mountains surrounding Tucson. I even did a 24 Hour race with a team when I lived in Tucson.

Looking back, the weather seemed to be a little more cooperative out west and there weren’t as many roots and rocks as the New Hampshire trails. 

Tucson 2014

I’m ready to get back into mountain biking this year and getting better. I have a 10 mile loop that I like to do, right from my door. I’d like to spend less time walking some sections and get faster.

My loop in Concord, NH

I follow Kate Courtney on Instagram and when I’m flying down a hill, in my mind I say, ride like Kate Courtney – body position specifically so my weight is distributed properly. I love her workout videos and how she is so successful at a sport I love. I’m looking forward to going back to the gym after all of this to get back on track to get stronger. 

I am thankful for many things and one of them is that I can ride. Riding makes me happy and makes me live in the moment – nothing else does that for me right now. So I will ride today, maybe even in the rain. I know with the rain and cold temperatures that I will be the only one out there and that may just be a good thing.

Tapering is hard, part 2

Tapering is hard. You have so much free time and your emotions are raging; you just want to run. You want your body to be tired so you can sit on the sofa and veg, but it’s raring to go. It wants to run and play.

I’m restless and anxious.

So after a few talk sessions and advice taking; that has helped me immeasurabley – I decided to head to the bike shop and buy the bike I’ve been researching, and hemming & hawing about. It’s my first time buying a bike with a 29 inch wheel – yickes. But I love her already.

I’m so excited to start riding but I’m not going on the trails until AFTER Sunday’s race.

Leadville Training Week 14 – The week that wasn’t

This week was supposed to be a week where I recover from the 30 miler and taper for the 50. It turned out to be an injury week. My last run was Tuesday morning, a nice 4 miler before work. Later in the afternoon I attempted a mountain bike ride on the trails in Manchester, FOMBA. What a great trail system except that I crashed a few times and had issues clipping out, and injured my left knee.

There was a lot icing and ibuprofen, and perhaps a bit of despair this week. I foam rolled more than I ever have in my life; maybe twice a day. I started swimming on Friday, and on Saturday ended up joining a lane of master swimmers at the Y. That was fun. It seemed by the end of day Saturday it was about 70% healed. I did every type of activity I could except running. On Sunday afternoon I even went on a bike ride on the QR. After 9 months of no biking and swimming, it felt great to be in the aero bars and swim in the pool.

Secret Squirrel MTN Freetown, MA

Sunday was the highlight of the week. I supported Alex at his mountain bike race. I’ve learned how to be an excellent sherpa from Than so it was fun to figure out where he would come out of the woods for a photo op and to cheer him on to Top 10 results. Woo Hoo. After all the races I’ve done and knowing how important it is to hear someone cheering for me, it is truly so fun to do it for people I care about. The mountain biking crowd is so different from Ironman and Ultra running. The race venue was at a park in southeastern Massachusetts, a place I’ve never been and it was great to get out of dodge.

Goal 2 2019 50 Mile
Do it for the sticker!
By the numbers ……

Monday – May 20 – 6 days until race day. 50 Miles. This is my B race. Race 3 of 5 of the dream year. I’m ready. I’m focused. Mark is pacing me and we are celebrating his birthday. Yeah May, Yeah 50 Miles. Yeah to doing things you’ve never done before and crushing it!