I went into the Pain cave while I raced the Breck 60 yesterday. I Felt delirious while I pedaled at 12,000 feet. ( I did almost 8,000 feet of climbing during the race)
The first 30 miles were a blast as I got to ride with my teammate Celeste Cannon who decided to wait for me on the descent so I could work through my fears and ride on her wheel. Now that is what I call teammate LOOOOOve.
I Felt lots of fun energy as I cruised into the finish line with the 30 mile racers while secretly wondering how I was going to do 30 more miles....
Thanks to Olivia Roberts I was reenergized at the halfway mark with a stinger waffle, and caffinated mango flavored nuuns in my water bottle. When I asked for some Ib profen she gave me a swig of whisky instead, which gave me a nice jolt of energy.
After leaving the support crew at the start finish I sped off and begin my final lap of the race which turned out to be a 30 mile suffer fest. The comraderie with the other racers was really special as we slogged up long, steep high altitude climbs.
The views were spectacular, yet spooky as I pedaled alone on a dirt road in the middle of no where at mile 40. By mile 45 I was almost in tears due to a pounding headache, delirium and over all exhaustion, yet was encouraged by another racer who caught up to me and told me about the route to the finish.
I stayed on his wheel while we were descending the dirt road, and watched him fly away once we hit the technical single track descent. I pulled myself together as I was jostled over roots and rocks hoping I followed the course markings correctly and was on the right trail.
I asked a runner coming up the trail in a whiny voice if I was on the right track and she said yes. I kept focusing on what I saw in front of me and was eager to get out of the woods and begin the final road descent.
Finally I made it to the road and hammered the finish. I couldn't decide if I wanted to celebrate or cry because I was so exhausted and delirious. I found my teammate Celeste and then found a beer quickly after. Then I finally gave myself permission to pee since I hadn't gone in 6 hours and was extremely uncomfortable yet unwilling to stop.
After the beer and some pulled pork tacos, I was my goofy self again!
During the 2nd lap I felt really freaked out at times out there, exposed at high altitude all by myself yet I dug deep and told myself I would stay safe and make it out of the wilderness in good shape. I had a couple crashes and even broke my computer holder off my handle bars. I'm thankful for God's protection and provision of energy, both physically and mentally. There were moments where I wanted to quit and cry as my head was pounding and my legs aching. Yet my inner fighter battled my inner cupcake and won. I decided to thank God for the blessings that he had given me and to trust that he really would give me strength when I was weak, and that all I really needed to do was just keep pedaling.
I realized why I love mountain bike races- I get to ride amazing trails in beautiful places and I get to compete with others while racing myself at the same time. I get to go as fast as I want and ride my race and stretch myself way beyond my limits!