Zen On Dirt

Racing brain


It’s been a funny summer for me.  First the first time in as long as I can remember…nearly a decade if I count correctly, I haven’t been racing. Every summer in recent history has been a one race followed by recovery followed by another race. Even after Tour Divide last year, I was still recovering with an eye on racing in the fall. Then I got sick and a whole lot of stupid happened, so the whole racing thing went out the window, including Vapor Trail, which broke my heart, but this has been my first extended break from racing since I decided to sign up for the Arrowhead 135 two years ago.

I feel like my body may have needed it.  My mind as well.


I’ve been watching races come and go.  Tour Divide.  Kenai 250. CTR starts in a week. Watching blue and pink dots every day definitely made me a little sad, a little envious, a little lacking of adventure. It made me realize how ingrained these events have gotten in my mind. How the routes, the people, the training, the gear, all have burrowed themselves deep into my psyche. And I miss participating. When I planned out 2013, I really had every intention of racing short stuff, being a ‘pro’, seeing how fast I could really get and how I could stack up against the big girls.

After Iditarod, I mourned the fact that it would be my last multi-day race for the season. (Note: On the Kookooswim river when I couldn’t keep my bike going in a straight line because I was so tired, I was rejoicing that it would be my last multi-day race, possibly ever)


But then we all know how life turned out.  24 hours of driving to go race for four hours in the Whisky 50 got turned into a four hours of flying to go race the AZT in 61 hours, and really, if I had the physical abilities right now (hiking downhill still is a sub-stellar proposition) I’d probably scrounge together enough gear and money to line up for the CTR.

I guess that what this forced break from the racing scene, of any kind, has led me to discover is that I really have pretty minimal interest in races where I have to pay an entry fee and put a number on my bike and I’m done before dark. I’m not sad about missing the Breck 100 this weekend, I’m not terribly fussed about missing the Beti Bike Bash, Teva Games, and Ironhorse, and whatever else I wanted to earlier this summer, even though I was really excited about racing them. But knowing that CTR is going to roll out from a mile from my house without me, now that makes me sad. I’m sure it’s going to get worse as people start coming by Trackleaders HQ to pick up SPOTs for tracking, but I can’t wait to share in their enthusiasm for the giant adventure they’re going to embark on.


I’m not sure this blog post really had a point. I just wanted to post some pictures of a ride Scott and I did where we rode 90 minutes of tempo to the top of Elbert creek through Purgatory and then took a delightful little piece of singletrack back down to the highway. It was my first ride with my new red camera, and I was pretty stoked.

And I’ve been thinking about racing a lot because the countdown to go-fast time this fall has started.


3 thoughts on “Racing brain

  1. It’s funny to see you writing about a life that’s lacking in adventure, bc from where I sit it looks like much of your everyday is an adventure. Of course, what’s everyday to you is pretty epic in my world.

  2. we all have to take a time out here and there, it is so hard to watch those dots and such, but it recharges the reasons why we do it. You’ll be back when you want to be…have faith.

  3. Lucky for us, there’s far more to a life oriented around biking than just training and racing 🙂

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