The last time I wrote a blog was for the Pisgah Stage race and the first time I write a blog this year is for the Pisgah Stage Race. No it’s not been a year; the date was moved from September to April. A lot has happened in that time period, some racing and a lot of training and recovery from last season. I’ve done a few races from the snake creek gap to 12 hours of Santos. Training has been made easy by Provision Sports and Medicine who I get my coaching through. They understand my targets and they understand that recovery and keeping cycling fun are essential. Provision Sports and Sports Medicine are the big reason and support in allowing me to go to the Pisgah Stage Race, so a big Thank you goes their way.
The Pisgah Stage Race is always a good time and has a big piece of my heart. Three years ago I did the race and was not the rider that I am today by any means. I walked a lot of the single track, I cried once on the trail, and was so sure I was not going to be able to make it to the end of the week, but I did and I got a little tougher. From that point the growth in my mountain biking has grown beyond even my knowing. I used to walk down black mountain in total disbelief that people actually rode that , and I wondered even how people enjoyed it. Now here I am three years later and I actually can’t get enough of Pisgah and mountain biking.
This year I got first in enduro and second overall by less than two minutes after spending most of the week in third. Not only did I get tougher after the first Pisgah Stage Race that I did three years ago but I got a little tougher after this year’s stage race. The fact is whether your first or last place everyone is trying hard and even though I have come a long way in three years I still find myself suffering and pushing through walls all the time.
The first few days of the stage race were not only hard but with the muddy rainy conditions it made it that much harder. There were a lot of gravel roads that Ally and Sarah were stronger than me on. It felt like everyday if I just had ten more miles of single track I could have done it but really who knows, because they are some strong ladies.
Everyday though I pushed myself up the gravel climbs as fast as I could and imagined that they were right around the corner and even though I didn’t see them they were just a minute away. It worked well and I was able to finish within reach of second place every day. The fourth day though was all mine, it consists of my favorite trails in Pisgah: squirrel, laurel, and pilot. I was able to stay with Ally and Sarah on the first gravel road and was able to get in front for the rest of the day and gap them even more on the enduro.
By the end of the stage I had taken second overall.
The last Pisgah Stage Race I was stronger than my competition Clair Garcia on the gravel and she killed me on the single track. This year my competition was stronger on the gravel and I killed them on the single track. Each race brings different challenges and it is all about fighting through them and making you stronger along the way. It’s easy to give up and give in when it is not going your way but if you keep pushing yourself through all the hard moments, the bad thoughts, and everything else that is holding yourself back you’ll find you are actually stronger than you think and you can accomplish more than you could ever even dream up. It keeps life exciting and I can’t wait till my next race and my next battle! Till then Cheers!