Date: June 18, 2016
Race: Cranky Monkey #3 MTB series
Rider: Jessica Kutz
Results: Jessica-3rd place
That last race of the Cranky Monkey series snuck up on me. With a new puppy and Brad starting a new job that’s 2nd and 3rd shift I found myself not on the bike as much as I should have been. I don’t feel like I’m in great bike shape (though I’m in wonderful walking shape- compliments of the puppy). I was dreading the heat for this last Cranky Monkey race. I had a feeling I’d be in trouble given I hadn’t been riding much and the weather finally had gotten hot and humid here in Virginia.
The fast lady who has been out riding me wasn’t at this race but a friend who rides for the Liv-Giant team showed up. This racer, also named Jess, is in great shape….she and her husband have been doing lots of mountain bike racing this summer. I didn’t think I’d stand a chance against her (eek negative thoughts pre race) but I figured I’d try to ride with her and see what happens.
The gun went off and I tucked in right behind Jess (Liv-Giant). I could tell she was strong but we were in a nice big train of riders, which mentally makes it easier to just hold onto their pace, even when it’s faster than I might like. Jess (Liv-Giant) and I crossed the line a few seconds apart but I knew I couldn’t hold that pace; I decided to stop in my pit area to grab some water and food. The rest of the race I found myself riding alone. There must not have been a ton of racers out. Unfortunately, lack of fitness on my end made me unmotivated to ride hard solo in the woods, I’m much better when chasing. By lap four I really regretted not switching to the 3 hour race. I had the legs to ride another lap to finish 5 laps but mentally I was just drained, and the heat wasn’t helping. I’m not sure if other people struggle with this but it’s really hard for me when I’m not riding as fast as I feel like I should be.
I called it quits after 4 laps, finishing the day in 3rd since the woman behind me continued for another lap. It was a disappointing finish. Post race I decided I needed to reframe the day. Instead of being a lack luster day on the bike, I’m dubbing it day 1 of a new training block. The puppy is old enough to be crated while I train and Brad and I are still working on figuring out how to see each other with his new schedule but I’m ready to start putting in the miles again. I’m going to take most of the next month to get my legs back on the band wagon and hopefully hit a few late season mtn bike races…maybe even a road race or two!
Photo credit to James Corbett