What a day! Yesterday I did my first ever mountain bike marathon.
I chose the Ironbike Race in Einsiedeln for my debut and I came 3rd overall and 1st in my category (Damen Fun 2)! Major surprise!
As I don’t have a UCI racing license I wasn’t invited on the podium for the 3rd place overall achievement but here is a picture of the podium for my category win:
Datasport Result here
Strava Race Profile here
Some photos of the race. It rained the entire day before the race so any of the technical sections (and believe me, those were few and far between) were extremely muddy. I slipped once, very slowly and got caked in mud. It was fun.
With every race I learn something new. The good athlete comes away from a race with a further insight into his/her personality as an athlete. I learned a few things yesterday both on a physical and a mental level:
1. There is no need to panic if your legs feel bad at the beginning of a race.
The first 20km of the race yesterday were hard. My legs didnt feel fresh at all and I thought “its going to be a long struggle today” but after km 20 they sort of went ‘numb’ and took on a life of their own. In the end, they felt better than during the Metzgete and I have already recovered quite well.
2. Drink, drink and drink even more!
On the way up the last hill I had a few panic moments as my hamstrings on both legs threatened to cramp. I don’t think I drank enough during the race, it wasn’t hot so I may have overlooked hydration. It probably had something to do with not riding my mountain bike much this year then deciding to do a 77km race at the end of the season!
3. Do set realistic expectations, do be demanding of yourself, do not accept excuses, and fight to get the best out of yourself always.
I realize that I thrive on the knowledge that there is someone expecting me to do well – the feeling that someone believes in me and my capability gives me a lot of strength. I am very thankful to all of my friends and the guys on my new team www.stct.ch for their support!
4. Stay focused.
I raced most of the day yesterday alone because I started in the 2nd wave – meaning all the faster girls were 20 minutes ahead of me. Although it was fun to pass people it meant I didnt have any gauge for how fast or slow I was going. I definitely lost focus a few times, this definitely cost me some time.
5. Maybe compression gear does work!
I slept in these the night before the race and the night after. Felt good!
6. Maintain perspective.
I am not a professional. I race because I love to – not because I am being paid to do so. Life isn’t all about bike racing. I am looking forward to an off-season soon so I can get ready for next year. There is only one thing left on the calendar and thats a local event near my home town Killorglin. More on that to come.
Stay tuned…and thanks for reading!