The MIDDLE season.

 

Raystown xc style stage. It was muddy! with the NO tubes ladies, CF women and Brian’s mum.

My 2012 season has three key events. The Whiskey 50 ( beginning),  Leadville 100 ( middle)  and either a stage race/or marathon World champs for the latter part.

This middle section of the 2012 season has been all about training for the 100 mile distance in preparation for Leadville 100.
I raced Leadville last year. I am not new to endurance racing however it was my first 100 mile single day race. I learned alot doing it. The distance is a whole ‘nother’ animal. Both the distance and my stellar competitors over 100 miles have my respect.

In preparation this year I have really altered my training specifically for 100 mile racing on August 11.

I began the Leadville block in earnest at the Trans Sylvania Epic. Going in to the TSE I didn’t have the high end form I’d hoped for, however I think  my form was perfect for the time of year and the race was perfect for my overall fitness.

The event sponsored in part by Stan’s No tubes was an amazing seven day’s of racing around State College, Pennsylvania. It was so much fun! We were in the privledged position to have event support from No tubes staff, Richie Rich, Mike Bush and Rich Straub along with team manager Shannon Gibson and Kenny Wehn. All staff  in addition to racing, did our laundry  and made sure our bikes where running smoothly. The TSE had a good amount of wet and muddy terrain. The No tubes team support kept me completely mechanical free.

The race has fantastic riding, was a ton of fun and was an excellent event.

In what felt like quick succession I followed the trans Sylvania up with three more events.

The  weekend after TSE was the Yet Beti bike Bash in Denver. The Yeti Betis are a great group of women, their team is also sponsored by Stan’s No tubes. They put on the only womens only MTB race in the USA.

The timing of the race ( a week before the US Colorado Springs Pro XCT race) and a 10 deep pro women prize purse, attracted a deep and fast womens field. I raced to a fast and furious 6th place, finishing 2 minutes back from first place.

Beti Bike Bash Podium. Good times!

The following weekend I lined up in the Bailey Hundo,  a 100 mile MTB race in Bailey, Colorado. The event raises money for high school cycling and has quickly become a sought after event to participate in. The race itself is 50% Single track and 50 % dirt road. The single track nature keeps the field limited to 200 racers.

I had chosen the Bailey hundo as a practise run at leadville, the high elevation is similar, and the 50 miles of dirt roads in the second half a good simulation for Leadville’s roads too.
I hadn’t counted on waking up with a sore lower back, sometimes being female is poor timing. So in reality my day developed into my tight sore lower back driving me to distraction and back. However all good and bad things do come to an end and I of course finished in  7 hours 45. I have the speedy Sari Anderson to thank for the time as I was trying for much of the 100 miles to chase her down.

Several really positive things came out of the Bailey hundo practise race. My race nutrition was spot on. This has been something I’ve been working on.

My back pain highlighted to me the importance of core and body maintenance. The race  being a good kick in the pants for a renewed emphasis on core work.
After the Bailey Hundo I had a bike fit ( from my physical therapist Tim Poppe) and to my shock we dropped my seatpost 1 cm. It has done wonders for alleviating my back pain + improved my posture on the bike.
The Saturday following the Bailey Hundo was our local Crested Butte event the Fat tire 40 ( 44 miles) . The fat tire 40  is an epic mostly single track loop. The event is  one of my favorites.
Team manager Shannon Gibson came up to Gunnsion/Crested Butte to support and to work on my bike. The lady has some mad skills and she buttered my bike. It is now working  flawlessly.

Happy bike, happy rider, Wildflower Rush Fat tire 40.

Fours years ago I set the record in the Fat tire 40, then along came Gretchen Reeves. The past two years have been spent chasing Gretchen around and finishing second while we both lower the existing record. This year proved to be the same. I chased her around and finished 2nd in my fastest time on the course to date.  After feeling like a bit of a slug in the first hour or two, I woke up and  finished in stronger better shape than previous years. I’ll take that as a good sign for upcoming months!

Spent our 12 year wedding anniversary doing this little wee 3 hour 45 climb to here. Super fun day.. training for Leadville.

Upcoming: We have a local mid week race series in Crested Butte.  The pinnacle series this year are being presented by our team sponsor Alpine Orthopaedics. AO are covering the entries to the events making them free for all to develop cycling in our community. How cool is that! If you are in Colorado, come up to Crested Butte on a Wednesday evening. They come with dinner, libations courtesy of MT Crested Butte and prizes afterward. In addition to end your evening CB mountain has a  weekly  outdoor wednesday evening concert series.

Happy riding everyone.
Jenny Smith

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