Utah State Championships – Park City, UT

I expected something to be different this season as I transitioned from full pro to full time work but I just didn’t know what. And what that different thing is…..is a slightly ill prepared Kathy. But what do you expect when you are not training and are barely riding at best? This is something I am NOT used to but I just have to let it go I guess. Do I want to be riding and training?? YES!! But if it’s one thing I learned while being a full time pro it is that you must listen to your body even when you don’t want to. That has meant no more than 1 hour rides for me the majority of the time since I started work back in April!

The good news is that just in the last 2-3 weeks I have been starting to feel like myself again (to a degree) and that has translated into some of my first 1.5 hour rides after work! I even got a 2 hour in last week which was awesome….until I got home at 9:30 pm famished and needing to tuck myself into bed ASAP to prepare for work the next day. Ugh. Good ideas, gone bad but it was a GREAT ride that night at least. It’s all a learning experience.

So now that I am feeling somewhat “normal” (was I EVER???) I will have to try and see what my body can take. It will be interesting to see what it responds to as most days are spent desk driving and not recovering on my couch any more. In fact, I was so proud of myself for even having the thought recently of maybe doing my first interval since December!! But it still is currently…..just a thought (sigh). I am hoping that will change soon but for now am listening to the mind and body….

Showing up to races ill prepared is just not what I am used to but I am sure getting used to it. And the fact that I seem to be counting myself out of a win before the race even starts is a bit strange….and not cool. Luckily when the gun goes off that mind set changes!

The Utah State Champs were on my home court at Deer Valley Resort, where I learned to ride and where I work. I had ridden the course and was looking forward to the hot and dry air and moon dust corners. I warmed up a bit more than my new “usual” (of not at all) and I was rolling to the line as the defending Utah State Champion from last year but felt anything but it. That said I am stubborn enough and competitive enough that I was going to do anything to have the best race that I could. That is one thing I can always count on from myself no matter what!

As we made our way up the steep Little Stick Ski run I was “in there” but was lacking punch. That shouldn’t come as a big shock to me but it does somehow – maybe I am just too used to being really fit and race ready all summer. I was LAST going up the hill climb but dug the best I could to maintain some contact because the downhill was coming and I have been working on my dh skills. Maybe I could make up time!?

My ZTR Gold 29r Rims carried me down the dusty singletrack with ease at 18lbs of pressure allowing me to catch the gal in front of me. At that moment I formed my plan to PIN IT at the bottom and get the biggest gap I possibly could while burying myself to do so as we headed back up the mountain. What I think I was missing was that this is how you should race and it’s not “a plan” that you come up with mid race!! How soon you forget….

It was interesting to watch my body go through the motions since I am at a different level (meaning unfit). Funny thing was that on that first climb from the start up I was so blocked that my heart rate wasn’t going anywhere out of the Tempo zone. I just don’t do things to unblock myself during the week anymore (note taken). So instead, that first part of the race was my opener then my body got recovery on the dh and I was able to FINALLY get my heart rate up to race pace by that next climb when I was able to attack and get going for real this time.

Back to “the plan”…..I was able to pass and grow the gap when suddenly second place was right ahead of me! I wasn’t expecting that but now that I was feeling good and climbing well my goals switched. Now I wanted to catch 2nd place and I did! But given that Katherine is so incredibly strong and determined she re-passed me. And it was (as it turns out) the one and only match I had in my book of (what used to be) many matches. But I kept her within sight as I pedaled to catch her again. But it wasn’t in the cards today and 3rd place was gonna have to do at the State Champs.

Really, all things said, I am happy with my performance and it was good to be out and doing it!!! Plus seeing all my buddies always makes for a great day on the bike.

Thanks to all EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE parties who make it happen: Stan’s NoTubes, Cannondale, AlpineOrthopaedics, Elete Electrolytes, Kenda, Adidas eyewear, Verge, Ergon, Fi’zi:k, Gu energy labs, Lazer helmets, Jet Black trainers, Crank Brothers, Light & Motion, Pro Gold lubricants, Genuine Innovations and Showers Pass!!!!!

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