11377328_10206664759682076_3822455539525270147_nRace Morning – this morning went perfect…dropped off my drop bag to Joy and Dewa then set about my Early Morning Ritual (neti, pranayam, yoga asana all of which combined to culminate over 90-minutes in no less than 8 – yes EIGHT – poops!

i then filled 3/4’s of my single water bottle with TAILWIND;  Liquid Nutrition.

currently?  super light, high tech bicycles are selling for upwards of $8,000 because their non-Practitioning buyers are desperate to shave grams, yeah, GRAMS off their bicycles to help them go faster up and over such 11,000′ mountain passes like greeted over 2,500 of us today during Day One of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic which goes from Durango, CO to Silverton across 50 miles of the most breath-taking, pranically potent terrain your mind can invoke…oh, and there’s over 5,000′ of climbing along this amazing Journey.

now, feeble ilg does NOT have a fancy, expensive bike.  in fact? the pony that i ride is an antique.  heavy.

however,  because i’m trained not to look to externals for High Performance, but rather within?

i’ve trained myself to be able to empty my bowels to nothing and ride on less than one water bottle over 50 miles…thus?  my heavy bike is now in fact much lighter because my stomach is empty and instead of 2 huge water bottles plus all sorts of foods/energy bars, etc?   i only carry a paltry amount of fluid and no energy bars.

for feeble ilg?  my energy bars today were the fresh snows falling upon the already snow-laden hillsides which enveloped our Race Course.


i’m racing in the 45-55 Age Group.   which traditionally?  places at least 2 in the TOP TEN OVERALL of this historic race which now closes its doors upon reaching 2,500 racers.

i’ve only been on my bike 10x since September.

i’m a Winter Athlete.   i only ride bikes these days to keep me in shape for the season that matters most:  Winter.

to me?  only two seasons.  Winter and Waiting-For-Winter.

one of my best friends shows up with her family at the epic Start Line which invisibly holds back a thronging, crayola0-colored crowd of weirdly shaped cyclists all of whom are anxious about the still-wintry weather and the monster climbs ahead.  i wave back to my friends, whose two kids are in Shared School (3-parts homeschooling to 2 parts formal school with fellow homeschoolers…it’s very awesome) are among Dewa’s BFF’s.

at the Start Line,  my friend who is a National Champion and announcing the Start helps make it known that i am a favorite to the 500 other racers behind me.  thanks, Chad.  thanks, a lot.  Chad – formerly a Durangatang – now lives in Bend.  He does not know that i’ve only ridden my bike 10x since September.  oh well.

Purgatory is 28 miles from the Start Line.  a bit over halfway.  yet, for me?  it’s the toughest part;  12 miles of flat through the beautiful Animas Valley into some rollers before the politeness ends and you get bitch-slapped by Shalona Hill;  a very rude 12% gradient for over a mile up which the Be’s and the Wannabe’s are easily separated.  on a good day?  i can get up this bitch in 8 minutes of inner torment.   that’s just the gentle springboard for the suffering ahead.

up Shalona i dropped into my inner chainring, something i don’t often do when in cycling shape,  yet?  i didn’t want to injure my knees pushing monster gears up this volatile verticality.  i spotted Spencer – Leader of our local Durango Wheel Club in existence since 1887 – and knew that is the wheel i wanted.

by the top of Shalona, it was me, Spencer, Dr. Jack (a former WF Online Student) and two visiting racers.   amazingly,  me and the two visitors worked in simpatico super fast and efficiently with Spencer taking one huge pull before Purg which we passed in 1:24 (last year, the winning Pro Women’s time was 1:28)>  i was sooooo stoked to get to Purg feeling so easy, light, and psyched…up ahead?  loomed the two Monsters; Coal Bank and Molas.  i smiled as the snow began to fall.

once you get to Coal Bank?  forget about drafting, peleton tactics, etc…no, no, no…you just put your head down and try to  strike a rhythm that crushes your competitors without blowing yourself up.   i stayed conservative the whole way up which required 33 minutes of excruciating pain intermixed with moments of absolute I-Can’t-Believe-How-Blessed-I-Am-To-Be-Here!!!   i fell in love with and was inspired by the snowpack upon which inches of new snow overnight had fallen and we are nearly in June!!!  LOVE IT!   REALLY HELPED MY EFFORT to be surrounded by the crashing of waterfalls over fresh snow!!

topping out on Coal Bank i had a young local college boy from Fort Lewis College (13x National Champions, you know!) on my wheel.  he and i worked the technical descent.  just before the start of Coal Bank i had a mental lapse, saying NAMASTE to one of my yoga students, a female in the Open/Pro division as i passed her.   next thing i knew?  Dr. Jack and Spencer were 30 seconds ahead of me!!

People think bicycle racing is an endurance sport?

nope; it’s all about MOMENTS!  Seconds!

i hit the slightly shorter and less steep yet HIGHER pass: Molas in my big ring and dropped the college kid.   forced myself into the smaller chainring because i knew i couldn’t fry my legs on Day One.   felt pretty solid with the Tribal Mantra, Mula Bandha, and positive inner talk…at the 11,000′ summit it was blowing snow pretty hard and i loved it…some other kid was trying to attack me and i let him go to focus on my Age Group guy who i knew i could outspeed on the techy descent into Sliverton and if not there?  i felt i could dispatch him on the Big Ring seemingly endless 1.5k drag strip finish through the crazy cheering crowds in Silverton to the Finish.

and i did.

finished in 3:03,  26th out of over 500 registrants and over 450 starters.   i liked the math going into tomorrow.

most of all?  i LOVED seeing my family at the Finish Line; Dewa going crazy with love while holding up her hand-written sign which read, “GO DAD GO!!”

such is why we race.

wish me Godspeed tomorrow and keep your Wholistic Fitness practices strong.

they work.

trust me.

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