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June 26, 2016

Lutsen 39er

Look at me, what a bad ass! This weekend I participated in my very fist bike race, the Lusten 99er. With options to race a 19, 39, 69 and 99 mile race, I safely chose the 39er as my first race to partake in. I was joined by 599 others in my category to climb well over 2,000 feet and take on terrain of gravel, pavement, single track, double track, mud and your traditional mountain bike technical trails. Did I mention we climbed a ton? 

Since it was my first bike race, I gave myself a goal to finish within 4 hours. I completely surprised myself and finished at 3:33, placing 5th in my category! Overall, I was the 311th to cross the line out of 600 (not terrible) and finished with a smile on my face. I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I'm looking forward to many more bike races in the very near future.

As a first time mountain bike racer, here are a few tips that I will share:
  1. Carry a Camelback or any other type of hydration pack. It is much easier than constantly reaching down for your water bottle. Drink often! 
  2. Eat every hour. Either set a timer or watch your computer to tell you when to eat. Have your food prepared, either bags ripped open or a snack bag on the front of your handlebars (this is what I need for next time). I made a rookie mistake and packed KIND bars that casually got soggy and broke apart in my back pockets, resulting in a mess and less food for me.
  3. If you have a Garmin or any other type of computer, don't obsess over it. Use it as a tool when you need it but don't constantly watch the miles go by or elevation climb or you can / will psych yourself out and the race will seem to go so slow. I made the mistake of looking at mine go over 39 miles and became very pissy and angry that I was still racing... 
  4. Be proud. The best thing about any race is finishing it and realizing what you have just accomplished. If you're sore immediately following or the next day, that's great too because you know your pushed yourself.
  5. Have fun with it! As competitive as I am, I went into the race knowing I wasn't going to win but wanted to set a few mini goals but most importantly have fun so I would want to do it again. Mission accomplished! 
Leah and I are so proud after crushing the race!

This is the video that motivated me to sign up. I wanted to get a whole new perspective in Minnesota by going down trails that would open new doors and perspectives of the state.