I love riding at this place, the long steady climbs seem to really play to my strengths. My week leading up to the race was insane, I had my training plan laid out and followed it blindly, only half-aware that this was a race prep week, and when Saturday came around it clicked mentally - time to get into the racing mindset. Usually I start visualizing races 3-4 days out, but not this week. Lack of mental preparation didn't seem to be an issue, when we rode to registration, the hill leading up to it didn't even register - my legs felt great.

Going into this race my plan was to finish in the top 10 by not blowing up on the on the climbs, not getting involved with people falling around me, and railing the descents. We had a very large field in the Cat 3 40-49’s and the start had all the signs of a giant pile up at the single track entrance so I decided to hang back and avoid the mayhem. I hit the single track in the middle of the pack and started passing people right away.

My third Bearscat 50, which is one of my favorite races, was on June 2, 2013. 50 miles of brutal, rocky Wawayanda and about 5,000 total feet of climbing. My goal was to finish feeling strong and in the top 10. 22 women registered in the Pro/Open women's category, but there were 16 at lineup. The weather was hot & humid and the rain held off. I was a bit nervous because just a few days earlier, I didn't even know if I'd feel well enough to race it due to a high fever and back pain. But, I was feeling better and ready for the challenge.

I was pretty pumped to be racing at Lewis Morris, and felt pretty good throughout the past week - I'm tapering my volume into the Stewart Six Pack next weekend, and my body seemed appreciative of the lighter training load.

As a concession to age or common sense, I decided to try racing with a suspension fork. Wow, what a game changer.