BaseCamp alum Sue Hageman shared her experience at the 2023 La Grind Gravel Stage Race in Emporia, Kansas.
It was almost the same route as Unbound 50 last year. What a day.................... The night before my seat post clamp broke. Luckily the bike shop at check in had one that worked! The winds and heat were horrible on race day. So much for not having a chance to heat acclimate. My plan was to really push it at beginning knowing when I go south I would hit the headwinds and the biggest hills. Then fly back to finish once the heat set in and winds got gusty. Winds were from the SSW.
The first almost 10 miles heading west was tough. Thought turning south then would be really rough. The first part of going south wasn't too bad. Then we hit the biggest hills and water crossing. I told myself just do your best. I wished I could have climbed the hills better. Put me against the winds and big hills that equals SLOW!! When we started SE the next like 4 miles had to deal with some rough thick gravel & I stopped to help a gal with a flat tire. Next was going North! YIPEE! Felt like I was flying. I made sure I ate and drank more than enough. I was surprised how good I felt!!! Yeah BC training mentally and physically!!!
Then it got hotter and started having hot feet. I made sure to fly when I had a tailwind as I knew that was my best chance at knocking off some time. The last 4-5 miles we headed west back into town. That was the hardest part. Winds were picking up and it got to 95 degrees by that time. I tried to finished strong. But I was getting overheated. I finished!! Hallelujah!!!
La Grind started as a race, then to a ride, then to survival mode......... Lots of people dropped out. I’m so grateful to my BaseCamp training!!! It helped me be strong physically and mentally. And plan your race strategy and nutrition! I started with no expectations, knowing the conditions, to feeling darn good, (dispite) at mile 40 something to trying to finish as strong as I could.
Now, hope I don’t have to repeat another HOT, WINDY day in Kansas LOL. Most days are anymore. I think Kansas has decided to skip seasons spring and fall.
"When you're in a growth mindset, what that means is that you choose to see struggle and challenge as an opportunity for growth and for learning and development." - Chris Bertram