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Nancy's story: Bald Eagle Gravel Grinder

BaseCamp group coaching member Nancy Mizak shared her experience at the Bald Eagle Gravel Grinder in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania.



Answering the BaseCamp challenge of doing something that kinda scares you....I chose to enter the Bald Eagle Gravel Grinder in the PA Gravel Series not knowing it was the the toughest in terms of climbing. What an incredible experience to put all the training and coaching to work. Meeting up with fellow BaseCampers Allie Pope Burger and Amy Fowler for the weekend was priceless as well.


I did so much better than I thought I would, so much of what I learned this past BaseCamp was utilized throughout the race. Knowing the first hill climb came at the start of the race, I kept to the plan of not going hard so I didn't burn too many candles....at first it left me feeling defeated as I found myself in the usual position of in the rear riding alone but I stuck to the plan. The closest two guys around me would always blow by me in the downhills, but much to my surprise, I would catch up and pass them on the climbs. At the end of the race, one of those guys joined me for lunch and gave me the compliment that made the whole experience even sweeter when he said, "After you passed me on the 5th climb, you just kept climbing stronger and stronger then disappeared." I had stuck to the plan....climbs 5 & 6 were the last hills, and I would give what ever I had left in the tank.


I had two SAIL moments that didn't stop me but made me stop, think, and find a way to fix. Because of the the SAIL moments, I didn't take time to stop and take more than one picture; however, I did consciously take the time to soak in all the incredible beauty around me during the entire ride. Because it had rained quite a bit in the past weeks, the water in the streams along the route were running fast, clear and simply beautiful....oh, and then there was the weather....perfect! This challenge was hard but it was fun and so worth it!

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