Friday, September 21, 2012

56TT to 45AO

And so begins my journey from ½ IM triathlete that can TT 56 miles, to CX racer who needs to go to redline and beyond for 45 min all out (AO!) It’s a little like Extreme Makeover, bike racer edition. These couldn’t be more opposite, but I love the challenge of going from one extreme to the other. It hurts a lot at first,  gets a little ugly, and my legs have no idea whats going on,  but its all part of the fun. I would get bored if I just did the same thing all the time. There will be bruises, blood, and most definitely dirt and mud.

from Matt Green
to this....phtoto Ali Engin
For the past few years I have made finishing as high as possible in the Chicago Cross Cup. I think I have landed 5th OA in the W cat 123’s for the past 2 years. This year though, I am up for a different challenge, my goal is to get a higher start position than 67th (last year!) at nationals and race a few more UCI races to get experience racing at that level. Why not, I paid the $$ for the license. To do this I will miss some CCC races and will miss a few more CCC than usual due to a yearly trip to Kona, and a few other trips this fall. The CCC is pretty competitive these days and missing about 4-5 races doesn’t leave you the chance to score lots of points or finish very high.

The first few races will be tough and what I remember from last year is the feeling of almost dying and possibly not being able to finish the first lap, and then by the 3 rd or 4th lap I was ready to race! As the TT legs start to turn into CX legs its all starts to come together (hopefully). My hip tendonitis seems to be happier on the cross bike as it is finally starting feel better. I still haven't tried running, but am not talking about that right now.  Another difference in cx is getting the legs used to spinning more at a higher cadence. I tend to TT with a lower cadence than maybe ideal, but it works for me. In CX there are tons fast accelerations, tight turns, off camber hills, dirt, mud, sometimes snow and ice, barriers. All of which make it completely different than triathlon and completely fun.

And so why not jump right in! Go big or go home as they say, and this is definitely it. With a handful of rides on my cross bike, some of which were recovery rides right after Vegas 70.3, this weekend will head to Madison for a big girl race and kick off my season at USGP, Sun Prairie.

So here is a fist pump for extreme makeover, bike racer edition

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


You have to put the cards down and fold and let go and it’s never and an easy thing when you want something pretty bad. Your vision of what is real can become cloudy and distorted. Focus and tunnel vision are good qualities for accomplishing high goals but can make it difficult to see what is really going on sometimes.

I have been battling hip bursitis/tendonitis since mid July. I never gave up in believing that it wouldn’t improve enough to run in Vegas. Initially I was running through pain probably making it worse (that tunnel vision). But finally had to admit I was injured, and rest it. It came to the point I was even willing to race not in good run shape. A total of maybe 20 miles of running over the span of 6 weeks will leave you just a little on the low end of run fitness for a tough run like Vegas, but I was so motivated to still race. I rested it, did therapy and even got cortisone shot all with hopes of it coming around race day. I only cried twice, (I think), not because I am that tough, but because I truly thought it would be ok
2 days before the race I tried a 20 min run to just loosen up and see how it would be and it was awful. I could not run with a normal stride/ or limp no matter how much I tried loosening it up. I came darn close to just not racing but Adam, Scott, and my good friend Joe did a great job of putting my head on straight and reminding me all the things I know and tell other people but are hard to accept when it comes to you, that one race does not make an athlete. They reminded me that at 44 y/o and 20 yrs of racing all over the world in NZ, SUI, Canada all over the US in all kinds of races, I have accomplished all I have ever wanted in the sport, this was just one race. The past 2 years have been icing on the cake really, with being able to still race at a high level.

So I finally just gave into it …..And decided to just go do what I could. I paid the big bucks to be there, flew my bike out, so why sit around and pout, go out and have fun, so I toed the line with the rest of the W40-44.

bike check in with A's client Reegan, 105 deg!

Ready to Rock!

3:30 a.m wake up call, requires Rebel Coffee!

Race morning I met fellow Wattie’s Libby and Denise (very cool girls!) and several other friends and before I knew it I was swimming through Lake Las Vegas, making my way through T1 and on the bike for a ride through the desert. This is an amazing bike course. I love it but seemed hotter than last year. I felt good on the bike and rode hard for the most part but at times I must admit I held back thinking maybe not fully hammering wouldn’t tighten up the hip too much and I could run. I walked through T2 and took my time to head out. I walked the first little bit, and then ran with a limp. Lots of Watties on the course cheering right away were so supportive. But it was sore and simply was not going to limp through 13 miles. I saw people with ¾ of their body covered in kinesio tape running with horrific gait and I don’t want to be that person. I stopped cheered on Adam and Joe for their last laps and was ok with it. There will be more races and goals. Another shot at Vegas in a new AG next year might be fun.

So now I will get my cross bike out/ switch gears gears into CX season, keep fixing my hip, get ready to cheer on Adam in Kona and life goes on!