I'm amused and never seem to find endless similaities to the world of cycling and real life. The truth is: cycling is just a pocket of my bigger life in general as it is for most of us. Sometimes cycling has you on top of the world, sometimes you are just barely hanging on... this is how life is, just as cycling is.
|Thrilled to get my first win with my new Don Walker Cycles Cx team! Winning always feels so good!!|
The last 3 weeks and the start of the cross season have been no different. My first race kicked off with the ICX Lion of the Den race, where I won, followed by the kick off of the OVCX series in Borden, IN, which I pretty much stunk at. Analogy to life: it has it's up and downs, and now it's up to me to learn from it all and move on.
|At least I did well at the barriers during the OVCX opener. Getting ready to jump back on the bike.|
I was super excited to get back to the cross world this year. I'm pretty happy about getting to start racing with everyone else since I missed most of last season after the NDE. I love to race cx and whether I'm doing good or bad... I'm just happy I get to do more of it this year. However, I also have to remember that this is a long, long season compared to what I had last year and that my goals are still a couple months down the road for nationals and world's. I know this and seem to keep that perspective until the gun goes off for the start of the race. Somehow, I seem to forget that my fitness is right where it should be at this point in the year when the adrenaline is going! I can't keep in peak fitness until Nats and struggling a bit now at the races will pay off big later in the year. I shouldn't dramatize that too much, since I'm a world's better condition than where I was last year at this point. It just seems there are many more girls in even better shape than me currently. So... I didn't finish too well at the ovcx race. I ended up 17th of 30 elite girls and 4th in elite master's. I know that doesn't seem horrible to some, but to me, I was greatly disappointed with myself. It wasn't that I had a bad race, or didn't give all I had, I just got out raced. Aside from the interesting call-up procedure by the host team (I won't nor do I need to explain since I wasn't the only person to notice this) at the start that put me in the last row despite my early registration; that found me caught up behind a start straight wreck. I had a pretty uneventful race. Heck, I didn't even feel slow! I was just left shaking my head trying to figure out what hit me. I left the race trying to figure out where I went wrong, and upset with myself. After talking to coach Mark, I realized I hadn't "went wrong" anywhere. Life just has things thrown at us we can't control and I came to the reality that I'm not the same racer or person I was 2 years ago. I hate excuses more than anything and I always felt that me saying I have myasthenia gravis is an excuse... but I now know it's not a excuse, it's my reality. I have a chronic illness and it effects me whether I like it or not. It's not an excuse, it's my life now. It only took me a whole year to be able to come to that realization to myself. Not the easiest thing to admit as a active person.
|Rounding the corner at the ICX race... on my way to the run-up.|
That of course doesn't mean that I will let it get the best of me! No sir! I have good days too! I was able take home a win during my first cx race at the Lion of the Den ICX!
|Myself and Rebecca Zink (Shamrock Cycles) pre-race... the two gals sponsored by handmade builders, both took home category wins at the Lion of the Den!|
I also brought home 2 more wins this past weekend at small local races at Depot Cx and Frankie Cx in Fort Wayne. I may not have had any other cat1 women at either race, but I felt like I improved and got some of my inner "Stella" back during these events. I took Depot cx to focus on putting out some power and going into the red zone the whole race (and also practiced my dollar hand-ups) and then focused on my cornering at Frankie Cx Sunday. I feel I accomplished that and I had a lot of fun at the races too. My original plan was to make it up to the WI USGP since I really love this race and was bummed to miss it last year with the NDE, but life responsibilities prevented that this year and it just didn't work out. I was happy and thankful to still be able to hit a couple local races instead!!
|Celebrating the first race and the first Win of the season Don Walker Cycles style!|
Other than that I was happy to get together with the whole Don Walker Cycles Racing Team for the first time during the OVCX race. I can't express how thankful I was to show up to a race and have a crew and pit area around to make the race day easier! The DW waffle crew has put together a huge effort and sweet set-up for us racers and I can't wait to race more with them in the future!
For now, I'll keep on training, working hard, and living a life full of fun!
|A reminder I keep on my mirror to keep things in perspective . Like it Mark?|
See you at the races!