Thursday, October 10, 2013
I was graciously invited to help coach a beginner womens cross clinic with the Luna Chix and Catherine Pendrel at Woodpark.
What a great experience and what a great group of ladies.
We had about 40 ladies show up to learn cross skills from Catherine Pendrel, Mountain Bike World Champion!!
Courteny McFadden, Mel Lewis and myself were Catherines back up coaches.
First thing I can say is that Catherine is an amazing lady, so nice and friendly and a great teacher.
We held a 3 hour clinic that included barrier work, running and corning skills and much more.
What a great experience, thank you Luna Chix for putting this clinic on and raising over $900 for breast cancer, all the proceeds were donated to the Breast Cancer Fund on behalf of Luna Chix.
Check out the Luna Chix website for more info on this amazing team:
I am so far behind on my updates, I am just not so good and staying on top of these posts. So I will try to catch back up.
I don't have to much great to say about McCollum park race except that the course and the venue were awesome. I really liked the course, and I hope we get to continue to race there!! I am a huge fan of all the racing in Sno Co this year, closer to home so I am happy.
When we got to the park the weather was iffy. It was dry but very windy with up to 35mph winds forecasted.
We got everything set up and about one hour before my race the skies opened and it poured down rain. That made the course very muddy!! Awesome!!
So we lined up at the start in the rain. I was on the last row of about 25 ladies, another great Elite women's field!
Off we went and I knew right away things were going to hurt. I was fighting a cold and my body was tired. I tried my hardest but in the muddy grass I just didn't have any power. I tried my hardest but every lap I was passed by one or two girls and ended up finishing 17th on the day. I was bumbed out but what can I do, with my knee I just don't have that much power so on the dry flat courses I am faster but in the mud I just don't have the muscle strength yet to get through it.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
What an amazingly fun day!!
It was overcast most of the day, temps were perfect. Not to hot, not to cold. And there was an amazing amount of talent in every race.
I raced the Masters Open 30+ Women's Cat. We had around 20 ladies on the line, great size field!! I got a front row call up which was great, and I had my teammate Kristy Kelsey on my wheel in the second row. I got a great start, was in top 10 right off the gun. I held that for most of the race. I was going back and forth with a couple ladies and was actually feeling pretty strong minus the barriers of course.
I had passed a couple ladies and was in 8th place going into the last quarter of the last lap and was trying to turn on the heat because I could see 2-5th place just a few seconds ahead of me. So I wanted to give it all I had to see how far I could move up. And of course I railed a turn to hard and actually rolled my clincher tire off the bead.
At first I thought my rear wheel had gone out of true because I could feel my tired rubbing back and forth on my brakes. Then I was suddenly put to stop, I didn't crash but when I looked down I saw that the tire was off the bead and my tube had wrapped around my cassette and into my rear derailleur. Darn it, I can't run so I was done. The finish was only like 2 mins away!! Oh well, at least it happened at the end so I got to get in almost the whole race. It was a great workout for sure!!
Chad had to cut the tube in like 6 different pieces to get it out of my drive line. It really was stuck in there!!First time I can ever say I rolled a clincher!
Great day, super fun and the Elite men's and women's races were awesome. So exciting!!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Sunday was the first series race of the year. The sun was out and boy was it hot.
The course was excellent, it had a little bit of everything and I really liked it.
This was the first time we had all the Category women racing at the same time, and I personally loved it!!
We had a lot of women out on the course and only women during our time slot. I feel that this gives the women the lime light that we deserve so we are not all mixed in and lost in the men. And I believe this will also help all the women improve because they can see the upper categories pace and that will encourage growth in all categories. So I feel it is a win win for everyone.
I lined up on the 2nd row, we had 22 Elite women, the largest local elite field I have ever been in, in either of our 2 series here in Wa! That is so awesome that our fields are growing so rapidly each year, I remember when I first started and to be honest up till just a couple years ago we would only have 5-8 elite women on the line. So I was super excited to see the growth!!
I got a great start, and found my pedal pretty fast. I was in approx 6th place till about 3/4 of a lap when we hit the road hill climb section. And I felt like I was standing still! Girls were flying by me. That is my weakness right now since I have not been able to ride hills very long with my knee. So I just gave it all I could and I fell back into the 2nd group of ladies and hung on. On the flats and technical sections I am very strong but anything that goes up right now just hurts.
So I made it to the barriers and again girls flew by me. Since I have to walk the barriers I was passed every lap there by one or two ladies. But there is nothing I can do about that right now, I am trying really hard to follow the doctors instructions and no running or barriers till Nov. So when you all see me walking that is why. It is funny cause people that don't know my story always yell at me to run not walk, I just get a giggle out of it. I am just so happy to be back out there!!
Again a great showing for the women's cats this weekend!! I so proud to say I am a WA women cross racer. We have such a great group of ladies out there and I really enjoy racing with all of you!!
Saturday is Stracrossed and I am racing the master 30+. I will give it my all and see what I can do.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
A lot has happened in that year and a half.
I decided last season to take a year off of racing. I was burning out a bit at the end of the 2010/11 season. And after thinking about it I realized I had not had any significant time off in 17 years of racing and I was feeling it. I have been racing very competitively for over 17 years and my body was starting to take a toll. I had back problems really bad the whole season and that wore me down and made racing not so fun.
So I took the whole year off of 2012 and boy did it feel good. I needed it so bad. It was a little hard when the first cross came around to not race, but once that first race was over it was very easy to not race! I still went to every cross race in 2012 as support for my family and the Cycle U-PopCap Elite team. I really enjoyed being able to give back and help everyone. It was just fun to watch people race!
So after that winter I was excited to get back to racing, feeling very rested I wanted to start training again and get back out there in the 2013 season. I started training early spring and was feeling good, out of shape but fresh. When unfortunately I hurt my right knee. Not sure exactly what I did but one day I woke up and my knee was swollen up the size of a grapefruit. And a lot of pain.
I went to see Dr. Doug Nowak at Everett Bone and Joint and we did an MRI. Unfortunately the MRI didn't show to much, just some swelling and some irritation in the back of the knee cap but that was it. So he recommended a couple months of physical therapy to see if we could rehab it back. I went to Arlington Family PT and Chris LaPolla did a amazing job with setting me up with PT to help my knee heal up.
I went for 6 weeks and unfortunately the knee just wouldn't quit swelling so Chris sent me back to Dr. Nowak and we decided that surgery was inevitable. So on May 9th 2013 I went under the knife.
I had a spinal so I was awake during the surgery, first time I have ever done that, boy was that cool. Being able to see the inside of your body is amazing. So Dr. Nowak wasn't to sure what he would find when he got in there but the first words out of his mouth were, "boy this is a lot worse then I thought".
Not so good for me. I had very little cartilage left in my knee, so he had to do micro fracture on the lateral side of my knee and the back of the knee cap.
So I was out for 6 weeks, no weight at all on the leg. I was in a CPM machine for 6-8 hours everyday after surgery for the full 6 weeks. I was lucky because the pain wasn't to back. But being on crutches was a pain in itself. And to top it off the day before surgery I was reaching up to grab a glass out of the cupboard and partially tore my rotator cuff in my right shoulder! Seriously, so the doc gave me a cortisone shot to ease some pain and swelling but there was nothing he could do till I was off crutches. So I had more pain in my shoulder then my knee most of the time.
So after a long 6 weeks of couch time I was off the crutches and back in PT. It was a slow start, with just some basic exercises but every week I got stronger. After 8 weeks I was released from PT and able to just do it on my own.
I was back on my bike 4 weeks after surgery, just on the trainer and the first day I could only do 5 mins!
But everyday I got stronger and after following my doctors orders I am almost back to normal.
Right now I just over 4 months post surgery, I am able to ride without any pain most of the time on the bike. So I decided to give cross racing a try. The doctor said only if I promised to not run or dismount at speed, I could race. So that was a go for me, and I really am walking over all barriers and run ups. And it's working.
I raced the WAWCX womens festival the middle of August and felt pretty good. I rode strong on the bike, and just stopped and walked each set of barriers. Of course everyone passed me there but I didn't care, I just wanted to get in a good race effort on the bike.
And yesterday I raced the Labor Day CX race and actually felt pretty darn strong on the bike. I was doing really well and riding in 6-7 place in the elite women until on lap 3 my saddle popped up after I hit a big bump and boy is is hard to ride when the nose of your saddle is pointing straight up!! I got a tool and fixed it to only have it happen again a quarter lap later. Darn it, so frustrating. So I feel way back and got lapped by the top guys, but I still finished. One lap down but it counted.
So now I am replacing the seat post so that doesn't happen again!
So long story but that is what I have been up to over the last year. And now I am working on my newest adventure of opening up my very own Cycle U North up in Arlington in Snohomish CO!!! I am so excited to get to bring the amazing classes and bike fitting up north so that everyone in Sno Co can get some great indoor training this winter. My website is www.cycleunorth.com. It is a work in progress but in a week or so I will have class dates and times posted. Please spread the word that there is now a Cycle U North in Arlington. I can't wait to get to help so many people improve their fitness and love for cycling.
Ok I am off now, and I will try to keep posting as things happen this season and keep you all updated on my progress with my knee.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Well day one of the USGP in over. Not the best day for me but it will do. It was so cold and windy all day.
We had 41 women on the start line in the Elite womens field. And of course I was number 39 on the call up order. So last row start :(
My goal was to see how many girls I could catch and pass. I got a good start and moved up into around 20th by the half way mark. I settled in with a group of gals. We were back and forth and a couple girls got around me and got away.
I felt good, just was affected by the altitude a lot. Lap 3 I started to panic a bit and was really having a hard time breathing. I calmed down and got control of the breathing and held on to finish 27th.
The corse was fun though. First time I have ridden in Bend for cross in the dry sandy conditions.
Mel got crashed out on the first lap and faught back to finish 27th.
Sean rode awesome and got 3rd in the 45+ men cat!
Chad wasn't feeling it today and finished in 50th in the 35+ men.
And Evan at the age of 18 raced his first National level elite race and finished strong, getting pulled with a couple laps to go.
Another day of racing tomorrow. My goal is to break into the top 20 tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
What a beautiful day Sunday turned out to be at the WA State Championships in Arlington WA. It was cold but dry which made for some fast racing conditions.
My husband Chad got this awesome venue and created this awesome course. At first we were nervous that the course would be to fast and to boring, but after 4 hours of Chad tilling up the sand the course came to life.
With my rough season of injury, illness and mechanicals going into this race I wanted some redemption. And boy did I get it!
The womens elite field was stacked as usually with a ton of talent. I knew on this course with not to much technical elements I was going to have work really hard to be in the top 3.
The gun went off and I clipped into my pedal so fast. Best and fastest time so far this season. So I took off, and got the whole shot going into the first tree section. I heard a crash but I was off the front so I tried to make some ground. I had gotten about a 5 sec gap.
I was so surprised, I was off the front and feeling awesome. So I kept on the gas. I kept the lead for about 1 lap then Kari Studley caught me and passed me. I stuck to her wheel and we entered the sand. A guy fell in front of me and I ran right into him. I had to get back going again and that is when Kari got a small gap on me. I tried to bring it back but she was just a bit faster then me on the straight aways.
My team mate Mel Lewis was in 3rd with Jessica Cutler behind her in 4th. Mel played some awesome team tactics and didn't pull Jessica back up to me and with one lap to go Mel punched it to put a gap on Jessica and Mel came in 3rd place.
I held on and got 2nd just 10 sec behind Kari. What a great race. I felt like myself again. It just felt good to be able to push hard the whole race and not fade or have any mechanicals. Best race for me this whole season!
Sean, Evan and Chad all had great races. Sean took 2nd in the Master 45+ cat, Chad had a back injury and after being in 2nd for a few laps he fell back to 12th in the Master 35+. And Evan had another great race finishing in 13th in the Elite men.
Now we are off to race in Bend, OR this weekend. The season is almost over, I can't beleive how fast the season goes.