Saturday, December 10, 2011

USGP Bend day one

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

WA State Championships

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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

SCX #7 Monroe

What a day! It rained all day and made the ground very wet and muddy. The way they laid out the course this year was my favorite so far. So much mud and so technical. Perfect!

I was 6th going into the series finals and Mel my teammate was in 4th. So our goal was to take off and try to move up a bit in the points. We started, and I had a great start. I was sitting around 3rd after the straight away. I stayed there for about a half lap then Natasha passed me. I tried to hang on, but lost her wheel.

Mel came up and we rode together for a half a lap and then she got a gap on me after the technical downhill. We both rode down it just fine but Mel could ride up the up hill section after the downhill and I had to run which gave her a little gap each lap.

I held on and finished in 5th, Mel in 4th on the day. What a fun course. Good news was that the 3rd place girl didn't race so Mel moved up to 3rd overall and I moved up to 5th overall! What a great season so far for the Cycle U-PopCap team.

Chad figured out that so far in 18 races we have had 31 top 5 placings! That is awesome.

Chad and Sean also had a great race. They rode together most of the race and finished 4th and 5th on the day.

Evan had a good race but finished 10th overall in his first Cat 1-2 field! Super awesome.

And lastly Holden had lne goal and that was to finish his race. And he did, he was so cold and muddy when he was done but he did it, he finished in those crazy cold, wet and muddy conditions. So proud of him!

Ok so on to State Champs this Sun. I hope for some fresh legs.

Thank you SCX for another great season!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SCX #6 Sprinker

Well what can I say, another bad luck race for me. The bad part was I was feeling just about the best I have felt all season too!

I really liked the new course layout, it had more turns then before which slowed it down a bit and made it a little more technical. It was so cold today. I raced at 1:30 and it was only about 38 degrees. So I broke out the long sleeve thermal undershirt for this one.

We took off at the start and I decided to not go all out, to just sit on 2nd or 3rd wheel to see how I was going to feel and I felt good. I really felt good, I was so excited and about half way through the first lap I was in 2nd, right on 1st places wheel and not going all out. This was setting up to be my best race this season.

Then it happened, I shifted down to get ready for the 2nd run up and my chain fell into my rear wheel. I fixed it but realized my chain had come out of the bottom of the derailleur. I fixed it but 5th place had already gone by. I got to the pits, where Justin and Chad had my bike ready for me. Awesome bike change, thanks guys. So I got on the B bike and right away it felt wrong. My chain was popping in the middle of my cassette. So I still tried to bridge back up to the girls in front of me, but just couldn't do it.

Turns out my rear derailleur was broken so Justin took one off of Chad's bike and had my bike back running in 2 laps. Thank you Justin! You rock!

So back on the A bike and I gave it one good shot and tried to bridge back up. But after one lap I just faded out. It was just not my day. I am trying so hard to stay with it this season with all my injuries, illnesses and bike mechanicals. I am so mentally fried, but I just hung on and finished 7th behind Mel who was in 6th, who also had a bad day and had her chain drop off twice.

Oh well just another bad day. I was pretty frustrated when I finished but it is time to move on and focus on Monroe. Who knows what will happen there, but I will be there and give it my best for sure.

Holden crashed hard at the first set of barriers in his race and hurt his side and leg. He got back up and finished one lap and then bailed do to pain and a bad head cold. Poor guy, he will be back for Monroe.

Chad and Sean also had a rough day, they were sitting both in the top 5 after the first lap, looking good, when a rider crashed in front of them and they had to stop and wait to get by. Chad worked back up from almost last place to finish 8th and Sean in 11th. Evan also was in a crash, and he got up and finished in 18th.

So overall not a good race day for Cycle U-PopCap. But we will all shake it off this week and focus on Monroe.

Thank you again Justin for rushimg to get my bike fixed and back available to ride!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MFG #6 Magnuson Park The Finals

Wow I got behind this week and never posted my race report from Woodland Park. It is so awesome to be able to race in Seattle and at Woodland Park.There were so many spectators and we hit a record with 970 registered racers! That is crazy, but so awesome.

We had 19 women on the Cat 1-2 start line. That is the biggest WA Cat 1-2 turn out yet. Super excited to see so many women upgrading.

Going into the race my team mate Mel Lewis was in first place overall with Jenni Geartner not coming to race. I was in 4th. I really wanted to move up into 2nd and thought if I finished 2 people in front of 3rd place, I could get enough points to move into 2nd.

We took off and I was in 2nd right on Mel's wheel going into the first turn. I stayed there and Courtney McFadden came up and around us. We went over the first set of barriers and we were all still really tight. Mel burped some air out of her tubeless tires and then dropped her chain and that set her back to around 15th place. I kept on the gas and tried to stay with Courtney. I couldn't hang on but was sitting in 2nd for awhile until Beth passed me. I decided to sit on Beth's wheel because she was in 3rd place overall and I needed to beat her.

So I sat on her for one lap then Jessica and Marsa came around and I jumped on their wheels and we dropped Beth. I stayed with Jessica and Marsa for the rest of the race. Marsa and I were swapping back and forth for the last 2 laps. I got ahead of her but she was able to kill me on the run up and the back side gravel hills. I blew up in the last lap but hung on to finish in 4th behind Marsa.

Mel killed herself to try to get in between me and Beth and she worked her way up to finishin 5th behind me and in front Beth. It was so awesome to see her do that, I was so happy and grateful for her efforts for me.

So I thought I had moved into 2nd overall but then starting doing the math and realized I had missed it by 1 point. Super frustrating but that is how it goes. Later in the week I found out that I was actually 4th overall, and that Jenni even though she wasn't at the last race had won enough races to hold onto 2nd place overall.

On Thursday we went to the MFG awards party at Hale’s Ales in Ballard to cheer on Mel and Sean who won the Cat 1-2 women, and the Master 35+ men's overall!! It was a good time with MFG holding a raffle with some awesome prizes and then the winner of each cat got to play musical chairs to determine their order for picking prizes from the prize table.

It was pretty funny watching all the adults and kids all play musical chairs. Then after that they went in order and picked out prizes, Mel got a Raleigh single speed cross bike!! And Sean won an awesome pair of Mavic shoes. MFG has amazing prizes!!

Thank you MFG for putting on such a great series and making it so much fun every weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

SCX #5 Steilacoom

SCX #5 brought us back to Fort Steilacoom in Tacoma.

This place I have a love hate relationship with. Sometimes I have my best races here and sometimes my worst.

This race was right in the middle. We started out with over 10 ladies in the 1-2 field. I am sitting 4th in the series so my goal was to try to break into the top 3 today.

I have another head cold. Frustrating, but what do you do. I started my warm up and felt off, I was even a bit light headed and considered not starting. But I took some Dayquil and that helped a lot.

We took off and Mel my team mate got the whole shot. I decided I wasn't going to go all out on the start since I wasn't feeling well. So I sat around 4th on the start. I hung there and thought for sure we would hit the first climb and I would get shelled off, but no. I actually felt ok. So I hung in and got to the run up. Which again, thinking I would get dropped. But no I felt ok again. So back on I went. I was sitting in 4th when Emily got by me. I stayed on her wheel and quickly knew that on the downhill’s I was a bit faster and used that to my advantage.

On the 3rd lap I got around Emily on the uphill and then hit it hard on the downhill and got a gap. I caught up with Jessica and sat on her wheel. Mel was in 2nd and I knew if I went around Jessica I would be pulling her back up to Mel. So I used some road tactics and sat on her wheel forcing her to work to try to catch Mel.

Mel noticed we were back there and she kicked it in. Every lap, she was getting closer and closer to 1st, and pulling away from 3rd. I tried to get around Jessica but just didn't have the strength. I held in for 4th, pretty happy with my race considering I was sick.

Mel caught up to Courtney who was in 1st and it came down to a sprint finish and Mel got the win! Super excited for her, her first win!

Chad and Sean had great races. Sean finishing in 5th and Chad in 7th.

Evan said he felt the best in this race so far. Great sign for him that he is healing up and getting regaining his fitness.

And Holden got a flat and was able to pit and get a new wheel and held on to finish in 15th.

Another great weekend for the Cycle U-PopCap team.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The family all went out with the "RUM RUNNERS" crew. We met at Mandi's parents house in Glen Eagle in Arlington. There were a lot of kids and a lot of candy. Super fun.

In the picture, my mom is Santa, Holden is a turtle, I am a cow, my neice Alyssa is a lepard, and my dog Elvis is Super Dog.

SCX #4 Enumclaw

Wow what a different day. It rained all day, and this course was awesome. Super muddy and super technical. One of my favorites all season.

I just wish I would have had better legs. I think I took to much out of my legs yesterday and with my body still coming back from all my injuries I just didn't have that much left in my legs for today. Riding the course I was happy, loving it being so crazy and technical. But once we started racing that all changed.

We took off, I got the while shot and lead going into the run up. That first run up is where I died. It hurt so bad to get up that hill. I could barely move my legs, one step after another but it hurt so bad. By the time we got to the top I was back in 4th place. I rode the technical mud sections well but just couldn't get my legs turning.

I tried my hardest but every time up that hill I died a little more. By the last lap I had fallen into 6th behind Emily again. I could still see her but couldn't catch her. Craig passed me and Emily on lap 4 so we were done. I was actually happy about that, that is pretty rare for me. I don't like to be lapped.

Mel had a good race and finished in 3rd behind Courtney in 1st and Jessica in 2nd. Mel is sitting 3rd in the series, hope to get her up into the top 2 overall in both series.

Chad had the race if his season. Leading out team mate Sean and riding in 1st for the 1st two laps! It was so exciting to watch him lead a race. He fell back to 6th by the end but because of his work, Sean was able to move into first and win the race! First win of the season for the team. So awesome!

Holden had a little asthma attack and had to pull out again. A rough weekend for him. He will be back next week.

Off to Steilacoom this weekend. I will redeem myself.

MFG #5 Magnuson Park

What a beautiful sunny day. And a course at Magnuson Park, great combo for a great day.

The course was wet and slippery early in the am races. So I was excited, but overall it was a fast course again. I felt pretty good. I woke up with a lot of energy and was pretty excited for the race.

The 1-2 women lined up on the start. Like all the races this season our women's field is stacked with some really talented girls. The whistle blew and we were off. I got an ok start and was in 5th into the first hard turn. I punched it a bit and moved into 4th trying to hang onto my teammate, Mels wheel. I hung for a bit but fell off and tried to hang on in 4th. I sat in 4th for most of race, I could see every one ahead if me the whole race. The closest I have been to first place all season.

One the last lap I tried to attack Emily Eggers, who is riding super strong but couldn't stay ahead of her and she finished just ahead if me sprinting with Jessica Cutler at the line. I was only about 5sec behind them to finish in 5th.

Mel came down to a sprint finish with Jessica and finished in 2nd. So close, we will get her a win this season!

So far my best race based on my efforts and how close I was to the top 4 girls in front me. Overall a good race, I am getting stronger with every race.

In the elite master men, my teammate Sean was sitting in 1st in the series and needed to beat Rich to keep the lead. Unfortunatly he didn't have the legs and held in to finish in 8th. We will see now at Woodland Park how the series ends up. Chad had an ok race, he decided to sit up a bit and save energy for tomorrows race.

Holden crashed a few times and twisted his ankle so he had to pull out of the race. He was bummed out but ok.

So tomorrow is Enumclaw. It will be hard and wet.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MFG #4 Marymoor

Well the bad luck continues, at least not to the body this time.

I was so excited, I loved the course today. It was laid out great with lots of challenging off camber sections and lots of corners. It rained all day yesterday and first thing this morning so every thing was slippery! My favorite conditions. I did a couple pre ride laps and felt good. I was super excited for this race.

We lined up at the start. I was excited. They said go and we were off. I got a great start, right on my team mate Mels wheel in around 3rd. But, about 100 yards into the start my chain broke. Damn it!

I ran to run into the pits. Thank you Dan and Justin for a great pit! But I fell back to last place and was a ways off the back. I was pretty frustrated to say the least. I felt sorry for myself for about 15 sec then decided I had nothing to loose so I started hitting it hard.

I got past 2 girls pretty quickly. Then started passing the guys. I felt good, so I just pushed to see how many people I could get back. I moved up a couple more spots and about half way through I started to see in 5th and 6th place just up ahead. I pushed pretty hard and every lap I was making ground. About half way through the last lap I was about 25 yards from 6th place, Leah, who was only 1point ahead of me in the series. So I gave every thing I had to catch her but ran out of real estate. I pulled her in to about 3 to 4 bike lengths by the finish.

So 7th place for me. I am happy with how I rode after I got my B bike, just bumbed out my chain broke. What a season so far. It has to get better soon.

My son Holden on the other hand raced one of his best races ever. He fought hard and was in 5th for the first lap. He fell back to 7th on the 2nd lap but he raced so strong and he was so much fun to watch! He really has found his competitive side this season. Great job Holden!

Chad raced on Sat up in Skagit Co and got 7th in the Elite men at his favorite course, Sedro Wolley. Awesome race for him. But because he pushed so hard yesterday he paid a little bit today. He raced strong and finished in 14th. Great weekend for him.

Congrats to Mel in her 2nd place finish today. She was with 1st for a bit and held on strong to finish 2nd. Awesome job today Mel!

Congrats to Sean for also finishing 2nd today. He is leading the MFG series now!

And congrats to Even, who is recovering from a back injury. He said his back didn't hurt today for the first race this season without pain! Nice work Evan.

And Brian and Pamela Fiete came out today to watch us race. Brain is part owner of PopCap games, one if our title sponsors. Super great to have them there cheering us on.

Ok 2races next weekend. Time for a come back!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SCX #3 Silver Lake

I have to say that cyclocross is my favorite cycling discipline but with my shoulder and back injury and my cold this season has not really been fun, until today!

I love the Silver Lake course. Thank you to Phil Oppenheimer for locking in this awesome venue a few years ago! This course has every thing and is really the hardest and most challenging course we have all season.

I came out today with no back pain and just a little bit of my head cold but overall the best I have felt since the Labor Day race. I knew this course would favor my technical skills unlike a lot of the other courses so far this season.

First off I want to say how awesome our women's field is this year. In any given day there us 6-8 ladies that can win and that makes racing so much more interesting. The 1-2 women's field is super talented and strong and it is awesome to see the numbers in the field growing so fast!

I got a great start today, one thing I have beeb lacking on so far this season. I was 3rd into the sand and got a good line and made it through the whole first long beach section and moved into 2nd behind Natasha. I tried to stay on here wheel but couldn't hang. My team mate Mel was on my wheel pushing me. I love having a team mate that is so strong and we can work together. Mel was a bit stronger and got around me but I stayed with her a bit. I held onto 3rd for a couple laps but I knew Courtney was coming on strong. With two laps to go Courtney caught me and passed me. But I stayed with her and she made a couple bobbles and I was able to get back in front of her. But she was stronger on the up hills and pulled away from me and then we caught on to Mel. Courtney got around Mel on the last lap and I tried every thing to try to stay on Mels wheel. We finished 3rd and 4th on the day. It was a great race and I had so much fun. Finally I am coming back, slowly but I feel so much stronger. Super excited for this weekend to see how I can do.

Congrats to Mel on 3rd, Sean awesome 2nd place in 35+ 1-2, Chad 10th in 35+ 1-2, Evan in 15th 1-2 elite and Holden in 17th in junior 10-12. Awesome weekend for Cycle U-PopCap!

I love this team!

And thank you Chris for coming out taking such awesome pics!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SCX #2 Steilacoom

Today was finally a better race day. By no means am I 100% but my back is so much better and the head cold is almost gone.

It was a rough week with this head cold knocking me down Mon and Tues but I was able to get some training in and today it showed.

I got a good start. Found my pedal pretty fast and was in 3rd into the first corner. I moved into first until the climb. With being injured and sick the whole month of Sept I am lacking power and the first time up the climb I felt that.

Natasha and Courtney got around me and hit it pretty hard on the hill. I gave it all I had and got up. Then hit it hard on the downhill. Made up some ground. I hung onto 3rd for a short bit then Jessica flew by me. I couldn't hang on her pace and then Mel came by. I was able to ride with Mel for about a lap, which was awesome to have a team mate to ride with. But Mel gapped me a bit and I wasn't able to hang on. That darn hill was killing me every lap.

So I finished 5th. Every race I am getting a spot better so that is a good sign. Things will continue to get better each week.

Chad had a great race today, finishing 6th not far behind Sean, fellow team mate. He looked strong all race. His coach is awesome :)

Holden also had a great race finishing in 12th. He is riding so well. Super proud of him!

Ok on to a good week of training. See you all next week at Silver Lake. I love that course! Get ready for sand.

Monday, October 3, 2011

MFG #3 North Bend

I knew going into this race that it was going to be another battle. I came down with a head cold last Wed so I knew I was going to be hurting a bit. Good news is my back is a lot better. There isn't as much pain now but I am still a bit weak and not putting out the same amount of power as before.

We got to the race around 8:30am which ment we were up at 5am to get every thing packed. Early mornings for sure. After getting a bit lost we found the beautiful Mountain Meadows Park in North Bend.

Coach Amara Edwards (CycleU's junior head coach) met us as we pulled in and got us a great spot and we got all set up.

The course was ok, a great venue but the grounds were very rough and bumpy. Another totally flat, dry and fast course. So far all the couses this season have been very flat and fast. Not ones that favor my more technical skills, but I know the mud is coming!

Mel, my team mate, and myself raced first on the day for the Cycle U-PopCap team. I got a pretty good warm up and was feeling ok so I went to the start line. There was a little bit of negative energy on the start line that I was kinda sucked into and realized after wards that I need to try better at lining up next to more positive energy. We had a great line up of fast girls and I knew based on the course I had a lot of work ahead me to get a good placing.

The gun went off and I had a good start. I fell into about 3rd place going into the first corner. I was with my team mate Mel. We were together for a bit but Mel had a great start and moved ahead of me a bit. I wanted to work for her but just couldn't hang on. I settled in and found my rythum.

I was riding with Natasha, she was a bit faster then me so I sat on her wheel for awhile. I saw an opportunity with 3 laps to go and attacked her on a section that I felt a bit faster on. I got a samll gap but with 2 laps to go my back started acting up again and I lost some power. Natasha got back by me and I just couldn't hang on. I just rode the last lap out the best I could and hung on to 6th place. I was 10th last weekend so 6th is an improvement for sure.

Mel finished 2nd! That puts her in 2nd place overall. Super excited for her. She is having a great season and I love having her on my team.

Holden raced next. He is on the Cycle U junior team now and has a fellow team mate, Brennan who races the same age group as him. He raced so strong. He to was sick but he raced through it. The junior race was a bit longer then normal so on the first two laps he was riding so strong but when he came through and saw he had one more lap he was a bit tired and had to just ride it out to finish. He was pretty tired at the end but raced so well. I was so proud of him. And Brennan came in one person behind him so a great day for cycle u.

Chad and Sean raced last. Sean and Chad both always get such great starts. After the first lap Sean was settled in a pack of about 8 guys for the lead group. Chad was just behind that group riding strong. Sean raced smart and finished in 3rd which keeps him in the top 3 for the overall and Chad raced awesome and came in 11th I think.

I hope this cold goes away this week. I am off now to get a massage! Thank god. So we are at Steilacoom next week. Another flat fast course. But my goal is to finish in the top 5 next weekend.

Great job to every one that raced yesterday! See you on Sunday.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The new Cycle U-PopCap jersey's

Time to catch up

Wow sorry I have been so out of the loop for so long. It has been a crazy summer for sure.

I feel that the illness gods are not on my side in 2011. Back in May and June I was the sickest I had ever been before. I was on my way to the 24 hour mtb race in Spokane and wasn't feeling to good. We stopped at a gas station and I threw up all over the back of the gas station. What a way to start a 24hr race!

We kept on driving and got to the race. I was up all night in and out of the port-a-potties. I had stomach cramps so bad. But with my stubbornish I start the race and did the first lap and thought I was going to die. I got through that lap and laid down and slept. I got up thinking I was better, but I was wrong.

My stomach was cramping so bad I could hardly stand up straight. But stupid me, I tried one more lap. I didn't want to let my team down, so I tried. I finished that lap but in the most pain I had ever been in.

With the help of Chad's right mind I decided to throw in the towel. The next 24 hours would be the worst to come. I was in the fetal position most of the day and night and by 1pm the next day we were off to the ER in Spokane.

2 hours of waiting in the ER and then 2 more hours in the room with morphine and spasm meds they released me with no diagnoses. But less pain.

I got better over the next couple days and thought it was just the flu. But driving home the following Thursday I threw up all over myself while in rush hour traffic. Pretty humbling for sure. I was a mess. I made it home to Chad who got me new clothes and I was back in the fetal position again.

I went into my doctor the next day and he tested for ecoli and giardia and the next day I got a call from the nurse that I tested positive for giardia. It was a mixed blessing . I was happy to know what I had and that it was curable, but was disgusted that I had little critters living inside of me.

So onto antibiotics I went. They helped and killed the critters but also killed every thing good in my gut. So the whole month of June I was off my bike trying to get healthy.

I started riding again in July but pretty much starting from scratch. I got in a couple good months of training and then raced the first cross race of the season on Labor Day.

I started out feeling pretty good. I was in 3rd and doing ok considering being a bit behind in training. With 2 laps to go coming out of a turn I stood up to get back up to speed and the course tape grabbed by handle bars and stopped my bike and I went flying over the handle bars. Hit the ground really hard and landed on my head and right shoulder.

Holy crap I had not crashed that hard in a long time. I jumped up and made sure nothing was broken and off I went. My shoulder hurt pretty bad, but I finished and held onto 3rd place.

Instantly my shoulder was hurting. I could tell it wasn't broken but possibly a small seperation. I iced it and went to my chiropractor the next day. That helped a lot and we decided to try taping my shoulder back to help releave pain while riding.

That worked but after two days of taping the shoulder back my lower back went out. That hurt more then the shoulder. So back to the Chiro for more adjustments. But this wasn't going away.

I raced the first MFG race and right in the first lap I crashed. Luckily on the other side. I lost a lot of positions and fell back to around 10th. I felt good though and started fighting back. I worked my way back up to 4th. I was pretty happy with that.

The back was really bad after that race. I could barely stand up. Kept in at chiro and started getting massages.

I started Starcrossed not know what to expect. It was a stacked field to say the least. I got a back row call up. So I knew I was going to have a lot of work ahead of me. I raced hard, and felt pretty strong and worked my way up to finish 14th. Not bad for racing injured.

Back was really sore again after the race. I started the Rapha Focus GP and right away I knew it wasn't going to be good. I couldn't produce any power and had to pull out of the race. For those of you that know me, I don't quit races unless I am in a lot of pain. So that will tell you how bad it really was.

So I was super frustrated and back in chiro and another massage. The back muscles were starting to let go a bit and I started feeling some relief.

I raced the first Seattle Series race and that didn't go so well either. We drove from Chelan at 4am (from a weding the day before) and boy was I tired. The whole morning was stressful with different issues and I just knew it wasn't going to be a good day.

We started only 15sec behind the guys. Not sure why such a short gap but it was horrible. We were mixing into the guys in the first corner and the whole race became a mess trying to pass guys just to stay with the girls.

I normally don't complain about being in with the guys, but 15sec just isn't enough time. So I got caught a few times behind some guys I couldn't get around and the race was over for me. I gave up metally and just finished it out the best I could to finish in 10th.

And now I have a cold. I swear my patience is being tested. I am trying to stay positive and work through it. We will see how tomorrow goes at the MFG race in North Bend. I am on a mission to kick some butt as long as I have the energy.

So long story short this has been a crazy summer and start to the cross season. Look out I will be killing it by Dec!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chilly Cross

I traveled up to Bellingham today to race the last cross race in WA. For the first time in while I went to this race solo. It was kinda fun, but lonely. I really like racing with my family but Chad had to work so I dropped Holden off at my brother's house and headed up north.

The weather was pretty good. It was about 38 degrees but clear ski. The course was awesome!! I really like racing at Cornwall park. It has a little bit of everything and this year they ran the course backwards from last year and added in some new area's. Overall I have to say that I like this course layout the best so far.

My race start time was 10:30am. There were 5 Elite women on the line. Not bad for 3 weeks after Nats and no local racing here at home since then. This was the last race of a smaller series so the first row was the girls that had raced all the races and then myself and Corrie Middleton from Collision One lined up on the back row since we had not done any of the other races in this series.

We started about 30 sec behind the 45+ Cat 3 men and I decided to not go out all crazy and just sit on a couple girls wheels to get a feel for how everyone was riding. We went into this wooded section with 2 little log dismounts. We all were able to ride them, but Courtney McFadden with Western University had a little bobble so I decided to kick it in and attack. We went into this longer climb and I started opening up a gap and started running into the guys that were in front of us. We came through the start finish area and I had about a 10 sec gap on Courtney so I started pushing it. There was this big open grass section with some good corners that were slippery mud so I used my technical skills to open up my gap even more.

I started to focus on getting as many guys as I could that started in front of us. So I spent the rest of the race just going after the guys, and got quite a few of them. Not sure where I ended up finishing with them but I had a blast and really love riding with those guys. They are all so nice and so encouraging when I go by them, and I know they hate it!! So thank you guys for always pushing me and cheering me on out there, it really helps.

So I held on and opened up my gap to around 2min and got the win with Courtney finishing in 2nd. It was such a great course, and fun to have a lower key race with less stress. I had a pretty bad head cold over the last 2 weeks so I was nervous that was going to hinder me, it did but just a little bit. And my hand, holy cow it was awesome!! I raced with no brace and it felt almost 100%!! I was so excited to be able to ride again and have full strength and be able to shift without the brace getting in the way!!

I am only just shy of 8 weeks after surgery and I can hardly tell it ever happened!! Thank you again Dr. Weil and Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle! You guys rock and made the end of my season possible!! Thank you so much to everyone that worked with me. I really appreciate it!

So now it is time to just hit the gym and get in some longer runs and riding a few days a week to take a break and then I will be out on the Mountain bike more this year to build up my muscle strength for the 2011 cross season. So I will see you all out on the road and off road this spring and summer.

I will update as things happen,