Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A New Future For Me!

Hey everyone!

I'm moving my blog.  Currently I am in the process of setting up/designing/figuring out how to work a new blog site.  I'm tired of this one and ready to move forth and eventually try to get my own domain name.  Lets see how tech savvy I can be.

The new blog website is:

If I managed to work it correctly, everything from this blog will transfer over to the new blog.

Thank goodness for technology!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Well, I can't lie and say I'm not completely satisfied, but I also can't not be satisfied after Nationals (note to reader...this might be stupidly long).

Saturday race in Bend.  
I know I never wrote about Bend.  Actually I was trying to forget about Bend because I felt SO tired!  I didn't have the best races of my life when I was there.  Saturday my legs where so freakin' tired I had NO power, I literally wanted to curl up into a ball, sleep, and then cry because I felt so terrible, I think i ended up 18th or something horrid like that.  Sunday, I didn't want to race, but I did, and I am glad I did.  The first half lap I felt terrible, but then my legs opened up and I ended up catching a lot of girls and finished 13th (I think).  All in all, Sunday was better, but really not what I wanted (I see a trend...I think I crack in these bigger races).  One positive thing about Bend, my local fans all over the course cheering my name so loudly I couldn't help but smile.  Thank You.

I can't be totally disappointed in my season, but in a small way, I am.  It was such a learning experience for me this year, that I know exactly where I went wrong.  First and foremost, traveling is exhausting, having to wake up the following day at 5am to go to work, is exhausting.  Racing, traveling, working, and attempting to train is very very very exhausting.  What I'm getting at...is I'm tired.  That's probably because I didn't get to sleep until 1:30am last night and had to work at 6am, but I guess that's the life I have chosen to live, so no complaining.  I find myself comparing my performance to others who probably don't work, who have 100% help from sponsorships and teams, who probably have coaches, who then makes them fast, and who have been doing this much longer than myself.  Then...I get down on myself and think what am I doing here, I don't deserve it, I'm just not that strong.

The positives I need to remind myself:

  • This is my 3rd year racing CX and my 4th year of actually racing bikes, I'm pretty new to the sport.
  • This was my first year traveling and racing UCI races
  • People believe in me
  • I coach myself (Because I'm broke)
  • I work (sometimes...despite what some may think)
  • I have a good life 
I think when I look at myself as a rider I see the beginner who could hardly pedal up hill, I see the girl who took 4 hours to ride 50 miles, the girl who can't possibly win a race, the girl who will amount to nothing in cycling, the girl who people didn't think could do it.  Maybe it's my sports mentality left over from brutal soccer coaches in high school, but I don't see the athlete inside of me.  I literally am my own worst critic.  Maybe it's an identity crisis?  I don't identify with those at the Elite level because I have only been there 1 season (not mixing it up with the speedies but not quite in the back either), and I'm not at the local scene to identify with my local pals.  I'm lost somewhere in the middle and I don't know exactly where I belong, it's like purgatory, but I'm actually still alive!!!  

So, as I do at the end of every cross season, I move forward, look ahead and figure out how next year I can be better.  I figure out how I can get stronger, and how I can grow my success from this past season.  I continue to feed my obsession of cycling, admiring the true Pros, and working hard to get stronger, faster, better.  

After my first season of racing in the Elites at the local scene and finishing mid pack, my goal was to come back the next season and win races.  I accomplished just that.  Perhaps, after this first season racing Elites at the UCI level my goal should be to come back next year and win races.  

I think it is.  Look for me next year, I will be the girl at the front of the races.

Desire?  Dreaming too big?  I don't know, but I'm going to make it happen.  

Nats report to come later.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

All about our Nugget

Today is one of those days where I don't think it's going to stop raining (a solid 40 degrees with continuous rain), so why not blog?

Back when Nugget and I first met, she couldn't have been older than 4 weeks here
I realized that as my reader (which I know there has to be at least 2...yep that's you Dad and John) you must get bored reading about my racing.  So why not tell you a little about my life.

Nugget after the first night of keeping me up
I'm a cat person...not a dog person.  I don't like it when dogs jump on you or smell you, or they get SO freakin' excited to see you, it's over whelming.  Cats are simple, smart, curious, and adorable.  I love cats.  They are also fluffy, and I like fluffy, so therefore I have wanted a kitten for SO long (Chris said no way)!

The opportunity came and I could get a kitten (Chris still said no way), I didn't listen to him and one day we went and picked up the kitten when she was just a wee little one (8 weeks and hardly 2 pounds).  I picked the cute cross eyed white one, she just needed to come home with me.  Well, I learned a lot about cats and kittens in just a couple of days of having her around.  After she peed and $h&% on our bed because she didn't like the cat litter we bought, we decided to call her Nugget, and immediately went out and bought the litter she likes (please note we haven't had a problem since...actually she likes to roll around in her litter...it's weird I know).

I like flowers.
After about 2 weeks (it felt like 2 months) I didn't think I could handle this little terror any more.  She literally woke me up in the middle of the night 2-3x wanting to play, wanting to eat.  She would attack my ear rings, my ring, my hair, my everything.  I couldn't get away from her.  She didn't sleep, I swear.  If I was home she was attacking my leg, if I was eating she was putting her face in my food.  When she did sleep, I would tip toe around the house hoping she wouldn't wake up.  I took the opportunity to leave for bike rides as a break from the wild freakin' kitten.  She was (still is) a very acrobatic kitten.  Jumping on everything, as high as she could, wanting to be on the couch, the kitchen counter, the windowsills, climbing the curtains.  I couldn't handle this little devil, so we convinced our friends they needed her.

They took her.  It was like a little piece of heaven at home, but truthfully I shed a few tears when she wasn't there.  It took me about a week to get over the fact that I just gave away this cute little Nugget who was just so innocent, but then I remembered I could sleep.  After about 2 weeks of Nugget being gone, we received word that she just wasn't working out at her "new" home.  So, we got the Nugget back and tried to find a new home for her (with no such luck).

Please take me with you
The little devil bitch has grown on me, and she is actually the coolest, smartest, most rockin' cat I know (okay the cutest too).  We bonded, she would follow me into the shower and pace back and forth on the tub between the shower liner and shower curtain, occasionally she would even fall in (she hated it).  She stopped attacking my leg, and together we discovered the laser pointer.  I discovered that if we locked her in the bathroom when she woke up in the middle of the night we couldn't hear her crying to get let out, then she learned, don't wake us up in the middle night.  We have now taught her not to wake us up in the morning when she wants food, if she does...we kick her out into the hall way.  She knows that the only time to wake us up is when our alarms go off and we sit up.  She knows that when we are sleeping in bed (okay most of the time we are faking it because we don't want to get up) and she pounces at us from the floor, she tip toes to the foot of the bed and falls asleep.  I can't deny that it can be scary to have a cat pounce right at your face, but sometimes you have to ignore it for the sake of wanting more sleep.

With the help of treats and food I have taught Nugget to sit.  She has learned that if she wants a treat that she cannot (I repeat cannot) jump up to me for the treat, she must sit like the good little kitty that she is.  Then I decided I got annoyed of the meowing and jumping when she wanted her meals, so now I make her sit before she gets fed (controlling much).  She gets it and follows my commands (smart kitty).  The only problem with this is now when I am in the kitchen preparing myself food she comes trotting (lets be honest...sprinting) into the kitchen and then she sits immediately and looks at me with that sweet face (thinking she is getting a treat) and I can't say no to that.

Nuggets favorite blanket
She is a sweet little kitty, she cuddles up to me in bed when I sleep in, she says goodbye to me when I leave the house (by jumping up onto the windowsill by the front door), she greets me at the door when I come home, she talks to me in her own kitty language (some other language that isn't meows).  We go on "runs" around the house (I lead her in a really excited voice and she follows me), she especially likes this game when the laser pointer is involved.  She lets me cut her nails, rub her belly, and take her for car rides crate free!  She is just the best, I just love that little Freakin' Nugget. 

Tucked away and sleeping

Sometimes she hides her eyes from me while sleeping.  I think she is trying to make it as dark as possible

She must smell everything

Tiny fuzzy Nugget

She likes to chill in sinks...but only for about 60 seconds

Always distracted

I had to share with you how awesome all 6 pounds my cat is and how she has grown to take over my heart and even Chris's.  He just loves her to pieces, and she loves him too (but me more).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

19733 miles down and only 1629 miles to go

19,733 Miles

Since my first flight to Vegas this season I have traveled 17297 miles by air and 2436 miles by car.  I don't even want to count how many miles I have traveled by bike.  :-)  

As the season wraps up I have so much to be thankful for and so many thoughts running through my head regarding the past 4 months.  I never imagined myself to be in the place I am right now (okay currently I am on an airplane flying back from Hawaii, and I knew I would be here 4 months ago).  4 months ago Cross nationals was not on my calendar, 4 months ago Fort Collins, LA, Louisville, Iowa City, and LA were not on my calendar.  My calendar consisted of Cross Vegas (for the heck of it as a "mini moon"), local races, dreaming of Hawaii, some more local races, and more dreaming of Hawaii.  I think the last thing I remember from the past 4 months is waking up the morning of our wedding.  I hardly remember the day, the night, the next day, Vegas, the following weeks of travel and racing.  As I sit here on the airplane in a completely serene place and fully relaxed I realize my life has literally flashed before me.  Is today seriously Dec. 23rd (yes I realize I will not be posting this today, so it WILL sound a bit dated when you read it).  I haven't thought about anything the past 4 months except for training, racing, and recovering.  I haven't given people the attention they deserve, I haven't been good about replying to my emails, keeping up with my awesome friends, or even listening to a word anyone has been saying.  I have been floating in a cloud in my own little world traveling, racing, working, resting, traveling, racing, working, resting.  What I don't get, is how do people have jobs and function well at their job, let alone race well all the time?  I know a lot of the girls I'm racing against HAVE to have jobs, tell me…tell me the secret of racing, traveling, and working, because come December I was WORN down!  Mentally, physically exhausted.  

Would I take any of this back?  Absolutely not.  Never.  Never would I go to Louisville if it weren't for a bike race.  Never would I have been able to see Colorado if it weren't for a bike race.  Never would I have truly known my full potential as a racer had I not traveled to these races.  I have a number of people to be thankful for all of this.  First off, I'm thankful for my husband who placed the bug in our friends ear.  I'm thankful for our friend at Cliff Bar (I don't like to mention names in my blogs just in case people don't want their name mentioned…so they remain anonymous), because of him I was able to get 3 of the 4 USGP's, entries covered.  He put the bug in other people's ear and rallied the troops for support.  He also put in some $$$ for my funds, which was awesome and covered all my baggage fee's at the airport.  I'm thankful for one of my teammates who rallied other teammates to help.  One teammate used their air miles to get me to and from the USGP's while another teammy pitched in some $$ to help support the cause (again more $$ to cover airline baggage fees and food).  I'm thankful for Mad Fiber, a Seattle based wheel company, for loaning me a set of crazy light carbon tubulars (my first time ever on tubulars).  I'm once again thankful for our Cliff Bar friend who stepped up and sent an email to Redline asking for a little bit of race support for me (and a B bike).  I'm thankful that Redline accepted and offered a B bike and race support at the USGP's and Nationals (which has been HUGE…extra bike, wheels, help).  I'm forever grateful for one of the best members at the BAC for using miles to get me to Nationals (and not to mention to help get me into this whole bike riding business).  If I didn't have such an amazing community of people around me, I wouldn't be where I am (again…not physically) today.  I can't express enough gratitude toward those people and nothing I can do in return will ever let them know how much their efforts (large and small) mean to me.  

So the question now remains "did I gain what I was hoping to gain out of this adventure"?  I sure hope so.  The future looks promising, but until it's set in stone my lips are sealed.  

What did I learn from this experience?  The biggest thing I learned (besides that I can be a head case) is that every race, every travel experience, every moment of this adventure, I'm learning.  I soak it up like a sponge.  Every race I learn something new, heck I learn lots of new things every race.  Never can you master this cyclocross business, because just when you think you know what you're doing, you are thrown a curveball.  I learned that every race can't be your best race, you can't be awesome every time!   learned that I need to work on riding my bike in sand and when you trip on really steep metal stairs…you shoe can break.  I learned that the sport of cyclocross has a lot of depth and a lot of growth (particularly in the women's field).  I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon such an amazing sport.  My first year racing in the big leagues has treated me well, but I'm still a small fish in a large pond, I have lots of growth that needs to be developed, lots of strength that needs to build.  Seeing where I am this season gives me hope for next year, hope that if I actually buckle down and think about "training" I will.  Hope that if I have direction I can only be faster, stronger, and better.  

One last race left this season, Nationals.  I go into nationals quite rested, I just took a 2 week honeymoon in Hawaii, hopefully I didn't get too fat and out of shape.  From now until when I leave, I focus on training, getting in some quality "training" so I can be the best I can be at nationals!!

And now here I am...January 4th posting my blog post.  ENJOY MY FRIENDS.  I told you it wouldn't be posted on the 23rd.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Muddy Monroe to Muddy...LA?

If you have been keeping up with me on my blog you must know how much I love my local scene.  My local team, my local competitors, everything about them I love and miss.  I love walking around saying hello to everyone, knowing my competitors and knowing how much love everyone shares for each other, so I had to race the final race of the Seattle Series, as a bonus the weather promised mud (and mud was delivered).

The race was fantastically wonderful, the course rode really well, super smooth, no choppy weird corners, the steep decent was actually rideable this year, and there was a HUGE mud puddle plus some slippery corners.  The sand high way was in fact a high way, not a power zapping slog (like usual).  I got into a groove, and just rode my little heart out with a huge smile on my face the whole time.  I love my local scene, and because of this I have learned a few lessons along the way at the uh..not local scene.  

CXLA Cross After Dark Finale
In order to feel comfortable you need to know people, you need to talk to people and be friendly.  Don't be shy, when you meet someone, say hello when you see them again.  Running around the country racing sure isn't the local scene, but it is what you make it.  Sure these women aren't my local friends but they can be my traveling friends, they can be the ones I look forward to seeing when I travel, they can be the ones who congratulate you when you do well, and they can be the ones to push you beyond what you knew you could do.  I am thankful for my national competitors, I am thankful for their smiles, their energy, their hard work, their enthusiasm for the sport.  I am thankful for those I have met a long the way, for those that have helped me get through my races with confidence, for those who have helped me when I didn't know where to turn for help, or when I had no one.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be where I am today.

The weekend before Bend I chose to head down to sunny LA...excuse me, rainy La, for the finale of the CX in the Dark series.  Looking back at it, I shouldn't have gone, but I'm glad I did, because every weekend I learn something new.  The trip was quick, fly out of Bellingham at 5am Saturday, fly back into Seattle at 10pm SUnday.  The trip left me exhuasted all week long and straight into the trip to Bend.  The positives of LA:

I was able to visit my friend Marielle who I haven't seen since she moved, I scored a few more UCI points, it was muddy, I met some awesome people.  I showed up to the race on Saturday with my bikes still packed in their bike box and my luggage trailing behind me.  Thank goodness for Downtown LA Bicycles, they built my bikes for me and acted as my support for the weekend, I truly don't beleive I could have gotten through the weekend with them.  It was also nice to have some local help from Bellingham Promoter and friend Ryan Rickerts, who pitted for me Saturday night and cheered loudly all race long.

On Sunday my dad's friend and wife came out and cheered LOUDLY so I could hear!  It was fantastic.      After the race, I cleaned myself up (kind of), packed my bags, had the kindness of my lovely Downtown LA Bicycles support crew pack my bikes up for me, and away I went with my dad's friend.      They where SO kind they even let me shower at their home!  I would say the highlight of the weekend was driving by my Grandparents old home in San Marino, CA.  SOOOOO many memories in that home, it was such a treat to see it again.  Oh yea, I had a 7th and 8th place finish for the weekend.  Not too bad, considering the field was full of fast ladies.

Once again a large shout out to Dorothy Wong for putting on a fantastic race.  The course was awesome, full of fun features, and she even delivered rain and MUD!  I can't wait to attend next years UCI races in LA.

Thank you SCX for putting together a lovely local series, I am proud to say I am a part of (when I was home) the local scene.  I know every weekend you guys work hard to pull together some fantastic races and AWESOME courses.  Thank You!