Saturday, April 23, 2011


you know you love it!

I do love it.  However, after sorting through race photos from the cape adventure I often don't smile.  I look so damn serious.  I need to lighten up.

Looks like fun.  Why not smile?
While racing I remember the spectators and children bringing a smile to my face.  I remember Selene bringing a smile to my face when she told knock, knock jokes when the going was rough.  I remember smiling when we looked up and the views were majestic.  During those moments of smiles all pain, dread, and effort seemed to disappear.  Energy was restored and I felt empowered.

I'm going to use this technique a lot this season.  I already started it while doing my intervals yesterday.  It wasn't too hard when a friend drove by me 4 minutes in to a 12 minute effort.  It must look ridiculous when you are by yourself and you are killing it to get nowhere.  It made me smile and it made things easier.  As I continued my training I found myself riding through the Gettysburg Battlefield.  I forgot that tis' the season for the tourists. I looked extra ridiculous flying through the battlefield.  I did my best to say hello to those I passed and offered a smile.  Before I knew it I was done and it felt good.  Regardless of what anyone thinks I love it and I'm gonna smile.  It is empowering.

Next week I will be racing the Cohutta 100.  I am the most prepared I have ever been for this race.  My training has been so different this year from any other year.  Some times I have to wonder what in the world I was thinking the other years going into the 100's with half of the fitness I have today.  That doesn't matter now and I can't wait to get out there and kill it.  I may not be number one, but I will be stronger, faster and feel great trying to be.

Oh, and it will be hard not to smile while I am riding this super awesome bike.  Thanks team CF and Specialized.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I had a dream....

that I rode my bike in South Africa for a week.  It has been about a week since the race finished and it is really hard to believe that it all happened.

And happened it did.  It was the single most amazing event I have ever completed.  The enormity was hard to not get lost in.  I listened to those I trusted that I would be humbled and that everything done to prepare may not be enough, but I can only truly know what they meant now that it is over.  The experience as a whole has changed me as a mountain bike racer.

As I told my cupcake friends, I have a whole new appreciation for the phrase "Harden the "f" up!"

To race with the best of the world was humbling yet inspiring.  Each day was a physical as well as mental challenge.  Selene and I raced well together and we met each day with all we had to give.  Selene
outlines our lessons learned in her blog.  Check it out.

Since my dear friend and partner is also a professional writer, I can't help but borrow some of her words. This is the best description of what each day had in store for us....

"Though there are some fast roads and a few breathtakingly speedy descents, much of it is Bataan Death March slow. Imagine an army of ants with watermelons on their backs painstakingly weaving their way over jagged cloud-kissing mountain ranges as far as the eye can see and you get a pretty good feel for a few hours of the day."

The other hours were spent twisting thru fun single tracks, winding our way between orchards of apples and grapes, running ridges heavily scented of curry and spice, rolling on village roads lined with children cheering us on, and being amusement for spectators at wineries.

It was great fun.  Now I am back in the grind and working on recovery.  Coach Chris has me resting and riding easy for a couple of weeks.  It should help let all the efforts and training sink in and allow for a great fitness boost to begin the NUE season.  

The song Firework by Katy Perry was played each morning while we were waiting for the gun.  I can't help but feel like that firework. It has ignited and it is brighter than the moon.