1. I have slept 12.5 hours in the past 20 hours. I have been super tired after my first 3-day stage race. I don't feel sick and my legs feel OK, but all I've wanted to do is sleep. But naps=Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production so every time I sleep, I feel like a Kindergartner again, waiting for the Sleeping Fairy to come along and sprinkle magical HGH on all the well-behaved children, sleeping during nap time.
|Needlepoint courtesy of Park Avenue Needlepoint|
2. I complete volunteer and sponsor work. Yesterday, we went to Kimberly Elementary School to talk about being a pro women's cyclist. It was so cute how the kids would ask questions like "Why are your clothes so tight?" "Why do you wear sunglasses?" We asked the kids how much they thought our bikes weighed. One kid guessed 100lbs, the next 150 pounds. I almost fell over imagining myself hauling a 150-pound bike up a hill.
|Showcasing the Shiv and Amira|
3. I have a job on the team. Before the races we'll discuss tactics and some strategies to get there. My job basically has been to cover attacks, take away points from other teams if we can't set our GC leader up, and to create breaks in hopes for a breakaway or counter attack. You know, standard bike stuff. What's different now though is that people are counting on me to do my job. For example, they can't expect the GC leader to chase an attack and then also go for a sprint. I need to make sure I'm up there to help. This was a bit difficult for me in the road race. I found myself not setting up for the climb and being in a bad position several times, which caused me to use so much energy to fight my way back up on the climb. I ended up getting popped right before the last lap after an attack. I spent the last lap working like hell to make sure I finished as close to the pack as possible--I couldn't get time cut. I was needed in the crit tomorrow. When shit happens, like a mechanical or a crash, you can't just quit or call it a day. People are counting on you. That's definitely a cool and motivating feeling.
Anyway, it turns out I did my job well the next day at the Criterium. I got a mention in Cycling News as a "notable aggressor," which was a really cool thing for me as a newbie.
|Photo credit Jonathan Devich: http://reviews.roadbikereview.com/tag/san-dimas-stage-race|
|Photo Credit Jonathan Devich: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/san-dimas-stage-race-ne-1/stage-3/results|
4. You go back to the days of high school sleepovers. Pillow fight! No, not really--wastes too much energy. But you do end up sharing a room with several women and mingling with your friends post race. And just like in high school, we watch chick flicks and make jokes about how each other's mama's are so fat, etc. And I may have cried while watching The Proposal. But I may not have, too...We also complete "homework" assignments on the road. Several of the women on the team are in college, some have coaching businesses. We play computer lab in the morning and catch up with the world and complete "homework" assignments before and after racing. Luckily, I get paid for my homework assignments. I'm seeing just how lucky I am to have completed all my schooling and found a job to fall back on before all this cycling business.
|Sam, Carlee, and I into the movie|
|Oh, Lauren, you don't say!|
5. You get coaching scholarships. Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) has a scholarship program where they award a certain number of scholarships to "aspiring athletes." This includes testing, nutrition, etc. I applied and got one! I'm working with Jason Tullous who is based out of Tucson, so when I'm there periodically I can have some face time, etc. The big thing I'm doing is trusting the coaching and not adding or modifying as I see fit. That's new to me, but I hear that at some point you have to realize that you actually don't know everything--or in my case--barely anything and put your trust in someone who does. EEEEEEEEEEEEGADS! No, it's not hard for me at all...not at all.
6. You get homesick. I really miss Seattle. I've been in Tucson since December and home maybe a total of a week in a half. I miss my boyfriend, I miss my friends, I miss the trees and the green parks, and cool air, and Mt. Rainier, etc. I'm looking forward to my trip home after Sea Otter in April.
I'm sure this list will increase as the season progresses...stay tuned.