Saturday, September 29, 2012


Fall has finally arrived here in the midwest. The trees are beginning to turn and the temperature is returning to a cooler (more tolerable) degree. With the change in seasons has come an increased amount of miles on the bike, which I am enjoying immensely  I am two pounds away from my goal weight for the upcoming season (though let's be honest, some more muscle would be nice, and keeping the weight off through the winter is always hard), and lucky me have been eating much healthier since the fall hit.

Racing is pretty much over, though the IUSF has started a series of Tuesday night races on the Little 500 track. This past Tuesday I was lucky enough to place 2nd, 2nd and 1st in the three events I entered, though the 1st place was likely due to the fact that a competitor dropped her chain. Needless to say though it was a fun evening and a good chance to fool around on the track in the middle of the rest week.

The Cru women had their first ITTs up in the Morgan Monroe State Forest on Friday. I think it was a wakeup call for some of the women on the team, but I was happy to finish only a few seconds off of my personal record for the course. Friday also saw me heading out on the IUSF social ride and keeping up with the guys, though myself and the only other girl, Emma ( a teammate from SIBH, and IU Cycling) were dropped going down Beanblossom.

Heading off for the time trial.

Looking forward I am excited to say that IU will be attempting to qualify as an omnium team for Collegiate Nationals! I thought I might have to qualify as an individual, but we have four girls who are committed and have the ability to be in the "A" Category, as well as a slew of guys who want to try for it. Should be an exciting year for Indiana University Cycling.

That's about it that has been going on in my life. I am really looking forward to the spring season, and excited for all that IU Cycling is hoping to accomplish!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Passé, Présent et Avenir

This week has been truly rewarding for me. As I've said before this past summer was a little rough, and definitely not according to plan. Coming off of the season I've had has made me work harder, and my riding is starting to show it.

I've been participating in the IUSF rides since school started, opting to ride the long route with the guys and hanging in longer than some of them. So far I've been dropped on Beanblossom and North Shore, and while that is frustrating, when I look at the data from those days I have been overall pleased. My Little 500 team usually rides Friday mornings and so I have been coming into the IUSF ride with 20-30 miles on my legs already. So tomorrow, I will be switching it around and coming in with fresh legs just to see what I can do. Along the same track of news, this past Wednesday Worlds was the 446 route. I went out (again the only girl) and managed to beat my personal record of hanging in with the guys.

Just today I got word that my power tap and joule headset will be in sometime next week, and I will be running power starting late next week. I will be finishing with my current training plan and taking a rest week at the end of September. Starting in October I will be working with Vantaggio Fitness, specifically Mark and Kim Fasczewski, the coaches from the Sewanee Development Camp. I am excited to start training based on power, and to move away from being self-coached. Although it has taken a lot of work to get to where I am today, I know the real work starts now.

Over the past few weeks I have realized how many people have helped me along to where I am today. First of all my Dad. He has been there since day one, supporting me, riding with me, and making sure I get the equipment and help I need. Also a huge thanks to Tom Saccone, and Lyle from the SIBH team for supporting me over the last two years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for my road team.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Everyone has their limits, and while some of those are defined by their physical abilities, much of it has to do with fear. Being afraid to get close to the wheel in front of you is a common fear amongst beginners and something I am working on with two of the rookies on the team. As you progress you limit your fear, becoming more and more comfortable with being in a pack, bumping, going fast, and just generally going past your comfort zones.

I've written about the wreck I was in awhile back, well unfortunately along with the injuries that has caused a new fear for me when it comes to the bike. Being from Bloomington we may not have mountains, but we do have our fair share of hills, a few of which are over a mile long, or have a grade over 14%. Historically I have been fairly comfortable descending in a group. Not any more, it could be the most experienced rider, or someone I have ridden with for almost four years, and yet I still find myself wanting to clench the breaks going down hills. This is not because the wreck was the fault of anyone in front of me, because there was nothing that anyone could have done, but rather because I saw them go down in front of me.

It has been getting better, and I am slowly getting more comfortable descending hills, particularly when I am with people who I have ridden with for a long time, but it still bugs me. Something to work on I suppose.

Needless to say I have had fear in my thoughts a lot lately, not only because of the wreck, but also because my team recently did a Full Moon Forest ride (up BeanBlossom). Ten PM at night, 7 girls (including two rookies), 14 lights and a 33 mile loop. Needless to say there was a fair amount of fear all around. For me it was the worry that something would happen to the girls and I would feel very much responsible, because it was mine and Lyndi's (the other third year rider on our L5 team) idea.

Fortunately the ride ended well. We had one dog incident and then there was a huge snake in the road, but other than that it was a great experience for the team. Overall the girls really came together, learning very quickly how important communication and trust is for a team. Plus we had all the drunk people cheering us on as we came back through campus. Anyways that's all for now, I'll keep working on descending, got to be ready for it by the time we go to TN for fall break.

Arianna and I halfway through the ride.

The entire team safely back at our apartment complex.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Summer was long. I mean really, really long. Nothing went according to plan, but in all honesty I learned a lot from the experience.

Coming off of Little 500 I was not in good road shape. I rode 70 laps of the race, and in all honesty I came off of the race and the spring season mentally and physically drained. I was not at all ready to go into the road season. Last year I had a really heavy Collegiate season, and had carried that into the summer, but this year that just was not the case.

After a short trip working down in the Dominican Republic I returned to the states with a serious stomach bug that stopped me from any serious riding for about 3 weeks, and just as I was getting back I was hit by heat stroke on one of my rides. It was an uphill battle just to get back into shape, let alone do well at races.

This brings us to early August. I was finally back on the road, feeling pretty good and had gotten some long rides in. I was fortunate enough to attend a USA Cycling Development Camp down in Sewanee, Tennessee. Honestly it was one of the best decisions I have made for my cycling career, it re-inspired me and I found myself committing to goals and coming back with a fresh perspective. The coaches, Mark, Kim, and Ryan "Bibs" were some of the most supportive people I have met in cycling and genuinely wanted to see every member of the camp succeed. The week in the mountains really was amazing, and really put me back on track.

Unfortunately it wasn't all kittens and gumdrops, on the second to last day of camp, while descending the mountain our group had a fairly scary wreck. The bad combination of a right handed turn, gravel, and a car caused a wreck in which I flipped over someone into a ditch and hit my head pretty hard. I was done for the week, and was pretty disappointed not to be able to participate in the long TT that day. Such is life, and I am thankful that there was no serious damage to my bike. This was the Thursday of that week.

Friday I drove myself from Sewanee, back to Bloomington, all the while dealing with some pretty bad headaches, and massive amounts of whiplash damage through my back and shoulders. Saturday I moved into my new apartment and then my Dad and I drove up to Ft. Wayne Indiana for the Indiana State Road Race Championships. Three days after my wreck I found myself back on the bike doing everything I could just to hang onto the lead pack, and try to support my teammate Emma.

I finished with the lead pack, and I can honestly say it was the most painful experience of my life. The two hours of racing really showed me what my limits were as far as pain tolerance, and how much I can achieve through pure determination.

That was the end of my season. It's currently four weeks since my wreck and I am no longer suffering from migraines as a result of the wreck. My focus has been completely changed and I am really looking forward to the coming Collegiate Season. In the next couple weeks I will be making the jump to a power tap system, and over Fall Break from the university my Dad and I will be heading back down south to get some long rides in the mountains. Going forward I have two goals for the coming season: Collegiate Nationals, and Indiana State Championships.