Monday, October 20, 2014 I know I've been a super slacker at updating my blog, but honestly, I'm just too busy now. With homework and training, I have very little time to myself. So, when I do manage to have a couple minutes to spare, the last thing I feel like doing is sitting at the computer thinking about what to post. But...while I have a moment, I thought I would give a quick re-cap on what's been going on in the Florida State Series. And after that, if you are still interested in my progression, follow me on Instagram @maddie.mcdaniel. I usually post something after a race or during my easy training days. (Don't worry, I'm not one of those crazy freaks that will bombard your feed with bathroom selfies.)

Anyway, I'm racing CAT 2 women 19-99 in the series, and I think things are going pretty good so far.

photo credit: Nancy Bregg
 FSC #1 Tom Brown, I placed 4th on a super easy course among some tough competition. And to my surprise, I ended up winning the time trial, giving me 5 extra bonus points.

FSC #2 Hanna Park, I won. Went into the race with a plan, and it actually worked.
photo credit: Nancy Bregg
FSC #3 Alafia, placed 2nd. I really thought I had this one. In this case, my plan failed. I was hoping my technical skills would win over my competitor's power, but that just didn't happen.
photo credit: Nancy Bregg

FSC #4 San Felasco- Raced with a 101 fever and a sore throat. And to be honest, I wanted to quit after the first lap, but decided to continue on, finishing the race in 3rd place.
photo credit: Nancy Bregg

Going to be taking it easy the next couple of days, so I will be in good shape for the Markham race. That's it for now.


Thursday, July 31, 2014


Well...I went to PA in hopes of becoming the next XC National Champion, but ended up with a another 4th place finish. Could I have won if I had not flatted and fixed my tire??? Nope, I don't believe so.  Maybe I could have gotten a place or two higher, but not first. What I am most proud of is... fixing my tire and not giving up. I was in the 3rd position fighting for 2nd when I flatted during the end of the 1st lap. Having never fixed a flat before, it took me 4 long stressful minutes. So, by the time I hopped back on the saddle, I had slipped to 8th place. But thankfully, after a hard fight on a short 2 1/2 mile course, I ended the race in 4th place.
photo credit: Jackie Bovine

photo credit: Christie Burnett
Super D was my last hope in getting my hands on that stars and stripes jersey. I pre-rode the course several times and was confident that I would do well. But...what I did not predict was...flipping over the bars at the beginning of the race, shattering my garmin, and getting tangled up in the tape. Normally, during a crash, you just kind of get back on the bike and continue on.  Well- for me- that was almost impossible. It took me forever to get my chain ring and crank arm untangled from the race course tape. To my surprise, even with my little incident, I was able to pull off the win.

Nationals was a great way to see where I was at in the game. Not a 100% happy, but I believe I have progressed a lot since last year. Now it's time for Mother Nature to speed things along for me, I think that will be the key to some additional strength and power.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

SERC #5 Jackson, GA/ Coach Drew Edsall

So, instead of writing a race report, I thought I would talk about Coach Drew Edsall.  Because after all, if it wasn't for him, I would not have been standing on the top box at the SERC #5 race.

I'm thinking I should start from the beginning. I met Coach Drew at a skills clinic the day before my first Novice race in 2010 at Fort Clinch. At the time, I thought it was so cool that he wasn't just helping adults, he was giving advice to the kids as well. And I remember thinking...Wow, what an awesome job... I want to be a PRO and coach kids when I grow up.

Fast forward to January 2012. I was 10 and a 1/2 and ready to start racing CAT 3 women.  So, Coach Drew created my 1st training program.  It was nothing crazy, just kept my legs pedaling. (I'm pretty sure I was his youngest client ever)

      Moving on to last years Nationals at Bear Creek. Coach Drew was right there with me pre-riding and handing out water bottles. After my 4th place finish, I decided it was time to get a little more serious about training if I wanted to win the following year.

So Coach Drew changed the intensity of my workouts and added in a strength build routine. My power is way up from last year, and the results I'm getting are unbelievable. I had no problems whatsoever making the transition from CAT 3 to CAT 2, and I certainly never thought I would have podium finishes so quickly. Because Coach Drew does such an awesome job in preparing me, racing is fun and easy now. Stoked to see how I do at Nationals this year. Want to make Coach Drew proud!!!  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Florida Cup

I have to be honest...going into this race, I was super nervous. My training plan is geared towards climbing for Nationals, so the Lakeland course was already a disadvantage. I love racing at Carter, but when a good portion of the technical stuff is taken out, it becomes a roadie course. And we all know, I am not a roadie!!!

I was, however, excited to be racing the Florida ladies. We have some super fast women down here, and I was ready to see how I compared. On race day, I was kinda shocked that I would only be racing one other person. Thankfully, she was not just anyone...she was winning all the sport races down South. So, if I had to hand pick one person whom I wanted to race against, she would be the one. But man, talk about pressure, I still felt like I had to prove that I belonged in CAT 2.

I had the same strategy as last time. Go all out at the start. And try and put some distance between us in the woods-because I knew once I reached the road, she would crush me. Well, unfortunately for me, she had a killer start and beat me to the single track. Hanging onto her wheel in the woods was no problem, but as soon we hit the flats, she was able to start putting seconds on me.  I could still keep her in sight for 2 laps and finished the race about 50 seconds behind. I didn't win, no worries. If I've learned one thing by racing the boys, it's losing only makes me stronger. Simone really pushed me, and I look forward to racing her again on a non-roadie course.  


Congrats to the little Sis- State Champion 6-11 year old girls.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SERC #4 Winder, Ga

Well, if you saw my FB/instagram post, you are probably thinking "Jeez what's got her so fired up????"  I will tell you what. It's being told you are going to fail at something when you haven't even attempted it. That's right, I was told not to enter CAT 2 because I was only 12 years old, and that I would not be able to handle the distance. SO FRUSTRATING!!! And to top it off, my poor Dad was being blamed for pushing me into it. I can assure you that it's me that wants to move up. I need this stepping stone if I want to race CAT 1 when I'm 15.

 I don't know why people would be shocked that I want to race CAT 2. I'm thinking maybe it's because when I raced the junior boys, I never stood out-just kind of blended in.  And if you weren't checking and comparing times (boys vs CAT 1/2 women), you would have never realized that I was minutes faster than the CAT 2 women. So, if I were to go back to CAT 3 (women), it would be sand-bagging, not racing.

On the day of the race, I was determined to prove the doubters wrong. Yep, the fire was lit, and I was getting on that podium. My plan was to pull a "Michael Mace", get the hole shot, and never look back. And WOW, it really worked. I was about a minute and a half ahead on the 1st 10 mile lap and ended up finishing almost 2 1/2 minutes ahead of 2nd place.
photo by: H & H Multimedia

Trust me, I'm not overly confident in CAT 2. I probably threw the ladies off a little, so next race I'm sure they will have their game on. I look forward to the challenge at the State Championship this weekend. A huge "thank you" to those who went out of their way to support me at the race, it meant a lot.          

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lakeland Urban MTB Crit

It's been 3 years since I competed in this race.  So, when it came time to registering, I wasn't sure if I should enter in the fun or serious women category.  I decided on "fun" because well, for one, I was doing it for fun, and two because I had little experience in these types of races. I didn't want to get run over by a bunch a professional critters.

The race started and (BTW, I finally had a good start), I was leading both the fun & serious women. And to my surprise, I was able to hold my position for the first lap until I was passed by an expert/PRO rider.  I wasn't strong enough on the road to stay on her wheel, but I was kind of blown away that I was still able to keep her in sight. After completing 7 laps and finishing the race shortly after the leader in the serious class, I knew I had signed up in the wrong category. So, instead of winning the "fun" class, my Dad pulled me out of that group, and switched me to the serious class, where I placed 2nd. Super happy with my start and I'm excited that I'm finally getting stronger on the flats.

photo by: Ron Henion

photo by: Big Dog Action Photography

photo by: Big Dog Action Photography

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 Hammer Head (25 Miler)

So...I don't know if it's,  Coach Drew's training program...the bike... growing a couple inches...gaining weight (I'm a whopping 85 lbs now)... or finally taking Drew's advice and switching to one chain ring, but I'm really starting to see some awesome results.

Last year at the Hammer Head, my time was 127.33 (2nd female and 45th out of 105 racers overall).  This year it was 110.16 (1st female and 15th out of 93). Hopefully my luck continues because it felt really, really great being back up on the podium (especially the top step).

**A huge thank you to Harrison Knight for riding with me. You definitely kept me pushing forward the entire 25 miles with your speedy pace.