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.    


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SERC #2 Conyers, Ga

A week prior to the race, I was super stressed. With a ridiculous amount of homework and struggling to find time to complete my trainer workouts, I was so ready to get away and clear my head.

After a long 7 and a 1/2 hour rainy drive, we finally arrived at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. With just a couple sprinkles, thank goodness the bad weather was coming to an end. And to my surprise, I found the race course to be in good condition. What concerned me was that there were very few people pre-riding. I was thinking...wow, this really stinks. I came all this way, only to have to race against myself.  So, when I found out that Morgan (one of the super fast dudes from Florida) would be racing, I was stoked. He was one of the leaders in the FSC series, and also someone I never saw once we were off the line. Yep, he would finish the race minutes ahead of me. So, after hearing that he had not been training, I had a little spark of hope. Let's see...A girl that trains 5 days a week vs. a strong boy rider with excellent riding skills that doesn't train.  I was looking forward to the challenge.

Eight riders lined up to race in the 10-14 junior class.  The whistle blew, and I almost had to laugh.  My starts are so awful!!!  No matter how many times I practice, I still stink it up on race day.  Nerves, maybe???  Anyway, I was able to get into the position I wanted before going into the woods. The first lap went smooth and I felt really strong.  With Morgan only 30 seconds ahead of me, I was able to catch him going into the woods at the beginning of the second lap. I remained on his wheel until he collided with another racer. Squeezing by, I was able to put some distance between us by passing 5 guys on a climb. I finished the race in first place, and honestly I felt like I could have done a third lap.

photo by: Christie Burnett
photo by: Christie Burnett
 This race was a huge accomplishment for me.  And well...I think it's time to move on. Gonna move up to CAT 2 with the women next race. Should be interesting, and I will definitely miss racing guys my own age.

I must thank Coach Drew Edsall for helping me to get stronger and faster.  Thank you-Cody Burnett for letting me chase you during team practices.  And Moccasin Bend Bicycle Company for such an amazing bike that has me floating through the trails.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2014 Race Plan/SERC #1 Santos

I have two different race plans for 2014. Races before Nationals will be with the junior boys working on my speed.  And the second part of year will be spent with the CAT 2 women working to maintain a fast pace while going a further distance.

So, for the next four races before Nationals, my plan is to go all out and not be afraid to blow up. If I remember correctly, the National course was much shorter than the average race Dave puts on. So, I'm totally going to leave everything I have on the trail, even if it means I have to slow down the pace towards the end. This brings me to the first race in the SERC series. After a slow start, I caught up to and chased the leader all the way up until the middle of the second lap, then I died. I ended the race in 3rd place. I had hoped for a better finish, but pleased with my results when I compared them to the CAT 1 women.  Things are progressing quite nicely thanks to Coach Drew and Cody Burnett.  

Happy to have the little sis racing again. After taking a 5 year break, she managed to pull off a win.  Nice job Kiki.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

12 Hours of Santos

Okay...who would have ever guessed that the co-ed division (19 teams) would turn out to be one of most competitive classes. If our team had signed up for the base under 125 with the rest of the juniors, we would have been up on that podium.  Instead we were battling it out with a bunch of fast dudes. Technically, there was only supposed to be one sport rider on each team.  But, I guess experienced cyclocross racers and roadies don't count.

I think our team did really well considering who we were up against. Ethan started out first, followed by Connor, Cody, then myself. And let me just say, THANK YOU COACH DREW. With a first lap time of 40.50, I do believe those crazy hard workouts are really paying off.  Anyway, I think we held our 3rd position all the way until late in the day.  Then, we dropped down to 4th place. Determined to bump the team back up to 3rd, Connor quickly completed his lap, while Cody took my place for the last one of the the night. Unfortunately, things ended in disaster for Cody.  He had a mechanical and ended up having to walk the course in the freezing cold. I just hope he knows how much his hard effort was appreciated.

So our team finished 4th out of 19.  Not what we were hoping for, but hey...we will be back next year to collect that trophy:)  


Photo by: Big Dog Action Photography

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

 Wow...got some serious catching up to do. Since I've had a lot of people ask me about my new steel 650b, I think I should talk about the bike first. Her name is Penelope, and she is just... simply awesome.  I can honestly say that after a couple training rides and a 6 hour race, I am totally blown away with how smooth she is out on the trails.  From the very beginning, we were a perfect fit.  No problems whatsoever adjusting. And the best way to describe the way I feel on the bike, it would be floating.  Yep, I feel like I'm floating through the trails rather than riding. I don't have a power meter to tell me for sure, but I do feel faster.  I'm just so thankful to Moccasin Bend Bicycle Company and Deep South Bicycles for such an amazing frame. And I look forward to the upcoming races to see what Penelope and I can really do.

I have one more thing to add to the bike, and it's a new saddle by KONTACT . This seat is said to improve your performance, so I'm really excited to try it out.
  Onto my new team.  I'm extremely proud to be part of Drew Edsall's The Dirt Devo Team.  Drew is such an awesome coach, and all of my teammates train hard and are super motivated.  A huge thank you to the sponsors: Kenda Tires, ProGold, Skratch Labs, Xpedo, Jakroo Custom Apparel, Bar Fly, Aj's bikes and boards, and LeRoy's Bikeworks.  
You will also find me on practice days wearing my METAL kit.  I am a forever T6'er, and will be staying on that team until they kick me off.

And finally the 6 hours of El Lagarto.  This race was so much fun.  I teamed up with Cody Burnett and Connor Murray, and we switched off after every lap.  We decided to do the hard course because it was way more fun and ended up placing 1st. (Wasn't expecting that because there was no co-ed class, we were up against all men.) Anyway, we weren't the only ones to do well, the entire team raced hard resulting in many podium finishes.

 Well...that's about it, but before I go, I must thank Miss Christie again for her amazing pictures.  She is basically my blog illustrator, and for that, I am super grateful.

***  See you at the 12 hours of Santos.

Monday, December 30, 2013

After working about a gazillion hours at UPS, my awesome Dad still managed to find time to build my wheels.  Thanks Dad...YOU ROCK!!!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meet Penelope.  She's almost done...just waiting for my Dad to build the wheels.   Can't wait to test her out!!!