It is always my intention to update this. To share experiences, and tell stories. But intent is about as far as I get. This post is to get the ball rolling and to process some things, and get ready for some big changes. Hopefully this will not be as vague as Adam Myerson says my Tweets are.
Quick synopses of my 2011 race season. First big race Merco. Felt like hell.Period. I could not believe it I was being dropped and was in so much pain and in a bad, bad head space. What the hell is going on? I was instructed to not race the last day (road race) my favorite stage. Right hip was excruciating.
Jump ahead a few months. Time off bike PT, ciro work and a lot of soul-searching.
I’m in Philly climbing the wall with Giorgia Bronzini. I’m embarrassed to say I had no clue who she was when I raced against her in Belgium a few years back, but I sure did this time around. And yeah her eye brows even have muscles. I got a flat the second time up the wall chased back on through the caravan and stuck with the pack until the last fall from the wall where I was separated from the field after a crash in front of me. Finished the race disappointed, but a few months back I would not have dreamed of even starting this race, so kept that in mind.
Philly kicked off a tour of racing. Tulsa Tough and Tour of Americas Dairy Land. I had good days and bad days and bad luck, but that’s bike racing. It was at TOAD where I found my legs and my confidence. Who would have thought that I would find it at a road race.
I was really nervous going in to this race. One, it was a road race, and at this point my hip really started to bother me if I was in the saddle for more than an hour. Also it had hills. Now don’t get me wrong I love to climb but not with others. It’s like when im out riding and im thinking “wow im going good right now, I feel really fast , and strong im making this mtn my minion”. Then some one goes flying by me nose breathing like im standing still. Yeah that’s what it’s normally like in a race. Well not this time. The last time up the climb I look back and I had to double take, and look back again. The field is split, and im with the lead group. “WTF? I’m with the lead group”. I keep my head down, and try to play it smart. Girls start fussing about and we get caught and my one focus is to not louse position.
A few days prior, I was having a chat with a sprinter I have a lot of respect for. We often duke it out for priems, and in the finish.
I felt like I had been banging my head against a wall the last few days in the sprints and I asked her how she does it? And she just said “It’s a sprint, to a sprint, to a sprint” It was as if a key turned in a lock.
Coming in to the final run, before the last left hand turn to the uphill sprint, elbows were flying people were putting them selves in places they should not be, and all I could hear were her words, repeating over, and over again in my head. I was continuing to move up, and the field was swarming up the left, and the right. I was on the right hand side, and I felt people trying to come up the right hand side of me I fought to keep moving forward over and over again until we made the left hand turn and I find my self crossing the finish line in 3rd behind Cari Higgins and Laura Van Gilder.
The remainder of the tour I had good days and a bit off days. I was in and out of the Green amateur Jersey, but lost it second to the last day. I had hopes to get it back on the last day, and have never raced a race, with so much focus and purpose. I came close to getting it back placing ahead of my competition in the finish, but could not gain enough points. This was very disappointing, but this was a great race for me, and an over all great experience.
I really started to come around in form, focus and finishes, and had a great end to the season. I also had an answer to why I was in so much pain back in March and why my hip was always bothering me. It ranged from a constant dull pain to extremely sharp. I had an MRI and they found that I had a labral tear in my right hip. I went to PT twice a week for the remainder of the season. And it was manageable, but always there.
That brings us to the last few weeks.
After a few more Dr. appointments and procedures I am faced with the decision of surgery. Wishing some one could make this decision for me, I think I drove my Dr. crazy with questions. I understand his position on not being able to tell me to get surgery or not to, but he was able to say “he believes I am a good candidate for arthroscopic surgery and have a 70 – 80% chance of no pain in the future”. It’s better than where I am at now. SO…
Dec 11th I will be a year older and not looking forward to writing my new race age as it is always a year older than I am.
Dec 15th I will be going in for surgery and anticipate to be back competitively racing by April.
Dec 15th we will be signing a new lease on a house in Mill Valley. And will be thanking my lovely boyfriend and the moving company for doing all the heavy lifting.
The remainder of Dec I will be hating crutches and looking forward to getting back on the bike.
The next few weeks I will be on the bike as much as possible having fun and putting in the miles. PT plans and preparation for recovery are in place. With hopes to come back in 2012 stronger, and to quickly but appropriately return to Vanderkitten – Focus and join new and returning team mates.
So looking back on 2011 … I know it’s not new years yet and time to reflect but come on, I’ve had a lot to process and looking back helps, I can sum it up with two words in an Aussie accent. “Bloody hell”. It was one of my best years and worst years on the bike. It went by really fast and most of it is a blur, but some shining moments are so clear still, those moments make me feel accomplished and fulfilled, because I know I am putting my energy into the right places. I have never been as focused as I am now and even though im facing surgery I do not feel defeated.
Surprise surprise. I did not post this right away and now it is Dec 19th. Yes that means I had surgery. I’n Short it went well! But that will have to wait until my next post. I promise it will come soon as i have a lot of free time on my hands now.