To truly line up on the start line requires focus, planning, commitment, and preparedness in your Physical, Mental, Recovery, Nutrition,Team and Luck.
Physical training is putting your body through incredible stress, and suffering so come race day whatever the course and opponents have to offer, it feels easy in comparison to what you have been doing in training. Maybe not easy… but you are prepared and ready for the challenge.
Not every race is won by pure power. It takes a strong, confident, sharp mind to know your opponents, course and winning strategy, to navigate through the peloton like a boss, and conduct your face with a cool calm nose breathing demeanor even though your legs are screaming at you to stop. It means believing in yourself and the work you have done, and knowing you can suffer even harder and won’t die from the pain you are feeling in your legs, and lungs. It means trusting your instinct, and to be patient so when you do strike it is with purpose, because you have played this moment over and over again in your head, arms out stretched over your head because you just won.
Recovery is not just a shake, its easy spins to the coffee shop to meet your neglected friends, its visiting that person who spends hours working your muscles like rising dough, often inflicting giggles because thats what you do when you’re in pain. It means guilt-free naps in the middle of the day, sleeping in and sleeping often. It means pretending like you are a vegetable posted up on the couch sipping on your Maxim water bottle.
Nutrition – this is a BIG one. Nutrition matters on the bike off the bike, in training and recovery. It takes time and experimentation to learn what works for you. For me I am still learning how to properly fuel on the bike. Off the bike I feel pretty solid but getting myself to eat and drink on the bike, and to do enough of both is a challenge. This year we, the Fearless Femme Team made the switch to Maxim, a European company now in the US which has been the fuel of the Tour de France teams for over 25 years. I had found a nutrition product in the past that had worked for me so I was a bit nervous to make the change, but it was an easy transition that has produced amazing results.
The first and most important is simply that I want to use it. The Hypotonic Sports Drink tastes great in all three flavors, and is not too sweet like a lot of other sport drinks, so when I get a bottle feed I’m never disappointed in what I get. I’m satisfied knowing I’m getting a drink with all the essential vitamins, electrolytes and energy that I need so if I fall short on my other nutrition intake needs I know I am getting optimum nutrition from just my bottles. It’s like this product was made for me. All they have to offer from Carb load to gels are effective, so this encourages me to use them.
Without a team to race with, and a team of people to support you its hard to be a professional in any sport. I am fortunate to surrounded by an incredible team.
Coaching: Kendra Wenzel of Wenzel Coaching has been an integral part of my training and progression on the bike. We have an exciting path ahead of us.
Recovery/ Massage:Colleen Mcclenahan is experienced working with athletes. Her technique is slow and deliberate, which encourages the tissue to soften and melt. She has been amazing for recovery and correcting injury.
Mental Preparedness: Melinda at GritPerformance fills the gap between hard work and mental strength. Melinda has experienced both the thrill of success and the challenge of adversity as an athlete throughout her life, battling her own addictions to running, skiing, swimming, yoga and recently mountain biking. As a coach and instructor Melinda speaks the language of an athlete while implementing brain based research skills for success.
Nutrition: Not only has Maxim Sports Nutritionproperly fueled me but the team of Laura Borgelt, PharmD an English Channel swimmer, USA Aqua Bike National Champion and Ironman triathlete, and Brendan Lundy MBA co-founder of many start-ups, both domestically and internationally and athlete, as a former European cyclist and as an international triathlete,have both been a great resource with a plethora of knowledge and experience.
Luck: There is no practicing luck, but to be successful in a race you need to have a lot of luck on your side. In my mind that means being a good person on and off the bike and keeping your good karma bucket full.
Want to build good karma and build an awesome Nutrition regime?
Then go to Maxim Sports Nutritionand get a SPECIAL DISCOUNT of 20% off when you use Discount Code :FearlessFemmeUse this code and you will support Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing and this may even gain you some luck in your next race.
I got dialed in on my New Wilier by my dear friend, and fellow bike fitter, Matthew Larson, at Devil Mtn Cyclery in Walnut Creek. We had a lot of fun catching up, getting my fit just right, and talking about the upcoming race season. He asked me some great questions about why I race, what my goals are, and how I feel in comparison to last year. This caught me off guard, and really made me think. It was a fantastic experience sharing this, and it aloud me to be really honest with my self. So thank you Matt.
After being fit on the new bike, and being fully recovered from the flu, I was able to start adding back the miles. Lots of great photo ops. I am lucky to live in such an amazing place.
So many birds
Cherry Pie was the first race of the season for me. Some of you may have already read the race report on FB, but for those of you who have not, here you go. Those of you who have, enjoy it again.
Today I raced Cherry Pie, my first crit of the season, with two awesome teammates. This race is generally the NorCal season opener, and it’s famous because the podium gets cherry pie, which is not an incentive for us glutards.
I missed this race last year, which was the first time since I started racing. It was not by choice, but out of necessity because I was recovering from hip surgery.
As I was on my way to the race I got that nervous feeling in my belly, and this surprised me. I have not gotten this in years. It was not because I was nervous to race – I have lined up at the start line hundreds of times, it was because I have pretty high expectations for this year and have fought back from several years of injury. I was afraid to line up, and race with the same pain and disconnect of years past.
This was not the case. I felt strong, confident, and pain-free. I felt like myself, a self I have not known in years. Even though I was the designated sprinter and got 6th to my leadout who placed 2nd (awesome), the sprint was there but I chose the wrong side. I accept that, and I was more excited than if I had of won. This was a huge victory for me. The first of many to come this season.
More “What I See On My Rides” photos.
I mentioned “Awesome Madness” in the tittle. Team camp starts tomorrow!
Riders are coming in from all over the place. We will have an exciting week of riding together, getting to know one another, and meeting with our incredible sponsors.
Camp kicks of with a ride in my neck of the woods.Im excited to be sharing some of my favorite roads with the girls. During the ride we will get to stop by our sponsors Osmo Nutrition headquarters in Farifax to refuel, and give some hugs to some great people.
The next stage of madness will be getting on a flight at the end of camp to head to El Salvador for 10 days of racing!
Stay tuned for FB, Twitter, and eventually blog updates. Follow me if you want in on the racing action.