Saturday, June 29, 2013


Two weeks!!! It's already been two weeks since my last entry?

Here's a quick recap on what's been happening:
Shawn and I got 3rd in a world cup! You read that right. We are officially on Team USA and International Medalists. Boom!

A super duper long travel day home. For some reason it feels harder coming back to the US then leaving. 24 hours of travel left me a little tired.

Racing Dead Dog in Laramie, Wyoming - sucked some wind and came in quite a bit of time down from the winner. Next day: the crit and time trial. Went for and won a $190 prime (which was more than the overall for the Stage Race win) and had a great break through in the time trial. Let's just say I figured out a new protocol to follow during the race and it is MONEY. It is on.

The past week Shawn's been here training at altitude. We've put quite a bit of time in together on the tandem and made some HUGE improvements.  Standing starts, sprints, time trial efforts, pushing through the heat, just to name a few. We're really looking forward to Nationals next week and racing to our potential.

What's next? Well the World Championship selection is based off of the time trial results and we should  know what's happening by July 5th. Here's to super fast legs and setting a new course record!

In the meantime... I fell back in love with track racing. Had a sweet night out at the track yesterday duking it out with Katie Compton and Missy Erickson. Though the women's scene is small, it is strong. Add a few more people in the mix and we have a pretty sweet field! I'm registered for Master Nationals in Indy.... and thinking about Marymoor GP. Kind of depends on what happens with the worlds selection.... will keep you all updated!

Till then, keep on keeping on.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pre-flight Arousal

I have goosebumps and feel like I could jump out of my skin right now.

In a few short hours, Shawn and I will be in the starting house, ready to take flight on a flat 22km time trial course in Segovia, Spain. I'm trying to contain myself, trying to not expend too much energy and channel all of that energy into going FAST. BUT I'M HAVING A HARD TIME!!!!!!!

To have put so much time and energy into something: the hundreds of training hours, the mental fortitude, the collective moments of pushing through the pain cave, the I can't's turned into I CAN, the emotional and physical breakthroughs. And now we get to perform. We get to take everything we've trained so hard for and race against the clock.

I am so grateful for this. To be living my life to the fullest. To take this opportunity and make the most out of it. I'm crying tears of joy.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Thank yous

Happiness is receiving two hand written thank you notes in the mail in the same day saying you've had a positive impact on someone's life.

And it also serves as a reminder that going out of your way to say thank you goes a long way.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Creating change.

"I see what you're saying. That you're looking at his death as a gift. And that brings up the urgency of our limited time on Earth and the preciousness of life."


"That's so different then what I've read out there."

"I know. That's why I'm driven to write it. I want to start a different conversation."

A change agent is an event, organization, material thing, or more usually, a person that acts as a catalyst  for change.

"The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts." - Malcom Gladwell

5 characteristics of successful change agents: Clear vision, patient yet persistent, asks tough questions, knowledgable and leads by example and has strong relationships built on trust. 

Check, check, check, check and check. 

Get ready world - things are going to change. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Chapter Three - Urgency excerpt

(A little teaser for my regulars. Thank you all for being patient while I work on my book. Regular blog posts will resume.... eventually.)

Still in my shin-height nightgown and before drinking black coffee, I pulled the drawstring cord to open the horizontal oak blinds. Light beamed into my eggplant purple bedroom, illuminating dust balls. We painted this room seven years ago, together. I look down to the dirty hamper directly beneath the window and focus on the backpack that has been sitting there for three weeks. The time feels right. This is one of the baby steps I have to take. I take a big breath of air, mustering up the courage to open the grey Deuter pack and go through the contents inside.

The pack smells of dirt, metal and sweat, Ryan’s sweat. I sit down cross-legged on the floor, take another deep breath and make sure I want to do this now. It’s only been three weeks and yet it’s already been three weeks. I’m thankful someone hasn’t written a manual on the proper timing for going through someone’s belongings after they die. I am ready now but that could change in a heartbeat. I sit up tall and start carefully at the top of the pack, locking each moment of discovery deep in my memory banks. In order for this to feel right I want to remember everything, down to the finest detail. I am looking for clues, anything that would tell me why Ryan died. I wanted an explanation or a reason. Something that would make me feel better.

In the top lid of the pack are tools of the trade: two drill bits, a wrench on a piece of bright orange cordlet and a sandwich bag full of gymnastic block chalk. No obvious clues there. Each item is a sign of his commitment to the sport. They are just objects with no attached meaning. They do nothing to soothe my sadness and broken heart.

I sit up tall again, folding down the lid and opening the drawstring for the main compartment. I catch a whiff of something rotten. Something smells like it’s been left in a hot car too long. Tears stream down my face, dripping onto my nightgown. 

Inside of a lunch size brown paper bag is a soggy peanut butter and honey sandwich and red apple. The apple is soft to the touch and needs to be thrown out. Taking this step and acknowledging the passage of time that all organic matter decomposes, I close my eyes. I long for what might have been.  Seeing his lunch confirms what I knew all along: this was an accident. Ryan had full intention of coming home after his climb.

Underneath the brown bag was a blue PowerAid and reused Gatorade bottle nearly full of water. Both were missing small sips. His last sips. I opened the lid and went to put my lips where his had been and couldn’t sit up any longer. My body started shaking as it built up deep sobs. Why? Why Ryan?

Several minutes pass. I try breathing through my stuffy nose, congested with snot. I rub my temples, trying to relieve sinus pressure. If I finish going through the pack now, I will be done. One more step, complete. I glance again at the brown bag, ready to move on.

In the bottom of the bag are his hiking shoes with the laces removed. When Ryan’s body had been discovered, Kevin had used the laces as a leash for Makiah. Tucked into his shoes were balled up black Cane Creek cycling socks with a faint sour foot smell.

Sad yet thankful I finished the job, I sigh. I didn’t find the clues I was looking for.  

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Coal Miners Repeat!

Seeing one lap to go surprised me. Where did the time go? I was on the front, getting ready for any late race attacks and had my nose out in the wind much more than I should have.

The late race attack comes up the left hand side of the road and the group chases hard. I take several hard power pedal strokes to maintain my speed and then relax settling into the draft in front of me, knowing we still have plenty of time. We're roughly 4km to the finish line.

The last few kilometers are all about staying in position and not falling for any accelerations that might zap the legs for the final sprint. It's also an exercise of patience and trusting your teammate to do what we had talked about prior to the race. You're trying to conserve and be ready to pounce, like a tiger on its prey.

Heather takes the lead going into the second to last corner, accelerating hard making a couple of riders anxious. There's a little reshuffling in the position but I maintain my spot. We make the final left hand turn with Heather still in the lead and I'm sitting fourth wheel. Kori is up out of the saddle along the right side of the road - the best place to be with the wind. Her move is early but I would be foolish not to follow it. We still have 400 meters to the finish line and Christa accelerates as well, coming on the inside of Kori. I know the move is now or never.

Up out of the saddle, all of my power pounds on the pedals, carrying me past Kori and Chritsa. We still have 150 meters to go, and that was everything I have. I hear the crowd from the sidelines and think I hear a rider approaching. I look under my right arm, then glance over my left shoulder. I've created a nice gap and no one is contesting me so I raise my arms high and proud in a V for victory.

The euphoria stays with me for two seconds and then exhaustion takes over. I slump over, surprised by the first win of the year. Tickled that everything went according to plan. Stoked that my teammate did exactly what we had talked about and I was able to deliver a win for the team.  I can't wait to repay the favor!