Following a rejuvenating two-week break at home, I made my third solo flight right back to a very familiar team house for rounds three and four of the ProXCT series. This time, however, I was prepared. I kept myself on west coast time while in Pennsylvania. Not as easy as it sounds . . . When I woke up, I was confused as to whether I should eat breakfast or lunch and bedtime consisted of trying to entertain myself in the wee hours of the night while the rest of my family was fast asleep. It was well worth it and my home away from home welcomed me with an abundance of sunshine and temperatures that don't feel like a slap in the face!
Bonelli ProXCT #2 (Round 3)
I had much more confidence going into Bonelli #2 (round 3) and I was incredibly motivated to redeem myself after a chain of frustrating events. In the blink of an eye, I was on the line and ready to roll! After all the Cat 1 women were called up to the front line, I had to settle for the second row. The whistle blew and I shot to the outside, sprinted along the side, and slid into the third position going into the initial climb. I drafted an older Cat 1 woman the whole first lap, allowing her to establish a conservative pace that separated us from most of the field. On the second lap, I passed the lady I was previously riding with and the leader in my own category. I was feeling really strong, but I made sure to leave just enough in the tank to go full gas on the last lap. I went all out on the last lap and got out of the saddle often. Adrenaline rushed through me as I realized how well my legs were holding up and that my current place was maintainable. I sprinted through the feed zone and onto the pavement to get one of the most satisfying wins ever. I had been dreaming of winning a ProXCT and it finally came true.
Well, it wasn't satisfying until I actually "found out" that I won. I think I was just going too hard to keep track of number plates. Pain cave, wattage cottage, whatever you wanna call it, I was in it . . . and exploring it extensively. I'm pretty sure I made groundbreaking discoveries in there. On the last two laps, I honestly believed I was chasing down the leader. Little did I know, I was actually expanding my gap on second place. In a way, I'm glad I raced in complete oblivion because I pushed myself way harder than I would've if I had known I was the leader. The only downfall to not knowing you're the winner is having a very lame finish photo. From now on, I will always throw my hands in the air just in case I won and didn't know.
See team press release here
We kicked off our action-packed week with some epic training rides on local trails like the famous Tamarancho network with mad flow like a rollercoaster.
At the end of a great few days of training, we had the opportunity to visit a recovery lounge called Recharge Sport to use some high-tech compression gear. Super cool!
Even on our rest days, the adventure didn't stop! We couldn't resist the urge to explore, so we created a tight schedule to utilize every ounce of California sunshine. We kicked off the day with a morning commute to Mana Bowls, which was a highlight for my taste buds! They sell organic, antioxidant bowls made of blended acai, fresh fruit and granola . . . Yummm!
We couldn't pass up the picturesque waters of the Bolinas Bay, so we planned to visit Stinson Beach to soak up some rays and even out our permanent knee and arm warmers. After an energizing breakfast at Mana Bowls, we rode back to the team house just in time to grab our swimsuits and catch the bus. The winding road along the coast was breathtaking and I was so excited to put my feet in the sand!
On another one of our rest days, we rode on a bike path along the ocean to get lunch and coffee. I made the rookie mistake of ordering a cappuccino and had to add about 5 pounds of sugar into 6 ounces of coffee to dilute what could otherwise be called "blended chalk shavings in a cup." But my day wasn't totally ruined because I had the best chicken pesto sandwich ever at Mundo's Café! The walls were lined with famous quotes and I captured a few of my favorites.
I didn't get to race at Sea Otter, but I still got to visit with our sponsors in person, which is always a pleasure! Here are a few of the top-notch companies that I am proud to have on my jersey.
Getting home was an adventure in and of itself. Waking up at 5am, taking an 11pm redeye, and finally returning home the next day at 11:00am made a lo-o-o-o-ng day. Keeping my eyes open in the middle of the night was particularly challenging since I had to take a Benadryl for the poison oak that I acquired at Sea Otter. On the flip side, keeping my eyes shut in an attempt to sleep was also challenging because of the painfully itchy and distracting tiki torches that were my hands. In fact, it felt as though I had my hands in a fiery bag of flaming hot Cheetos. I've never actually had Cheetos, but based on the "flaming hot guarantee" on the commercial, it seems like an accurate metaphor. In the end, I was awake for nearly 40 hours straight! It was an invaluable experience that taught me to adapt, go with the flow, and never ever forget the Clobex.
I want to take a moment to thank the people that make it possible for me to pursue my passion with the utmost support and guidance. I am especially thankful to have Dario Fredrick, coach / team director, on my side. His advice and encouragement throughout my frustrating setbacks has made me a better person in more ways than one; hence the Whole Athlete logo that encompasses the well-rounded athlete. I am excited to continue working with him as I strive to achieve my goals. I would also like to thank the team's head mechanic, Josh Snead. He always goes above and beyond to make the bikes look impeccably clean and new. He's basically a bike wizard (hence the beard) and I always learn something new from his vast knowledge of mechanics. I also appreciate the comic relief that he provides on every trip! I also want to thank my awesome parents for making huge sacrifices so I can gain valuable life experiences. They truly do everything in their power to help me follow my passion and that is absolutely priceless. I would never be doing what I'm doing without them!
Without further adieu, I would like to thank all of our sponsors. I am genuinely honored to represent these top-notch companies and products.
Go to the sponsor tab and click on the company logos to visit their websites! Give em' a like on Facebook too!