Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sneak Peak

Today is your lucky day.

Aren't you excited?? You should be because the text that is below is a sneak peak of a "diary entry" for a very well known newspaper. It should be published Tuesday. Note, if you don't live in Colorado consider yourself very lucky because you probably would never have gotten to read the diary if I hadn't had posted it on the blog. Though other than my mom and sister I am not sure anyone else looks at my blog so maybe only they are lucky.

P.S., I am in Lucca again and it is SO GREAT!! We rode to the Leaning Tower and saw toy gun shooting, ground crawling, camo dressing army guys being sold (if you don't know what or where Lucca is you have some blog reading to do to catch up).

Here is the sneak peak: (drum roll please)

I had lost perspective. Yesterday I realized, I wasn’t even paying attention to the amazing accomplishment that was about to happen. I had gotten so caught up in the race season, the results from various races, and thoughts about next year that I forgot I was about to start my dream race, the Women’s Giro d’Italia.
No, I didn’t forget about the race in the since that my team, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, was going to race it. I knew the nine-day stage race was July 6-14th in Italy and we were going with a strong team of 5 women to compete against the best female cyclists in the world. What I had forgotten were my thoughts 3 years ago as I was riding up Passo Pordoi in northern Italy. I thought to myself, if I were to try to this road racing thing, my dream would be to compete in the Women’s Giro or Giro d’Italia Femminile as it is called. That would be an amazing accomplishment. Here I am three years later getting ready to start that very race.
Not only I am ready to start the Giro, I have the ability to be quite completive in it. The race starts with a 3km prologue in Treviso, north of Venice. Time trials and prologues are my specialties and I hope to put in a strong performance. The race then heads south for 2 days before coming west into the Tuscany region. There, we will have a 10km time trial up Monte Serra, a steep climb that will separate the best riders and climbers from others as they just try to survive. From there the race goes into the mountains north of Milan for 2 days of climbing before ending with 2 days of circuit races that should be a “sprinters delight” or pack finish for the sprints to contest the win.
Despite recent race results, the upcoming World Championships and thoughts of the Olympics, this is where it all started; in Italy, riding my bike up a steep pass and allowing myself to dream. Three years later, the dream is coming true. This feeling of accomplishment and the amazing satisfaction that comes with it is like no other and not many people are lucky enough to experience it. I am so happy to be here and am looking forward to the start of my dream race, the Giro d’Italia Femminile, which starts on Friday.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An on-purpose DNF

Today was Philly. It was fun. It felt like Euro racing with the short steep climbs and the massive amount of people cheering for you. What a fun place to race your bike.

Today was a day of many firsts. Well, actually only two. It was my first time to race Philly and my first time to DNF (did not finish) in a bike race on purpose. It was a weird feeling to pull myself from the race, but truthfully, I was too dang tired to ride up the 2 remaining climbs on the way to the finish. Plus, I was hoping to watch the finish, but I was pedaling too slowly, so I missed it.

Our Philly women's race makes a measly four laps around the course (the guys do 10). After the third time up "the wall", (a steep hill lined with hundreds of screaming people) I attacked. No one came with me, so I got some extra time trialing practice. I was caught the next and last time up "the wall" then flatted on the decent. By the time I got a new wheel, I was behind the caravan and totally blown. I could be of no more help to the team and that's when I decided I was going to DNF.

Despite DNFing, it is actually a liberating feeling pulling yourself from a race when you are really proud of how you did. I raced my bike, let my teammates rest in the pack, and got a killer workout in. I am happy (now I can eat more cookies guilt free).