First things first: I can't believe the Olympics are over for another 4 years! I don't know where the last two weeks went. The Olympics are my favourite time of the year (after Christmas, my birthday, thanksgiving, and summer vacay) and it's sad to have to put them away until 2016. I'm really proud of all the Canadians that competed at the Olympics, especially Emily and Catharine. You guys are quite the inspiration!
Aside from being glued to TSN and CTV for the last two weeks, I've been working really hard to get ready for 2012 World Championships. The last two weeks have been pretty tough, but I feel like I'm read to go again! I read a quote a while back (don't know where I read it, or who said it, although I'm making it my mission to find out) that said "You think training's hard? Try losing.". That really hit home; it's once of the things that gets me through really tough workouts (in addition to the desire to improve!) and I can tell you I said it quite a lot in my head during the last stretch of training! Of course, training's not all hard - a bunch of my rides were up on the beautiful roads and trails of Muskoka (so fun!), which definitely makes things easier. Being able to jump in the lake after a ride doesn't hurt either.
Yesterday was the first real test since the Windham WC in July: O-Cup #6 in Buckwallow. Buckwallow and I have an interesting relationship... I haven't raced there since 2010, and that ended with a severely damaged rotator cuff and my first DNF (and only DNF) ever. I suppose you could say that it has been a love/hate relationship. It's really technically challenging, and I LOVE that, but it's also not so fun when you eat it on a rock and break yourself AND your bike.
So, after a disappointing race in Sudbury to say the least, and then having more than a month off racing, I was ready to kill it at Buck. I felt good, despite the hours in my legs, and was excited to ride my bike. I had an alright start, but got stuck behind some people in the single track (I've got to work on getting first wheel!). I rode with some other ladies for the first two laps, but by the 3rd lap we had stretched out and I was riding alone. I rode in for 5th, and was 2nd U23. Not my best performance position-wise, but I felt great, didn't crash (the love/hate relationship is slowly becoming one of just "love") and saw my HR right where it should be. On a side note, I wasn't expecting to have so much upper body fatigue, especially since my dad commented on how jacked my "pythons" were looking... I guess Tav was right when he said "pythons? Yeah right, more like garter snakes". My arms STILL feel like rubber (buckwallow is preeeeetty gnarly) - maybe I should work some dips and curls into my training plan haha. Congrats to everyone else that raced, and good luck at provincials! It's been fun racing with you girls. I also want to give an exceptionally big thank you to Havi and Norco for all the support this year. Can't wait until Crank the Shield to see you guys again!
As you probably know from my previous post, I've been selected to Team Canada for the 2012 World Championships in Austria! As the departure date moves closer (August 29th) I keep getting more and more excited. I'm stoked to have a sick race and experience some European culture. On the flip-side, I'm quickly realizing that the trip poses some potential problems. Heading into second year university at Queen's, I have a lot of expenses that some other racers don't have (tuition, rent, books, etc.) and also am unable to have a job because of classes. The trip to World's is going to cost ~$3000, and I'm struggling to scrape the cash together and still have enough left over to feed myself this semester. If you or anyone you know would be interested in donating or sponsoring me for this trip, let me know (by email <firstname.lastname@example.org> or phone (647)-203-1315) and I'll get a sponsorship package to you. I would really appreciate any help you can offer!
On that note, I received a very nice surprise from Chico Racing yesterday, in the form of a donation to myself and the other Ontarian riders heading to World's. Chico started a collection, and doubled the amount of donations they received! I was really touched by this kindness, and I can't thank Chico and company (and all those who donated) enough. Chico is a huge supporter of cycling in Ontario, and it was awesome to see and be the recipient of such a level of support. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you're in seeing the results of the race and/or checking out any of the running and riding events that Chico puts on you can get to their website here.
Sorry for the long-winded post! I'm heading off to Wisconsin tomorrow for the Subaru US Cup, so be sure to check back midweek for an update and some pictures!