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WOW the high school races this year were fantastic! The courses were just amazingly fun and I definitely had a great time doing them. Throughout the season, I progressively gotten better. I was so excited for the last race, but bummed they had to reschedule it about two times. When they finally set a date, I knew what I had to do if I wanted to get on podium. My coaches told the team we had to taper, so everyone basically relaxed through out the two weeks and when we rode, we didn’t go too hard. On the weekends, I did do some cross races and I did some indoor trainer workouts, which definitely helped for the race. When we pre rode it on the 12th, it was freezing cold! There was so much wind, I felt like I could blow away in it. The team got together for a pre ride, which was awesome. The course started out as a swirly uphill. It went like that for a bit, then to some fun downhill. Then up again for a while, then downhill. It was a very fun course because it all wasn’t straight up. You had flat sections (which the wind liked to be) and when there was uphills, there was downhill straight afterwards. I decided that this was my favorite course of the year.

When Sunday came, I was super nervous, but I felt great. I felt as if I could podium and go my hardest. When my mom and I arrived at the race, my coach told me to ride the first part of the course to get used to it again. I must say, my legs definitely needed a warm up so I’m glad I did that. When we all lined up, I had a call up to go in the third spot and that was very cool. Being in the front helps your race position. The race official then counted down. One minute…. 30 seconds… 15 seconds…. GO! All of us went and I felt great. I had an okay position, maybe 5th or 6th, but it didn’t matter since we just started racing. Going up those hills, I didn’t get any cramps and my legs didn’t hurt. I thought, wow, I didn’t realize tapering would work that well! Me and my friend, Sage, worked together the whole race. We passed three girls that usually beat us by 2-3 minutes. We were very proud of each other and how well we were racing that day. When it was towards the end of our race, me and Sage really cranked it. I was trying to see if I could out sprint her. Once we got to maybe the last 20 feet, we both started sprinting. Since the last part of it was a turn, I went on the inside and she got on the outside so she got a little ahead of me. We still both sprinted, but she finished about one second before me, so I ended up third and I must say, I was super happy!! That was the first time I went on podium this season! And I received third overall too :D After my race, we watched all the boys races and that was pretty exciting. There are some fast guys out there!

After everyone’s race was done, it was time for awards. It was fun getting third that day and third overall :) The team did excellent too!! We received third place that day and fourth overall! We were all so proud. This high school season has been fantastic. All the riders on the team are just awesome too. I was faster than them at the beginning at the season, but towards the end, they could kick my butt! I am so proud of everyone on the team and I am so happy that we had a great first season. My coaches, Mr. Hoppin and  Mr. Burcar, were amazing! They told everyone what to eat before a race, how to prepare for a race, and basically taught us all of our mountain bike skills. It was such a fun season, but sadly it was my last. I hope to be involved with the high school league next year though!

On Sunday, the 18th, it was the first high school race of the season in Nathrop! I must say, it was a really fun experience to ride with fast girls and to see so many people out there and having a good time on their bike. My race was at 10 am (I did varsity) so we left at like 6:3o ish and of course, I slept the whole way there :P it was a little chilly when we got there, so I warmed up with my arm and knee warmers till the sun came out. It turned out to be a perfect day! I visited the Golden tent to see some of my teammates. It’s so awesome to actually have a team this year because everyone is so nice and cheers you on. We all huddled in for a Golden cheer and everyone wished me and my other teammate, Rae, good luck. I lined up at the start around 9:50. I didn’t see any girls for about 5 minutes, but then four other girls showed up on the line. I knew a lot of them so I said, hi, and good luck. One of my coaches, Mr. Hoppin, prepped me with a little advice before the race, which did help. Most of my teammates lined up on the other side and were telling me good luck. When they told us we had 30 more seconds till we start, my stomach turned a little. We had to do three laps of about 5 miles and I knew that was going to be hard, but I knew it would be just fine. They said go and it was a neutral start till the first corner. I saw a bunch of my teammates running along side of me and that was nice of them :D after we all heard a, GO, from someone, it was time to start racing. I was with all of them for about less than a half mile, but then two of them just attacked and I couldn’t keep up, so I just hung out with two other girls for a bit. You start on a double track road and then you start climbing on this singletrack for a tiny bit. Then, you hit this flat section for a little while, but there are some mini downhills and climbs. After you go down this fun decent, you then find yourself winding around this forest area back to the start of the race and then on a double track road again, where you go as fast as you can to the finish! I was with this one girl, Sage, for a while on the flat sections. When we were close to crossing the finish line, there were so many people cheering for us. I think that was my favorite part seeing everyone cheer for us :) when we finished the first lap, I was ahead of Sage by a little bit so I knew I had to keep up the pace to drop her. I think the first lap was the hardest because you are getting used to the course and such! The second lap was the lap I had the most fun on. Going up the hill was pretty painful, but I did it and I don’t think I could of without the cheering of random people on the course. They really motivate you! I saw that Sage was behind me so I attempted to attack on the flat section, but that didn’t really work out especially when my chain fell off. It was on a small hill so I quickly got off and fixed it, but now Sage was ahead of me by a tiny bit. I knew I could keep up with her, so I quickly pedaled my way toward her and I passed her! I felt proud :D She was sort of behind me when I crossed the finish line on the second lap. I quickly attacked up the hill and dropped her. Since it was my last lap, I cranked it and went my hardest. There were some jv girls still racing so I asked them if I could pass and after I did, I’d say good job or nice work. You always gotta be a good sport! I was on the double track road to the finish racing my heart out. I saw everyone and they were cheering, which made me feel really good. I finished 4th place and felt like I was going to die at the end. One of my other coaches, Mr. Burcar, was there to take my bike and told me I did a good job! I then got dressed and watched my other teammates race in the freshman and jv boys category. They did excellent, especially since most of them have never raced before! I must say, mountain bike racing is the most fun sport to watch! I loved cheering everyone on. The Golden team has definitely gotten bigger and stronger since July. It’s a great time with great people. Can’t wait till the next race!

Our cheer before the race!

Getting ready to race

Freshman boys

Jv boys

Gotta love the sponsers!

Nationals 2011!

WOW, what a great experience at this year’s nationals! I raced on July 15th so we left Colorado on Tuesday, the 12th. It was actually not too bad of a drive, maybe about 11 or 12 hours. We stayed in a hotel that night an hour away from Sun Valley so that we only had to drive not too much the next day. We left at about 10 am the next day and we were off to set up camp and then pre ride the course. We were lucky and found free camping not too far from town. When we left the campsite, we went to go ride the course. I was excited to see if I liked the course and if it would be fun. We got there and found good parking with shade for buddy. We went over to River Run and picked up my packet for the race. I saw a whole bunch of people riding the course getting even more excited. We went back to the car and got our bikes ready. After about 15 minutes or so, we went to the start/finish and rode the course from there. We started out on the short track course up/down this steep little bridge and then through this intense, manmade rock garden. My mom told me that no matter what, always keep pedaling through those sections or else you’ll fall. So after both the rock gardens, there was this steep hill. It went up which seemed like forever. It was a very dry, rocky, and sandy climb. I felt like dying because it was so hot also. It was just a straight up climb with no switch backs or shade. I actually had to walk twice because it was so steep. When I finally got to the top, I was exhausted and at my race that Friday, I would have to go up it three times. Ouch. I waited for my mom and then we continued the course. It went down from there. Steep, fast, technical singletrack. What a fun downhill. It had a bunch of switch backs, which you had to take carefully or else you’ll slip and fall. There was this option of a downhill though where you could go down this small, technical rock garden or continue to switch back down. It looked pretty scary, so I didn’t do the rock garden. When we got to the bottom, I was like, wow, that climb is awful, but the downhill is fun. Should be a good race. After that we explored the town to see what it was like. The next day, my mom did a shuttle ride (actually she still had to climb about 2,000 ft) and I rested. It was nice relaxing all day, but I was definitely nervous about my race the next day. That night, there was a fun mountain bike criterium going on downtown that we just had to see. What funny costumes and bikes people had. I was trying to keep my mind off the race, but that was very hard. I did go to sleep early and it was wonderful.

Well the day was here. Race day. I had to stay strong, be confident and say I can do this. It was definitely hard trying to keep my breakfast down. I was trying so hard not to throw it up. When I get nervous, I can’t eat, but I have to or else I’ll get super hungry while racing. We drove down there not too early. My race was at 9:03 and I was lucky to be racing so early in the morning before the sun really beamed on us. When we got there, I got ready and warmed up. My heart was racing like no other. After warming up on the course, it was time to line up. I wasn’t so nervous anymore, but I could still feel my heart pumping a lot. I was called to the front line and had a good spot. The guy counted down, 1 minute. 3o seconds. 15 seconds. GO! We were off. I had a pretty good spot, but then a bunch of girls started to pass me. I kept up with them for a bit up the steep climb, but then it got too hard for people so we had to walk. Man did walking hurt more than riding, jeez. I felt like my calves were going to fall off. I ran up the hill, got back on and went down the hill. I was going pretty fast, but then I was going too fast, slipped on a turn and fell on my side. I could feel my elbow and thigh bleeding. It hurt, but I knew I had to keep going. I finally got on my bike and went a little slower on the turns. Good thing I knew my limits. I was coming down the mountain and I could hear everyone again. Wow, there was a lot of people. I saw the steep rock garden and knew I was going to do it. So I slowly creeped up on it and zoomed down. There were so many people just standing there and clapping. It really made me feel good. I passed the finish line with a time of 27 minutes. I still had two laps to go. Lovely. I flew on the corners, went up the small bridge, and got to the manmade rock garden. Man, did you really have to pedal. There were a lot of people cheering me on and I felt like a pro. There was this one part though where I did loose my balance, but caught it at the last minute. People were yelling like no other. I felt really awesome! I went through the other rock garden and zoomed up the hill for a tiny bit. It was burning hot so I had to drink so much water. I even drank it and then spit it out on my arms and legs. Now that felt really refreshing. I climbed up the hill and I felt faster than the first lap. I did have to walk this one section, but then i got back on and rode up the rest of the way. I went downhill again and made sure I knew my limits so that I don’t fall again. I went down the switch backs and down the rock garden. I still loved all the people there cheering me on! I went through the finish and my time was 57 minutes. I am so excited that this was my last lap. I went up the bridge and down back to the other manmade rock garden. There wasn’t a lot of people because they were probably waiting at the finish, but the very few people there cheered me on and that helped me a lot. I went through the other rock garden and then went up the hill again. I was thinking I was going to die, but I just had to keep pushing it. I could feel the sun just killing my energy, but then, some friends cheered me on and that made me feel really good so I definitely pushed it. This lap was the best lap I did on the climb. I only pushed my bike only about 10 feet and then I got backed on and passed girls. That felt even more awesome. I was so excited to be on the downhill again. I went my hardest and fastest. After going down for quite a while, the last downhill before the finish was the rock garden. I remember thinking, okay it was only this and then I’m done. So I went down the steep, techy rock garden and there were so many people cheering me on! What great fun :D so then I had a huge smile on my face and crossed the finish line. I was so dead! I saw a couple of girls that I raced with and congratulated then. I saw my friend, Lindsay, and we were so proud of ourselves! I then had to go to the medic tent to get my wounds cleaned up (and boy that stung a lot) and then I got a nice, cold snow cone :) what a treat and it was free! For some of the day, Lindsay and I watched the U23 and cat 1 15-18 guys race and that sure was fun. Saw a couple crashes and cheered a bunch of guys on. What a fun day.

After that, we left Sun Valley the next day, and headed towards the border of Wyoming to see friends. We went to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park and that was very fun. What a very fun trip. Even though I didn’t do as well as I wanted to at nationals, I am still proud of myself. How many girls can ride that course? That was the hardest climb I’ve done. It was awful, but I did it! Next year, will be an even better year. I am looking forward to it.

Start of the race!

Going down the rock garden

Finished!

Getting my wounds cleaned out

Well it has been a fantastic season! I absolutely love my new team,  COMotion Sports. The last races I’ve done was the 4th Mountain States Cup race in Angel Fire and the Beti Bike Bash at Bear Creek Lake Park. What fun races! The mountain bike race in Angel Fire went okay, I had some issues breathing and I kept getting cramps, but I still finished! We did two laps of about 9 miles and the first 5 miles was basically climbing up the ski hill. It was extra hot that day too so my skin was burning. The Beti Bike Bash was an all women’s mountain bike race and that was so much fun! It was even hotter than the race in Angel Fire! We did four laps of about 3 miles and that really got my blood pumping. I don’t think I was on my granny gear that day, it was basically my middle chain ring. I did okay because it was all older women and I was the youngest, but it was still fun! It had up hills and down hills and was a very fast course.

Nationals is just in 4 days! It’s in Sun Valley, Idaho so we are leaving tomorrow! I’m really excited because I upgraded so I’m racing with a bunch of new girls and if I won, I would have a sport on the World’s team! I hope to get top 5 like last year because that’d be pretty cool :) The course this year seems pretty fun also. It’s only about 3-4 miles so I probably would do like 3 or 4 laps. It only has about 600 feet of climbing and a pretty fun, switchback decent! For my training, I usually had Monday and Friday off. I usually would stretch and do yoga. Then, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday would be my hard riding days. After riding, I would stretch and do some workouts for my core area. I would usually switch off between road and mountain. Plus, on weekends is when I would race or ride. I’ve been training all year and hopefully it will all pay off when I race!

Chile Challenge – Angel Fire, NM

Third place in Cat 1 in Angel Fire!

Beti Bike Bash!

Beti Bike Bash

Me and Lindsay!

Me, Lindsay and Georgia Gould!

Well I had my first race on April 9th in Colorado Springs :D I must say that it was one of the hardest races I’ve done, but I received second place! I had to do three hards laps of about 5 miles. The course consisted of a mini climb in the beginning followed by a hard technical flat section continued with a butt load of climbing for a long time and then a nice, technical downhill. On the first lap, I stayed together with a fellow friend, Lindsay, for all the three laps, but then at the end, she went for it and I was just hanging in the back. I fell over a couple times, but that’s because I was burning out. I still finished though! On the first lap, I felt like I wanted to die! I thought the course was way to hard, but the second lap was my best lap. I was doing pretty good on time and I felt great. The third lap was basically the death of me. I went hard on the climbs, but there was this one climb where my legs felt like they wanted to fall off, so I went a little slower. I then finished two minutes behind Lindsay, which seems to be the case every race, but it was fun! When I went up on the podium, I almost fell off! My legs were tired! COmotion was awesome for supporting me and giving me the stuff I needed. Whoohoo!

On May 1st, I had my second mountain bike race in Fruita! We were going to camp there, but we decided to hotel it because they had such cold weather, which is surprising to say. When we arrived at the race, I was all bundled up in my clothes with a bunch of layers. I was expecting it to be a little nicer, but that didn’t exactly happen. The race was about 18 miles with hard little climbs in the beginning followed by a lovely, technical downhill with singletrack and then back to climbing for the last 5 miles of the race. I stayed with Lindsay the whole time till the very last 5 miles and that’s when she took off. My legs were dying and there was a huge head wind! During the middle of the race, it was fantastic weather, which was awesome! But then the last part is where I started to bonk a little.

I believe my next mountain bike race will be on June 4th in Angel Fire, New Mexico! I absolutely love that course! After that I’ll probably get to see my friends that live in Los Alamos :) I still will do road races before then, I shall keep everyone posted!

Cat 1!!!!

Last week (I believe), I upgraded to a Cat 1 in cross country mountain biking!!!! I am very happy! It’s just so amazing that I’m one category away from being Pro, and I’m only 16… crazy! I’m excited to have a new mountain bike team this year to help support me at races and make me a better rider.

Cross season is over, and road season/mountain bike season is just around the corner. I hope I have a great year and go for my goal!

Time to start getting in those base miles…

Long time, no post…

Sorry I haven’t been posting! It’s been pretty busy with school and such. I just finished a great season of cross. I actually only did two junior races and the rest was 4s :D maybe next year I can finally upgrade. Right now, I’m resting, but riding the trainer and doing some core workouts to keep in shape. Road season is just around the corner! I’m going to do all 4s and maybe a couple junior races. I was actually going to switch road teams, but then I figured I stay with Black sheep for road, but go to a different mountain bike and cross team, since those are the ones I want to excel in the most. I’m hoping to possibly upgrade to a Cat 1 for cross country for next year! That would be great. Next year should be a good year for cycling. I’m excited to see where life takes me. Well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

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