My 2019 season began at the end of a 2018 season full of disappointments and tears…
…but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? Maybe, but what I do know is that I was able to learn so
much from my mistakes and weaknesses and used that to fuel my training for 2019. I began putting in hard miles in March, possibly earlier than I should have but group rides are too fun to pass up and it just so happens those group rides helped build my speed and endurance. Another aspect of my training included a lot of mental strength exercises, visualization techniques, and whole lot of self-
talk. I seem to be my biggest critic and it took months to finally start believing in myself, believing that I was a strong rider, believing I could suffer… But win a race? In the Elite Women’s field?.. Not me. I wasn’t that fast…(still working on that self-belief
As the season drew closer I felt I was ready to put my new mental strength techniques to the test. My goal was to suffer and not let up, not give into the voice telling me I was tired, telling me to slow down. I wasn’t going to give in to self-doubt if a racer passed me, I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. That was my goal. If I got on the podium then that would just be a little icing on the cake.
The first race of the season was Corriganville, a fun and fast course that I really like racing on. I don’t
remember everything from the race, but I do remember hearing a crash on the first lap behind me, only to see Susie walking her bike along the course on the second lap. I was so upset but knew I had to focus as Christina and I were battling 1-2 at the moment. I raced as smart and strategically as possible and was able to surge at the start of the last lap…Taking the win! I couldn’t believe it. When I think back on it, it gets me a little emotional because I never believed I could win. After two years of racing in the Elite field and only coming in Fourth at best, how could I possibly win? But I did, and it made me feel so good.
Validation for an off season of lots of hard work, of focusing on my weaknesses and turning them into my strengths. I went on to win the second and third races of the season and took my first loss on the second day of racing at MoVal. I was so upset. I had gotten in my own head prior to the race. However, it actually felt good to lose. It felt like the pressure was off me now. When you win and then win again, others start expecting you to win. I started expecting myself to win…How could I lose and let others down. How could I lose when I did so much work? But when it comes down to it, that is something that I learned from this season…I shouldn’t focus on what others think. If I go out and give all I can, if my body hurts so bad because I pushed as hard as I could, it doesn’t matter if I win or lose.
The season continued and I started to feel burned out halfway through, racing every weekend was
weighing heavily on my body, my mind, and my motivation. I pushed on and was able to finish the
season as the Overall SoCalCross Prestige Series Winner in the Women’s Elite field.
I didn’t win them all, but I won enough and got to spray champagne. When I look back on the season, I remember the endless support I received daily from Greg, the time spent with friends, camping weekends, the badass womxn who I had the pleasure of racing with, funtimes at Santa Cross, and the feeling of standing on the Top Step for the very first time.
Looking forward to packing my cooler for the 2020 season and all the cross adventures to come.