Filed under: KingsBridge Train | Tags: Cross Vegas, cyclo-cross, cyclo-cross training, DRJ Fall World, KingsBridge Disaster Recovery, Ottawa Bicycle Club, ulcerative colitis, vicki thomas, world championships, World Cup
It is Vicki here checking in from a few weeks of being on the road and getting into some early season cyclo-cross racing….
Phew, it is a relief to sit down and take some time to let my fingers do some work for a change! Lets just say it is has been a very busy September and I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how we ended up in the first week of October! Well, as you may know I’m a professional cyclo-cross racer and KingsBridge provides me with support that allows me to focus on my racing and training – this is why I’m invading the KingsBridge blog!
So, the cyclo-cross season started in early September with a double race weekend that saw me traveling to Trexlertown, Pennsylvania for a Saturday race and then driving to Kirkland, New York for a Sunday race. Yes, a lot of travel in a couple of days – but this is the life of cyclo-cross racer in North America – you go where the races are! That first race in Trexlertown was a chance to get a feel for my legs and see where I slotted in amongst some of the top elite women in North America. I went into this race with high hopes and expectations – last year I had raced to a solid 9th place and I was ready for an improvement on this performance…. Well, lets just say things didn’t come together as I had planned – I felt lethargic on the bike and just couldn’t ride the way I wanted and to be honest, part way through the race I checked out mentally. Not the start to the season I had planned on. I hit the reset button and told myself that Sunday in Kirkland would be better. It was better. Much better – I finished in second place. But admittedly this was not the same class of field that I raced with on Saturday and again I had the same lethargic feelings.
This was new territory for me. I’m used to feeling 100 per cent when I’m on the bike and I’m used to racing well and seeing improvements year after year. I had lots of talks with my coach, my husband (and number one fan), and my friends. We chalked it up to a bit of poor nutrition and just a few lingering cobwebs in the legs. Great, I focused on eating more carbohydrates and making sure I was rested for the following weekend of racing in Catamount, Vermont. In the last two season I had raced very well here and I really wanted to do the same. I was aiming for a top ten finish and a strong ride. I knew I could do it – I’m stronger, smarter and a better rider than I was last year. But unfortunately Saturday was more the same – no energy in the legs and just feelings of being worked over. To make matters worse I crashed hard in the last lap and injured my shoulder. The shoulder injury kept me out of the race on Sunday as I was looking ahead to a mid-week race in Las Vegas.
I left Catamount, Vermont bright and early on Monday morning to connect with the KingsBridge crew at the DRJ Fall World show in San Diego, California. I spent a couple of days helping out in the booth and getting in a couple of rides along the San Diego Bay. My shoulder was healing and although not 100 per cent, I knew it wouldn’t be a factor in the big race to come.
Tuesday after the show, we loaded up the rental van and myself and the KingsBridge crew hit up the open road for Las Vegas! Yes, Las Vegas. I never thought I’d be racing my cyclo-cross bike in Las Vegas, but each year as part of the Interbike trade show, the organizers host Cross Vegas. This is a “race under the lights” that attracts a top-notch field, lots of fans and is generally a good time. Thanks to the great support from the KingsBridge gang I was well taken care of for the race (many thanks to the Element Hotel for helping us out with accommodation). So the race? Well, I had an excellent start and made the lead group – at one point I was sitting in 18th position…. And then the hammer dropped and I imploded. Same problems as before. Very frustrating. But through it all I still had a good time and was happy to be out racing, but the lack of good results and lethargic sensations on the bike weren’t doing much for my confidence.
The good news is that after a battery of tests with my doctor (I have a disease called ulcerative colitis that I have been battling for the past year), we learned last week that there is a reason for the lethargy, fatigue and poor riding. Turns out I’m more sick than we initially thought. So last week I had an iron infusion and was given orders to not race in Gloucester, Mass. last weekend. This was a real disappointment since Gloucester, Mass. is where I had my first podium and my first win on a cyclo-cross bike. But doctor’s orders are doctor’s orders. I took a few days off the bike and just enjoyed being down in Gloucester cheering on my husband Marc (who also races in the KingsBridge colors).
This week I’ve gotten out for a couple of rides to test out the legs and today I had a second iron infusion. The big question through all of this is how am I feeling? Well, relieved. Relieved to know that these poor rides were really out of my control. Frustrated that the ulcerative colitis is rearing its ugly head and making life challenging. Thankful that I’m still able to get out and ride my bike and live an active lifestyle. Optimistic because I’ve pushed the reset button on my season and I’m letting the past be the past.
My season starts this weekend with a local race that is part of the Ottawa Bicycle Club Cyclo-Cross series. This is a great local series that has been around for years. It is also the launchpad for many athletes such as myself who have gone on to race for Team Canada at the World Cyclo-Cross Championships. Next Wednesday I hop a plane and I’ll be racing in the first World Cup in Aigle, Switzerland on Oct. 17 and then the following weekend in Plzen, Czech Republic.
So, all this to say – life is good. My health is coming together. I’m supported by an awesome group of people. My race season is looking awesome with me once again living in Belgium from November to February. A slow start but I’m anticipating a strong finish!
(Be sure to check out my website to read daily updates of my racing, training and all parts in-between. And next post, I’ll get some photos up for you!)
Filed under: KingsBridge Train, Knowledge, Software | Tags: business continuity software, business disaster, Cross Vegas, cyclo-cross, disaster preparation, disaster recovery software, DRJ Fall World, Interbike, iPad, iPhone, iPhone Application, KingsBridge Disaster Recovery, London Reslience, National Preparedness Month, Nevada Cancer Institute, Phoenix Mobile, Phoenix software, plus 3 networks, vicki thomas
It seems that the everyday this summer there was another news report about a disaster – natural and not-so-natural. From bursting pipelines to hurricanes, each day we read and listened about people losing their homes, businesses, and the stress and chaos this creates.
Seems fitting then that President Obama declared September to be National Preparedness Month. Now we’ve written about National Preparedness Month before but it is worth emphasizing how important it is to get involved. As the declaration states, disasters and threats can come at any time and affect you everywhere – home and work. So do yourself a favor and visit:
- http://www.ready.gov/america/index.html - this site has excellent information for individuals and businesses
- http://citizencorps.gov/ – excellent resource to learn what you can do as an individual citizen
The American government is not the only institution who has made being prepared and protected as an nation-wide issue, the London Resilience Partnership has been created to prepare British citizens to be ready in the event of a disaster or threat. The London Resilience website: http://www.londonprepared.gov.uk/ is another excellent resource on why and how to be prepared.
All this points to the reality that you and I can’t hide from this anymore. We need to be protected and prepared. To this end, we at KingsBridge are doing our best to keep you up-to-date with the latest developments in the business continuity and disaster recovery planning space.
Next week we’ll be at the DRJ Fall World show in San Diego, California from Sept. 19 – 22. We’ll be showcasing our latest addition to the Phoenix line of software. This new addition to our industry-leading business continuity and disaster recovery planning software really will change the way you approach your plan development and management. The best thing you can do before stopping by booth #8 for a demo of our new software is to download Phoenix Mobile to your iPad or iPhone – use this free application – and be ready to give us some feedback. We want to know what you like and don’t like about our free business continuity and disaster recovery planning software.
After the DRJ Fall World show, we’re hitting the road and driving to Las Vegas. This trip is for a couple of very important reasons. You know about our involvement with the Nevada Cancer Institute and Plus 3 Networks – well, we like to see how the good works that our fundraising dollars are doing – so we’ll be making this a priority of our trip. As an extra bonus we’ll be taking in some cyclo-cross racing and the Interbike trade show as well. Our sponsored athlete, Vicki Thomas is racing at Cross Vegas so we’ll be out cheering her on and offering her race-day support.
All this to say, be sure to get yourself protected and prepared but remember to have some fun and get out there and soak up life!
Filed under: KingsBridge Train | Tags: Cross Vegas, cyclo-cross, Interbike, vicki thomas
It’s Vicki here to update you on how things are going…
Guess you can tell by the title that I’m having one of those good days. Actually, day is too narrow – lets rephrase this to seasons or phases or times. Anyway, lets just say that I’m in a good place right now. Everything is just coming together so perfectly for the upcoming season.
I had a fantastic ride today. Legs felt great, ticking over nicely and just really loved every second of it. Rode to the little town of Merrickville today. It was super windy but it was sunny and dry – no complaints here. Great afternoon at the office.
I’m getting my schedule sorted out and have registered for a bunch of races already. Today I registered for Cross Vegas! I’m stoked. Can’t believe I’m going to race at Cross Vegas. I’ve wanted to race at Cross Vegas for two years now. Can’t really believe that I’m going to race this race. Kind of crazy, in 2007 I was racing with the 3/4 women’s field and held a masters license – now in 2010 after a few successful seasons in my legs, I’m racing in the elite women’s field at Cross Vegas. Cool. Very cool.
The Cross Vegas trip will involve a lot of firsts for me. First time to Las Vegas. First time racing at Cross Vegas. First time at a bike trade show. First time doing an evening race. A lot of first times. No complaints here. I’m super looking forward to the race and to attending Interbike.
Oh, in case you missed it, I’ve started writing rider diaries again for Cyclocross Magazine, my latest rider diary is posted. Also there is an article about the latest Stevens cyclo-cross bikes that Katie Compton, Marriane Vos, Hanka Kupfernagel, Niels Albert, and I will be riding – check it out. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Canadian Cyclist Magazine to read some of my latest articles.
Well, I guess that is about it. Tomorrow I’ve got a great day of training on deck. Hill sprints and cyclo-cross starts in the morning chased with an evening cyclo-cross ride with Karl and Marc. I’ll strap on the helmet camera tomorrow night and shoot some video of my favorite sand course.