Living in the fast lane, where have I been?

Do you ever wake up one day, and wonder where the past 10 years have gone?  There is nothing I would change if I could do it over, but sometimes I wonder, why are we moving so fast?  Why aren't we soaking up our lives to the fullest?  The past 6 months I've realized I needed to slow down, I needed to focus on something that was going to make me happy in the now, not something that would make me happy in the future.  Life is now, and it's meant to be lived.  Towards the end of last season I struggled hard to find the work life, race life, train life balance.  I knew things needed to change come the new year.  Since then, I've taken time off work, took time off my bike, cut back my work hours, and I couldn't be better, I'm a much happier and more pleasant person to be around.  

So where have I been?  For the first time in a long time I feel settled, grounded, and ready to take on the world.  Having complete rest post CX season was amazing, it gave me new energy to conquer new goals, take new trips, and plan better.  Trip #1 included my very first Sea Otter, which I absolutely loved.  4 days in the California sunshine?  Count me in please!  Not only did I spend 4 days in sunshine with friends, but having the chance to catch up with Sponsors in person and hang out, have some chats you never get to have, was amazing.  On top of that, I had the opportunity to help with Rebecca Ruschs' SRAM Gold Rusch Tour AND race my Cyclocross bike in April, where I put on a fabulous show for the people sailing over my bars in the pea gravel and chasing from nearly DFL to 2nd.  That was fun.  

After Sea Otter I came home to charge up for the Whiskey 50 the following weekend.  I didn't make it to Whiskey, which, perhaps when the time is right, I'll post why.  

The week after Whiskey I had my appointment with my Ortho regarding my Labral Tear (yep MRI tells me it's torn).  This time, Chris came with me for a 2nd set of ears to remember what sir doc had to say.  I've been seeing Dr. Nowak at Everett Bone and Joint, and after having several people tell me I need to see the doctor THEY saw, I finally settled with I don't care what others have to say about their amazing doctor, I'm sticking with my gut instinct.  My goal is to make it through the upcoming season, which I believe won't be a problem.  I know my limitations, I know what I can do, I know what I can't do, and I monitor my "pain" and my symptoms quite well.  He thinks I'm crazy, but I'm just an athlete.  Chris, myself, and Dr. Nowak all agreed that if the symptoms increase and my pain gets bad (right now I would say I'm at a 1 or 2 of 10), then I will end my season early and opt for an earlier surgery date, but currently I'm aiming for a post season surgery.  So there you have it, hip update #2.  Perhaps I'll blog all about how strong my right hip is compared to my left (my right one is the one with the tear) at some point.  

Last week I headed out to Grand Junction for the Grand Junction Off Road, the second stop in the Epic Rides series!  Of course I tried to prepare myself with a couple of local races first.  My first stop was the Gear Jammer up in Squamish, BC.  Unfortunately this was the last year of the race, so I can't tell you to go up there next year and race it, but holy smokes, that was a hard race.  I was pretty nervous and intimidated at the start of it, being a mass start and all, that I opted to start in the back with my friend.  When the gun went off I watched the front of the race (pros and lots of men) take off, and I scooted my way to the start line to get going.  That's okay, because I had a ton of fun chasing and racing my own race.  I ended up catching a fair amount of women in front of me, then I caught some pro women, and ended up finishing in 3rd.  Stoke level was high, cramp level was above the roof, and my body fatigue was right there with a 24 hour mtn bike race.  OUCH.  I was beat up and tired.  The following weekend I headed out to the Peninsula for the Stottlemeyer 30.  I hadn't ever done this event, and it's been around for a few years now, so it was time.  The trails were a ton of fun, rolling terrain, some roots, twists, and lots of flow.  This time, I wasn't nervous at the start, I knew the women and the men at the race, and at the start I gunned it, hit the single track first, and it was all fun and games from there, finishing first in my wave of peeps.  I'll give an updated blog post on the Grand Junction experience, other wise it will make this one WAY too long!  

A huge shout out goes to Borah Teamwear for completing my mountain bike kit.  It arrived just in time for the Stotty 30, and I was super excited to wear some fresh new threads!  I've said it before, but I'll say it again, if you're in the market for a new team clothing company, Borah Teamwear should be the only company you choose.  They have low minimums, no minimum on re-orders, quick turn around times, and they're super easy to work with, plus their clothing quality is impressive.  Please reach out to them, or ask me if you have any questions.  

There you have it, my Spring has been busy, but yet quiet at the same time.  I wouldn't change anything for the world.