A decade of remembrance

Believe me, I know I've been slacking.  And I have about 4 different blog posts that mention it, and I haven't even finished them, and by now, it's past the point of it being good anymore.  So instead of writing about the sub-par end to my amazing season, let me Q you in on a little bit about me.  

I turned 30 on Monday March 23rd.  In my opinion, that's a milestone birthday.  All through my twenties I still felt like a kid, just an overgrown kid.  Some may argue with me and tell me that 30 is still "just a kid", but I think for the first time in my life I might (sometimes) refer to myself as an adult.  Leading up to 30 I was in a lot of denial, there was NO way I was going to be 30, I haven't done ANYTHING with my life!  I'm not where 10 year-old Courtenay thought she would be at 30, and quite frankly, I'm REALLY happy to not be there.  As I look back at my Twenties, there is absolutely nothing I would take back.  I lived my life to the fullest and I am so incredibly happy to be where I am right now.

My four years of undergrad at WWU were some of my favorite times, where I made some amazing memories and met some amazing people.  In my four years of college, I partied harder than I ever will again in my life (ever, and I wonder how I made it out unscathed), I met my (now) husband, I made some of the most amazing life long friends, experienced Spring Break in Mexico, I started on my future career path at the age of 19, I was introduced to riding bikes, I ran 3 marathons, and more halves than I can remember.  

It wasn't until after my undergrad and into my Masters at WWU that I discovered the world of racing bikes, I realized I was in love with Chris, I grew to love Bellingham more and more, moved in with Chris, and discovered that I would LOVE cyclocross more than I ever thought possible.  

It wasn't until after I graduated with my Masters that I discovered how much I loved racing my bike, and it wasn't until the year Chris and I married that I discovered I could potentially race at the top level.  It wasn't until my last year in my twenties that I found a family in the entire CX racing community across the country, that I felt like I belonged somewhere.  It was in my 20's that I discovered the reality of life, where I learned to deal with living pay check to pay check.  It was in my twenties that I learned about the world of addiction, I learned I can pave my path, but I can't change others.  

I'm so grateful to be where I am today to have learned the lessons I have.  I'm so lucky to live my life, to know the people I do, to have the friends I have.  I've heard from multiple people how their 30's where their best times of their life.  If my 30's are going to be better than my 20's, then holy cow, I can't wait for the next 10 years of my life.  

A look back at my last 10 years:

20: On the morning of my 20th birthday I learned the valuable lesson, that a car is not a house on wheels.  Do not leave any prized possessions in your Honda Civic, it will get broken into, and your belongings will be stollen.  This was just the beginning of my poor little civiy getting broken into.  

21: I spent my 21st birthday visiting my life long friend in California.  I spent my first night as a 21 year old in a bar in LA, and learned to never go to DisneyLand with a hangover while vomiting up stomach acid.  

22: I spent my 22nd birthday experiencing Spring Break in CABO!  Tequila, jello shots, and chips and salsa will always bring back memories.  At 22 is when I first met Chris and graduated from College.

23:  At 23, Chris and I shared our first "I love you's" and I decided it would be best to go back to school and get my Masters.  It didn't take long for me realize I didn't want to be in school anymore, but I suffered my way through, and I'm glad I did.  This year Chris and I also took our first road trip together (and I believe we haven't done one since….) down the coast to Disneyland.  I had a blast, but that's the last time I let Chris "plan" a vacation.

24:  It wasn't I was 24 that I decided it was time to try Cyclocross.  I saved my pennies and bought an entry level bike, big green.  Big green and I fell in love with CX after the first race, and unfortunately it wasn't until the end of the season that I bought big green, so we had a little taste of what CX was about, and we had to wait nearly a year to race again!  

25:  I graduated with my Masters in Human Movement.  Not much else happened here.  Perhaps, this is when I moved in with Chris.

26:  Dec. 19. 2011 Chris asked me to marry him.  Apparently, I said yes.

27:  Chris and I wed, and I raced in my first UCI CX race in Vegas 4 days after our wedding.  With a last row call up, I finished 13th. That was pretty awesome.  At 27, the entire NW CX community got together and helped pitch my way to UCI CX races.  You guys are the best.

28:  At 28, I ho'ed and hummed over the thought of giving bike racing another shot at the top level.  I just wasn't sure.  I'm certainly glad I stuck with it.  :-) 

29:  You better believe that I spent my last day in twenties, on my bike, smiling the whole time, with people who support me and my endeavors.  The last year of 20's, my oh my.  When Chris asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, all I said was "ride my mountain bike and eat cake on the mountain with my friends".  Yes, this is what I did.  We went for a nice long 5 hour ride through Chuckanut, Blanchard, and Galbraith and I smiled the entire way.  Thank You friends for joining me.  

Here's to the  next ten years of my life.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!

East Coast Post 2.5

Harpoon Brewery, so many options, even Cider for this Gluten Free girl.

After Providence it was off to do a little exploring in Boston.  I learned a few things for the three days I spent there.  Monday I spent half the day sleeping, then cruising around the suburbs for a recovery spin, hung out with  my Cousin’s (by marriage) 3 year old daughter, and slept hard that night.  Tuesday I had this grand plan for a bike ride, after my bike was fixed (remember I had to pit to my "b" bike on the 2nd day of Providence).  I was recommended to head to the Ride Studio Café in Lexington, MA to get my bike taken care of by Mike Berlinger.  Brendan, aka cousin, drove me from Melrose to Lexington and my plan was to go for a ride and do some intervals out there and then ride back to the house. 

First things first, if you are ever in the Boston area, and you love bikes and are addicted to coffee, you HAVE to go to the Ride Studio Café.  This place is the coolest bike shop/café combo I have ever seen (and the first)!  Bellingham needs one, really bad.  Mike took amazing care of my bike and got her back into working order and he even planned a route for me!  He mapped out the route, and we sent it to my really smart Garmin 500 (hint of sarcasm).  I turned on my courses function and went about on my ride.  It was working great, I ended up on a road and the map function told me I wouldn’t turn for another 15 miles, awesome!  About 3 minutes after seeing that I encountered a stop sign, and could only turn left or right.  This is when everything went seriously wrong, I mean seriously wrong, and all of the sudden I was off course, no matter what direction I rode.  

Keytar Bear is his name…so I hear.  A Boston Staple.

Sometimes I like to pretend I know where I'm going, most of the time I have no idea.  I rode and I rode, thinking I was going somewhere and I would find a beautiful marvelous road to do my intervals on.  Then I ended up in some small like town that looked like an easy place to get lost in.  That's when I decided I should call Mike.  He gave me a great road to do some intervals on, it went by the Hanscom airport.  I went back and forth, back and forth, and then it was time to go home.  I was pretty convinced I followed his instructions very well, and I come upon a road that looked quite busy, and wasn't very bicycle friendly, so I went straight across it, and into a line up of cars stopping at some guard shack.  I decided since I wasn't a car, I didn't need stop, and I just cruised on by.  Then I heard a "MAM, MAM, MAAAAAAM, STOP!!!".  First off, I'm not a mam, but I did stop.  Then this man in a full on Military outfit came running at me.  He asked me for some ID and my first response was "well, thank goodness I brought that with me today", because sometimes I forget things like that.  So I dig into my back pocket, pull out my plastic baggie and hand him my WA state drivers license.  He looks at it with a confused look, then says to me "do you have a military badge" and now we trade looks and mine becomes extremely confused and I respond with "a what"?  He quickly responds as he points to his lovely outfit "This is a military base, you need a military badge to enter, you are not welcome here".  I reply "Well, clearly I'm not from here and I'm very confused".  He then asks me where I'm trying to go and he points me in the right direction, yes he tells me I need to go ride on that really busy looking road.  I told him it didn't look very bike friendly and that couldn't possibly be where I needed to go.  He firmly told me it was, he was correct.  I eventually made it back to the shop safe and sound, after having some words with a women on the side walk who told me I was going to get a ticket for riding my bike on the side walk.  

The next part of the journey was getting from Lexington to Melrose, and a journey it was.  I only made a few wrong/missed turns, but eventually (1 hour to be exact) I made it back to the house.  That adventure was really very exhausting.  I decided my next days ride was going to be in circles around the house.  And that's just what I did.

Wednesday was my all time favorite day.  I took the subway into Boston and spent the day cruising the streets of Boston by foot and bike.  We stopped by the Harpoon Brewery, took the subway to the college district (okay I know it has a better name, but I was surrounded by college kids), saw the water, drank terrible Starbucks coffee and smiled the entire day.  

History, or something

Need a good giggle?  Bike Share in Boston, SO MUCH FUN!  As you can see by my face.

Thursday I made the trek to Rochester, NY for the final weekend of racing on the East Coast!