June 3 was my departure for a road trip to last two months on the road of racing. I currently race for the women's professional team Primal/Mapmyride. At the Liberty Classic I was a guest rider and guest team captain of Danbury/Audi from Connecticut.
Packing for two months on the road is not an easy task, traveling to climates ranging from 90deg and humid to the mountains of Colorado and Oregon as well. I ended up shipping a few things to one host family along the way, traveling with my bike in a cardboard box this time and actually having to leave it at the NY airport- I hope they recycled it.
However, what is more challenging is experiencing my body begining to break down joint by joint. If you don't know a slight history of my last few years, this profile photo was taken when I was "retired" from cycling, finished up my last year with team TIBCO and starting to direct. I was "diagnosed" with a type of rheumatoid arthritis that was not severe but was told I would not be able to race at the International level of competition again. I continued riding and slowly came back to form with the support of my fiance and friends, to then race in the women's Giro d' Italia 2 years later and continue racing in Europe for 6 months the following year.
As my health has been stable for awhile, about 2 weeks ago it slowly started taking a turn and causing pain and swelling in various joints. Now, I dont want to drag on about how frustrating this is, because I'm going to talk about how to be an optimist in this situation!
The start of my adventure and leaving my rewarding work behind began with Liberty Classic on June 5th. Time to pack a great attitude, enjoy new teammates, have fun and just appreciate you have made it to the start line this year because many have not. There is always a chance this underdog small team will have a great day and it will all come together. Guess what just it happened, we had 2 podiums (a 3rd and Best Young Rider award) and I had my best finish somehow making it over the Manyunk wall all 4 times- even though I had to walk a few steps of one lap due to a rider crashing in front of me. This is a great sport and I was so lucky to race my bike today, however what happened afterwards you would have thought I crashed, my right knee severely swollen, joints in my knuckles, weird twing in my shouler and moving slower than anything.
Thankful we drove back to my director's house in Conneticut and I was given a few packs of ice, nice couch to sit back on to hope for some pain relief, temporary it was. I am awake again at 230am typing this blog and would much rather be asleep.
Tomorrow I was hoping to play tourist for a day in NYC, but guess what I would need an electric scooter to get around. Instead I will relax, stretch, try not to think too much and enjoy some down time.
Tuesday I travel to Tulsa Oklahoma to race in the very exciting Tulsa Tough Criteriums, some of my favorite races in a small town that draws big crowds!