I am just crossing over the 4 year anniversary of learning how to ride a bike. Got my first road bike and knew nothing about nothing about how to actually ride properly. Learning how to shift was the biggest challenge at first, but once that was down it was so rewarding to climb without the need of feeling of getting off the bike. Moving to New Jersey from Pennsylvania brought another type of learning curve, learning how to ride in a more congested area, with larger and faster groups but the most rewarding was finding a bunch of ladies who always wanted to ride. When I was being relocated to Utah from NJ for work it was a dream come true, the mountains is where I do belong. With that tho came another learning curve. This time was how people road ride around here, most of the rides include a climb up and down a canyon. These canyons can range in distance and in grade. This was nothing like the east coast. You can climb for over an hour and still have a while to go. What I did learn is that climbing is very rewarding for two reasons; 1. you can fly back down 2. the flats become very quick and easy.
Mountain biking has kind of the same flow. Out west you climb for a lot of your ride but the flow downhills are well worth it. There is also a lot of different technical variables. I have only been mountain biking for two years, so on many terms I am a complete rookie. In the short time out here I feel like my technical skills have improved tenfold, it has been such a confidence booster.
Was looking forward to racing cyclocross out east in 2016 after a successful first year, but that changed when my moving date changed. While I had a good year, it came with its own challenges. That is that races were in the middle of the week and on Saturdays, which meant the crowds were a little smaller then crowds on Saturday/Sunday east coast days. I also got to race with pros on a weekly basis. This was both a positive and a negative, it mentally crushed me at first to realize I wasn’t going up against other “Cat 3” riders because they do that out here and I know I’m no pro… I have lived at sea level all my life, right there I’m already losing… But a positive that comes from this situation was that there was this challenge to push so you didn’t get lapped and try to cross as close to them as possible (although most of the time it was their “workout”). Got to know the ladies out here and now I have training partners/friends and looking forward to racing this summer/fall with them.
Running in Utah is different from any place else I have lived (surprise). There was the challenge of getting to know peaks, landmarks, trails and trailhead names that took some time but once you get into the flow it is quite easy. During the summer I got to learn how to properly trail run, learned the art of running downhill, pushed my legs to run uphill until it is more efficient to power hike and the best part of it all got to “bag/push peaks”. Bagging (or pushing) peaks is a joy of all trail runners out here, because it’s a challenge to get up to those mountain tops in the short period during the summer as quickly and in many cases how many times in a row can you do it. When it comes to road running, a lot of longer races are seen as “downhill” races. The reason for this is because at the elevation we are at to offset it and make it more comparable to sea level races you run downhill. It is not easier by any means, it actually can be quite painful if you are not ready for it.
In conclusion; it’s a different world out here, but it’s amazing to see how you can push your body and mind to climb new heights, try new things and meet new friends.
December Weight: 100-105 lbs.
Race Weight: 100-102 lbs. depending the discipline
Birthdate: August 27, 1987
Childhood Heroes: Grandma, Grandpa, parents
Hobbies and Interests: Hiking, snowboarding, music
Favorite Movies: Lucky Number Slevin, Monty Python and Quest for the Holy Grail, Abbot and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, Boondock Saints
Musical Tastes: Metal, alternative, rock, ska, punk, EDM
Favorite TV Shows: Bones, Archer, Invader Zim, Scooby Doo,
Favorite Meal: Sushi, pho, toasted sandwiches
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios, Chex
Favorite Pre-Race Meal: Coffee, PB&J
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: anything GF from Halo Top, except mint
Childhood Dream: To be a veterinarian or on the Olympic team for gymnastics
First Car: 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
First Job: Ihop as a hostess but became a waitress. Was there for 8 years
Favorite Vacation Spot: Australia and Hawaii
Pre-Race Feeling: If I race good, I’m mentally calm.. If I worry beforehand I have a bad race
Early Racing Memory: Summer track and field races and the gym mile. Remember racing the 100-200m in the summer and always walking during the gym mile.
Greatest Racing Moment: 2015 CX State Championships, won the race and didn’t expect to
Most Painful Moment In Life: Losing a boyfriend
Worst Injury from Racing: Got spiked during a cross country race in college within the first couple hundred meters and bled the whole time. Scar is still there
Closest Racing Friends: Jessica Starr-Checchio, Lauren Jolly, Kate Koniuch, Rachel Goche, Trista W, Lauren Bingham
Funniest Racer: Jen Hanks
Favorite Race: Runner’s World Challenge (trail race, 5k, 10k, half marathon all in one weekend
Toughest Competitors: Lauren Bingham, Trista W, Sofia Gomez-Villafane and Mandy McCutcheon
Favorite Athletes to Watch: Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle
Qualities You Most Admire in People: Trustworthiness, kindness, independent and selfless
What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: The adventure it brings, you can view the world through a different perspective, when you drive up a hill it makes you wonder how fast you can climb it.