February 4, 2009
This feeling hits me every year - at just about the same time - and no matter how much I do to catch up at home, the feeling always comes quicker than I expect. This year I am excited to start the season however, so the feeling is welcome! It is the first time in a few years that I have felt healthy, strong, and prepared to get the show on the road again. This is looking like it will be a fun season of racing with lots of opportunities and fun in store.
Before I delve into the future too much, I have to mention a couple nice memories from the recent past. I got to go on vacation to Europe for the holidays to visit my family across the pond. I made the trip with my sister, which made the travel way more fun, plus it made it cool to have so much of my family together. Overall the trip was a hit: We visited my father, step-mom, and super little brother in Rome and got some great sightseeing tours for starters.
It was great to see the city and we even got to take a short walk on the Mediterranean. Becoming familiar with the city and its ruins was great, but the best part had to be what my brother and I where planning on doing New Years Eve day at my grandma's house in southeast Germany. Seeing as I had a couple weeks off the bike to make for a quality holidays, my brother invited me to do a 10K running race and I was more than game to train with him for the week prior to our race.
My brother is 14 and mostly swims and plays soccer, so distance running was a new thing for him, but he is a pretty fit kid and picked it up so easily. Training was great with him and we ran all over Rome to the Coliseum and through a fantastic park. I was really impressed how good of a runner my brother was becoming! We trained together for the 10K every day and by the time we got to grandma's it was time to get ready for a really hilly run through vineyards and cute little German villages.
Race day came and we ran pretty good races! I wasn't sure what to expect but I ended up with a 40:29 and my brother got a 47:03 in his first long race... I was pretty proud of him and happy with my time considering the terrain and weather we had race day: ice, a freezing drizzle, and running up and down, even hitting some dirt sections in the vineyards! It was a really great trip and I'm so glad I got to see everyone together. It also meant I got to fly to Europe three times this year, nice!
Since the Euro holidays I have been spending the last two weeks in back home in Chicago getting my body ready for racing and life set to take off for a while - until May most likely - when I will be able to stop in again and press reset. I am pretty happy with how my training has been going and my coach Randy Warren even let me use his rollers to battle the last week and a half.
I have been training exclusively indoors with the frigid temperatures here in Chicago. It has been fairly smooth sailing and not too hard to handle though, as I know I am off to Los Angeles on Friday when the time in the sun begins. First stop in a track camp, which I'm really excited for, with the US National Team to jump-start the season with some intensity. Then it's off to Tour of Qatar for my first race!
I have never been to the Middle East and I am really excited to get a chance to visit. After that trip I will fly back to the states and start my first race with Webcor at the Tour of California for our women's one-day crit and the San Jose Criterium, which my team is sponsoring. Hopefully we can have a good race there! These are the main things that I am focusing on at the moment as this is going to be an exciting first month of action.
I need to get back to packing and checking off my lists of stuff to get ready as well as cram in as many walks as I can with my dog before I have to leave her now. Good thing I'll be back sooner than not and know I'll be looking forward to seeing Porsche for a little break in Chicago soon enough. In the meantime I will become friends with as many dogs as I can on the road! Yup, dogs are the best.