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Pre-season Starter

Porsche and Rebecca play in the snow.

Porsche and Rebecca play in the snow. (Image credit: Rebecca Much)

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.

Thanks,

Rebecca

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Follow the program's young female cyclists as they embark on their journey to the top of the pro ranks

The US Women's Cycling Development program was founded by former pro rider, Michael Engleman, as a way to help promising young women cyclists reach their full potential as athletes.

The dedicated and well spoken women of this program provide thoughtful, compelling and sometimes hilarious anecdotes of their experiences in this diary. For further reading about the program, visit the USWCDP website.