Monday, May 21, 2012

Me, the bike, and a little more mojo...

Well, this past spring has not been good to my bike mojo. I know that it was necessary for me to pursue other priorities (like completing my MS with a 4.0) but on race day it has been a challenge. I don't mind getting beat (yes, I race to win, but "winning" can be defined lots of different ways for me) but I hate racing like crap because I know I haven't put in the work that I needed to in order to ride how I want to. Now that I have a 3 month break from school, employment, any real responsibility I am on a mission to RIDE. I am loving it. My new Madone 6.9 Project One bike is a dream. I love every day with her. It amazes me how fast and stable she is. I LOVE THIS BIKE!!!!!

The past two weeks/weekends were all about riding for the love of my bike and finding my mojo again. After Tanasi and my awesome race there I was especially motivated to take my mojo and spinning the legs over until I collapsed. I accomplished my goal. I did 24 hours on the bike last week and felt great the whole time. I think the legs are coming back. Whew.

My teammates carried the team colors while I have been training like a mad fool and they have done well. Paula, in search of a longer race in her preparation for elite road nationals, lined up with the men a week ago at the Dayton road race and held her own. It's funny how men are extra motivated to drop a girl on those days. Sorry guys.

This past weekend Emily raced the 6 hours of Tsali. She rocked it. FIRST PLACE solo women!!!! Emily, we are super proud of you!!! While she was doing that, Stephanie was out killing it at a little race in Arkansas, Syllamo's Revenge. I jest, it was 100 miles of rocks, roots, technical nightmares. She also rocked it, finishing well inside the top 10 in an extremely strong open women's category.

Basically, summer is here, I'm pedaling my bike a ton, and racing is about to start up again. Life is good. Now all I need to do is get out the Primo Grill from US Stove and life will be complete.

Thanks for reading...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finding my mojo

US Stove - Trek leading the start of the pro women's race
This past weekend was UTC graduation. It was also one of my favorite races at the Ocoee Whitewater Center Tanasi trail system. As much as I was excited and proud to be finished with my Masters Degree, I determined that the most appropriate way for me to celebrate was to go race. It was with slightly mixed emotions that I headed to Tanasi in hopes that I made the right decision.
Dang that podium looks good!!! Kym, Paula, and Catherine 1,3,4.

Paula, Catherine, Emily, Kristi, and Stephanie also made the journey so we had a great team presence. No matter what happened it was going to be fun. I have been doing more training the past few weeks and I keep hoping that it is going to pay off in my racing... It finally did! During my warm up I felt good. I rode the first part of the starting climb and my legs were ready. Whew. Tanasi is unforgiving as a race course. It is 6.5 miles up and 4.5 miles down. Okay, not quite that dramatic but close. If you don't have your climbing legs you might as well go home. My warm up felt good and it seemed I had indeed brought my climbing legs. I knew that I wanted to lead up the climb and make everyone else ride at my pace so as the lead moto took us out I pushed and took the lead. I jumped when he pulled off and I got the hole shot onto the single track. Okay now time to settle into some type of pace that I could maintain. Paula was on my wheel and Catherine was on hers... Good start for the team. By the top of the first climb it was just Paula and I. Sweet. She was on my wheel and we settled into a pace that we could sustain for the next 1.5 hours. I love racing at the front with a teammate. It motivates me and makes both of us ride better. About half way through the first lap Paula came off my wheel on one of the climbing sections... I kept hoping I'd see her again. I was now alone at the front of the race, just where I like being. The rest of the race was a blur. I felt like I was flying and would never slow down. I felt AWESOME! I won with a smile. It was the perfect way to end two long years of school. My bike mojo appears to be back.

All smiles post-race. Emily, Paula, Stephanie, and Kym
Paula rolled in for a hard fought third place and Catherine won the sprint for fourth. Emily rode strong for a mid-field finish. Stephanie saw the third step of the podium in the category 2 race. Kristi was our pregnant photographer/cheerleader/watergirl. It was the perfect graduation celebration.

Thanks for reading,

Kimberly S Fasczewski, M.S.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Bikes ROCK!!!

I just had to take a minute to show off my new ride. She is fast and smooth and the best bike I've ever had. And I am spending lots of time with her lately. Huge thanks to Trek Bikes and the Trek Bicycle Store of Chattanooga for getting me rolling. And Taylor, you are as always, my hero...

SERC #4 Winder, GA

This weekend was BIG for the team. We spent time at the National Cornbread Festival helping our AWESOME sponsor US Stove show people how great their products are (I can't wait to get my grill!!), raced at the Cohutta 100/Big Frog 65, and dominated the SERC #4 in Winder GA. Have I mentioned how much I love my team?!

All smiles after the podium.
My weekend started at the Cornbread Festival with Kristi and Mark. It was a super fun time and hopefully we helped sell some stoves and grills. Shannon was our representative Sunday while we raced since she is currently on the injured reserve. After seeing the incredible products US Stove makes I don't know how anyone could buy anything else. You get what you pay for and quality is worth every penny.

Dang that podium looks GOOD!!!!

While we were doing that, Paula was winning Big Frog 65 and Stephanie was beginning her quest for the overall National Ultra Endurance series buy putting up a solid performance in the 100 mile version, the Cohutta 100. Woohoo!!!

All hugs for the teammates
Sunday saw total domination with me winning (finally! I'm back....almost) and Catherine in second. We rode the whole race together. She motivated me to push harder and I pushed her to let go of the brakes. It must have been her new Trek Superfly Elite that gave her wings... she was FLYING!!!Paula took an impressive 4th after her stellar race the day before. Prego mamas Kristi and Amy were our cheering section and handed out bottles like pros. What an awesome weekend. I can't wait for next week.

... Welcome to 2012!!!!

2012 Team - Kym, Emily, Kristi, Stephanie, Catherine, Star, Paula (not pictured: Amy, Anina, Shannon)

This season has been a whirlwind but we have started off right where we left off - on the podium. The team this year has reorganized a bit in order to give our AWESOME sponsors more visibility and show that we rock no matter what type of racing we are doing. Myself, Emily, Catherine, Paula, and Kristi are continuing to focus on dominating the SERC series (although Kristi is now a mom-to-be so she may be the ultimate cheerleader/bottle girl for a big part of the series). Additionally, Stephanie, Star, and Amy will be tearing up the ultra endurance scene and just for fun Shannon, Paula, Catherine, and I are also going to hit the road scene. This fall we are all going to once again be racing cross and mommy Kristi hopes to make her post-baby debut. Whew. We will be busy.

A team with a view...

The season started off for me with the completion of my Masters Degree (with a 4.0 cumulative gpa) and putting training on hold for a bit. After my cross season I needed some down time anyway so it was a good break. The first few races were PAINFUL, but the break was good for me. I took second in both Florida and at Tsali in the midst of defending my thesis so even the lack of training wasn't too bad. Paula took 4th in Florida and 3rd at Tsali and Catherine started us off with our first win of the year with a win in the Cat 1 field. Stephanie rocked the Cat 2 podium with a 3rd... Not bad for an endurance racer.
At the front at Tsali 

Paula has also spent some time road racing in both GA and TN and has been on the podium both times. She's got her eye on a TBRA state championship this season so look for us to be out on the road helping her attain that.