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.

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