Monday, 27 May 2013

California Waiting

Thinking. I've had a lot of time to do this in the last week. Cycling is a weird sport, we spend so many hours riding bikes day in day out for weeks and months of every year. You would think that an impromptu week where you don't see a bike would be a relieving change of scenery. In fact it's almost the opposite, you almost have to switch to another mental state to really relax and enjoy those off weeks. When they are planned they are part of your training, specific to what you need at that time to make sure you can perform at your best. When it is sprung upon you though, you're caught out, stuck between relaxing, making the most of the time and being naturally anxious and frustrated about missing training/racing. I realise you cant expect to have perfect runs and shit hits the fan more often than you would like so the better you can handle this the better you will come out of it..

This last week or two has been anything but planned. After a flight over to forget , picking up a sore throat and cold wasn't the best leaving present i've had and made for some restless plane time.  As expected I was treated to a typical american airport welcome with a good hour line for customs. safe to say i was keen to see some sun and feel some fresh air on my face, hopefully out pedalling my new training roads!

settled into MountainView nestled at the base of some epic Californian hills, staying with a super cool couple Katheryn and james mattis, both hitters back in the day so have some sweet stories to tell at dinner time. Big thanks for having me guys!!

No matter how good a new bike sounds, nothing is worth as much as a setup you are used to and changing to something different mid-season can be a bit much for the body. That was something I learnt pretty quickly, only two rides in and I wasn't feel myself on the bike at all everything felt foreign and I was getting bad pains around my knees...not ideal to say the least. After a careful look at the setup I realised that a combination of small things made it completely different to my Avanti, with the damage already done we made a decision to stay off the bike until my Avanti which was promptly shipped over arrived. It was then a matter of playing the waiting game. 6 days felt like two weeks, keeping up part of my program with gym for most of those still didn't cut it. I wanted to be out in the hills, riding my bike!

Finally heard my bike had arrived in LA, stoked! then it was a game of tag with the delivery dude who showed up the only time i was out getting fruit so all i got was a note saying sorry we missed you. the next day i played it safe, just taking the dog for a walk around the grass outside so i could see if the van pulled up. eventually he turned up and i set my bike up and took it for a spin. felt like I hadn't ridden for ages but it was definately welcomed return.

left the cold in the dust, knees are better, things are looking up.. she'll be a quick turn around for Philly classic this weekend! Im definitely going to have to dig deep to find some climbing legs for the finale up the wall..eeek I think i'm going to rock a 28!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Green light

It's been awhile since my last post!- cant have been many exciting things going on

As I mentioned, I have been living with my (very nice and accommodating) brother at his flat in Christchurch- actually just took over his room so cheers for that Pat! I've had an awesome time an enjoyed a bit of the student life which is definately an experience for an ignorant wee cyclist like myself!
got pretty good at living off 50 a week so things have been good..
the cupboard room

 bday dinner with flatties

cant beat Home..

first visit to Mt cook..on two wheels

The past few months I have just been setting myself up for a good second half of the season..been working hard with a few people to get myself some form, its been sleep,eat,bike,eat,study,eat,sleep. with the odd coffee shop adventure or a few drinks here and there its not been a bad life..

I have had a few signs of some form coming on with a few wins on the national scene, first race back I fluked a nice bank-buffering win in the grape ride, then picked up my first senior national title which i was stoked with! , then most recently won round 3 of the elite benchmark series. To add to that, I got some exciting news from Mum saying that I was awarded the Otago Junior Sports woman of the year, So so proud to be receiving that. Pretty successful return and I hope I keep injury at bay for a good time, although in this sport i've found it's pretty inevitable and when it happens you just have to make sure you keep your sights up and find a way around..bad times can't last forever!

Heaps of exciting things happening for me now and I'm just itching to get away and catch up with my teammies to kick off my first international season!- My first race for Vanderkitten, 2 weeks after my arrival, is Philadelphia classic a big UCI one day race with a crazy finish up something they call the 'wall'...self-explanatory i think. Then I'll be lining up for Nature valley, BC superweek and finally Cascade tour!

Amuurica, ill see you soon!

updates later when I've swapped my jacket and woolly socks for jandals and singlets..

Golden roads around Alex

selfie with the new kit
Big thanks to H and J for support in the NZ scene!!

benchmark break

Senior National club champ

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Home Grounded

Hey guys and girls,

Just checking in to let you all know that I have made some significant improvements with my injuries and things are looking good for the next month while I build my strength and fitness back up..lots of small steps make big gains, so i'm working hard at that to make sure my recovery is the best possible.

Managing a couple of rides on the road bike in the last few days has been so good, been missing that over the last couple months!- I have my eye on heading out to USA when I'm back to full health and fitness

I am also pleased to say that I am now a BikeNZ carded athlete, very much looking forward to the support that brings and working with the other girls in the squad, it's all pretty exciting!

And big congrats to my fellow alex cyclists Liam Aitcheson and Georgia Vessey both reppin NZ at ocean in canberra in a few weeks, watch out for them they're sure to kill it!

thanks for reading

soph :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

A (not so good) eventfull start to 2013

The way recent events have panned out has not been how I'd imagined, starting the year off with a painful scrape along some hot, not so clean australian tarmac was not on the to do list but I ticked that off along with a wee stint to the hospital with fellow kiwi sequoia making sure they didnt do anything to drastic to me while I enjoyed the pain relief..

In the first Mitchelton bay series criterium, the ritchie boulevard hotdog circuit in Geelong, which last time I raced I thought was like doing 60 standing starts in 30mins, I was feeling good. Considering I'd had 1week off to let this hamstring niggle settle I was going into it fresh, just took awhile to warm up into the race. About 15min into the crit I took a corner too fast near the front and came down, I was fine and got back up and carried on. Then coming into the sprint I was head down tail up going full out when the rider infront to my left cut across my front wheel, i managed to hold up for a bit but when they moved further over it was too much and I went ploughing into the tarmac at (thanks to the tailwind) some high speeds..the result wasnt much fun, I had some deep cuts and had hurt my left shoulder and hip.thankfully after an xray, I found out nothing was broken, it just felt like for the next few days I was sore and stiff, I tried to race the last crit in spite but I was just too sore to really race and things werent firing as they should so I pulled the pin not too long into it.

Thanks to the Total Rush cycling crew for putting up with a cripple for a rider and giving me heaps of support, you guys were awesome!

I flew home, got stuck into some stretches and exercises to loosen things up and went out for a couple of easy rides. On my 2nd ride I went out up a few hills thinking that at the weekend I had a pretty touch course ahead of me and I best get the body back in tune for it. Grudgingly I had to turn around early as my hamstring started flaring up and I have since been to see physio,chiropracter and sports med doc and have been told I have bursitis in my right hamstring insertion. I am pretty gutted that this will mean no Elite Road Nationals for me and doubtfull for Elite Track Nationals also.The next few weeks for me will involve taking good care of myself and letting things settle and then building strength to prevent further injuries.

It's an opportunity for me to have breather in a time that was planned to be full-on before I head away for an awesome season in the states in late febuary where I have big things planned, so in that sense its a good thing and I'm already making the most of it!

Now that I've had my fair share of pain for 2013, bring on the good times!

A big goodluck to everyone racing especially my VK teammies kate and jeannie at the weekend and also to my big bro, defending his title- I'll be out there cheering!

attacking in the ritchey Blvd crit

Be back with some good news next time hopefully!