Cyclocross has got to be my most unlucky endeavor I have ever been apart of!  It all started this weekend 2 years ago, on my mountain bike at a small farm in Walla Walla.  Each loop had a set of barriers, 2 creek crossings, a couple of run-ups and a pin-wheel formation.  Just how everyone starts, I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t matter.  I went hard when I could, and spent the rest of the time with a single goal in mind, not to crash.  Simple, yet effective.  
Now here we are 2 years later, 2 bikes later, a replaced broken rear derailleur, 1 right hip hematoma, a 1 fat lip, 1 black eye, and a broken arm.  It’s the sport where it’s not how you fall, but how you pick yourself back up that matters, originated. That, and a few other things.   In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the only sport I’ve done that the head official announces before every race that beer hand-ups are an automatic disqualification.
It’s fun, different and completely out of my element, making it absolutely perfect for an off-season activity.  
Here it is, Sunday morning in Bend, OR.  Day 2 of 2 Cross Crusade races.  
Bend is a high desert in central oregon.  A beautiful area, home to any outdoor sport and/or recreation you can imagine.  I love Bend.
The race course was 1/2 in grass and 1/2 in dirt, and lots of it!  The dirt in was deep, soft and powdery, causing a lot more problems than I imagined.  I am still sloughing dirt out of my sinuses and lungs.  Gross.  Every item we own is coated in dusty dirt.
Oh well.
The race itself was awesome.  I was the only one of our group that liked it, probably because it was really hard and I like to make myself suffer.  Lots of turns in soft dirt, some gigantic logs to jump over, a set of barriers, 2 small barriers strategically placed to force two small run-ups and a set of stairs.  By the time I was done, I couldn’t see a thing, couldn’t breathe, my throat was raw and my quads were cramping...apparently I have a warped perception of fun.  But, I already knew that.  My goal for the race was to kill the start, go hard when I could and be patient on the technical sections.  It worked!
Just one more step in becoming a calmer me.  Not only did I win :)  but I felt so much better!  Those two things probably go hand in hand, it’s always fun to win.  But it’s much more fun to win when you aren’t frustrated and disappointed!  Who would have thought that the toughest racing conditions you can compete in would lead me to find more peace within myself.  
Today is the costume race, and I can’t wait to go have more fun!  Hopefully my disguise will work, I'm sure no one will know to look out for the triathlete.  What?  I was on a budget.



Racing triathlon requires a lot of ALL kinds of support!!  Even though I feel like I say it all the time, but I would not be able to do what I do w/o my friends, family, coach, sponsors and community...not to mention all the great products that get me thru training and racing!
Because everything and everyone is important in it's own special way, not a particular order, the following is not in order of importance, it's mostly random, but not entirely.  You decide.
I would like to thank my partner in crime, Ryan!  I've dragged him along to so many races across the country and world, yet he's always in good spirits and always up for the next adventure!  Thank you so much for keeping going (and organized), everyday!  You mean the world to me :)  
My family is always so unbelievably supportive!  I would not be who I am (good and bad) w/o them.  They are amazing believers in me and always pick me up when I doubt myself.  They may not understand me all the time, but they know what I need most is their love and acceptance.
Coach Jablonski of SET Coaching.  Jason is practically family too, since he has been coaching me for the past 6 years?  No matter what I put myself, or him through, he never waivers.  He lets me work hard, and holds me back when I need to.  I would not be physically able to do what I do w/o his guidance!
My friends are the best in the world!  I don't have as much time for them as I would like, but they never give up on me!  Their companionship keeps me grounded, keeps me laughing and keeps my whole life in perspective.
I have had a lot of support this year from sponsors too, who selflessly help me achieve my dreams!  Thank you: 3 Rivers Road Runners, Sally Douglas and her sister Nancy and Fresh Advancements (Toronto, ON) and Wild Bill.
There is larger community that surrounds all of the above mentioned, the people I work with at both Douglas Fruit and Stemilt Growers, my gym Tri City Court Club, the Tri-Cities and Wentachee, WA.   
I know I've mentioned in earlier blogs that I've struggled with my positive mental attitude this year, I would like to thank my counselor for helping to guide me to better emotional and mental health, Jennifer Dean-Hill.
One more thank you to the companies that make the products that I rely on everyday: Specialized, SRAM, Zipp, Clif, Gu, Zoot, Mizuno, Pearl Izumi, Giro, Oakley, CWX, SET Coaching, Nuun, 2XU, Garmin, Advocare, Sportquest and Some Bagels. 
Thank you everyone for believing in me, keeping me grounded and letting me soar!