Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday Sponsor Spotlight #1

Sponsor LOVE!

I'm starting a new feature on my blog this week: Sponsor Spotlight Sunday! Each Sunday, I will highlight one of my current sponsors, and the services or products that they provide. This being the first week, I've created a dedicated Sponsor Page (linked here, and in the menu bar), with a listing of my 2018 Sponsors below :-) I'll feature each of these awesome companies in the upcoming weeks and provide more details on the services that they provide and/or their products.

As we all know, Racing Bikes is NOT cheap. . . My husband is retired military, and I work a full-time job in finance for an amazing company, however Race Registration Fees, Coaching, Travel Costs (Fuel, Lodging, Food, Airfare, Bike Shipping & Boxes . . . the list goes on and on), Training & Racing Kits & Speed Suits, Socks, Cycling Shoes, Bikes & Components, Wheels & Tires & Tubes, On & Off Bike Nutrition, and Recovery Services & Tools all add up fast, and it would be nearly impossible for me to cover all of these costs, so I am beyond grateful for the generous companies who are sponsoring me for the 2018 Race Season!

For those of you that aren't familiar with the Cycling Community - finding sponsors, especially sponsors for female racers and teams, who typically receive less exposure than their male counterparts, is extremely difficult . . . and when we find a company that believes in us and wants to support us in chasing our dreams and reaching our goals, we want to do everything we can to give back! So please consider patronizing these companies - "giving back" a bit by expanding their customer base goes a long way in helping me thank them for their support!

2018 Season Sponsors

Austin Tri-Cyclist

Best Bike Shop in Austin, and the only mechanics that touch my bikes 😎

VanDoIt

An affordable adventure van specifically created by adventurers of every kind so that anyone can utilize the convenient, customizable design. This is a vehicle (literally) into a new way of adventuring.

Atom Composites

Atom Composite Wheels are handcrafted in the Long Beach, California area from carbon fiber and complimentary lightweight components to offer a smoother and more reliable ride which allows for better cornering and greater performance

Nuun Hydration

I'm proud to announce that I have been selected as a 2018 #NuunElite Ambassador! 

I've loved and used Nuun long before being selected as an Ambassador, though! Nuun Vitamins keep me hydrated daily without the added salt needed for hydration during activity. Nuun Hydration Tabs keep me hydrated during training and racing, and Nuun Performance gives me carbs in my bottle to help fuel my longer races & training rides, without upsetting my super finicky tummy! 😋

Cryo Wellness

Throughout September, October, and November of 2017, after an already jam-packed race season racing both USAC and UMCA (Ultra) events, I found myself competing in the Zwift Academy Semi-Finals with the hopes of clenching the 2018 spot on the CANYON/SRAM Racing WWT team. I juggled the demanding workouts and tests required by the Academy alongside a full race schedule including National and World Championship races and the accompanying travel/road trips, AND my full time job, and it inevitably took its toll on my body. 

Cryo-Wellness to the rescue! They generously brought me on as a sponsored athlete late in 2017, and regular Cryotherapy, Norma-Tech Compression Therapy, Hyperbaric Chamber Sessions, and Infa-red Sauna treatments helped me stay of my recovery efforts, and prevented me from falling apart at the seams, when my race season was unexpectedly extended by 2 months!

I'm grateful to be sponsored by this amazing company again for the 2018 season!

Austin Massage Company

More Recovery! I am sooo Stoked to be brought on as a Sponsored Athlete by Austin Massage Company for the 2018 Race Season! Michelle Hittner and her amazing team of Therapists are hands down the best Sports Massage Therapists in Austin, and so very supportive of the Austin Cycling Community. I can't wait to add regular, focused body work to my Recovery Regime in 2018!

BEMER Mat (Rep Sherri Kirklin)

MORE Recovery! Blood Flow Rocks! I performed a test in early August where I completed a specific workout with 5 x max effort intervals. I did the workout before having used the BEMER mat, and then repeated it again a few days later immediately after a BEMER Mat session. The results speak for themselves (more info on sponsor page, and in this BEMER Mat Test Review)

Christopher Bean Coffee

Christopher Bean Coffee is an small, Artisan Coffee Roaster based in Volusia County, FL. They source, roast, and serve a wide range of exotic, as well as flavored coffees, and only roast to order (online orders aren’t roasted until the order is placed). 

Friends, Family and Followers of mine can save 25% on their first order with code: Christie25


Sunday, December 31, 2017

#2017BestNine (+ a few!)


I'd like to preface my 2017 Best Nine by mentioning that, while this year was a dream come true, and better than I could have ever imagined that it would be, it most definitely did NOT start out that way, and it was not ALL puppy dogs, rainbows, and sunshine . . My year got off to a crap start when I was diagnosed with SEVERE Anemia a few days before leaving for Valley of the Sun Stage Race in AZ - my first big race of the year. I'd been feeling run down and tired for quite a while, but trained through it until I just couldn't anymore, and went to the Dr. . . (Pro Tip: DON'T DO THIS, KIDS!!). . . Anyway, long story short, my performance at VOS and the early season local TX Road Races was pretty dang crappy. Anemia for me is like pouring diluted gas into a high performance engine. . . I'm used to being able to just motor my ass off, and with Anemia this severe, my engine was barely sputtering along, and would unexpectedly just cut out on me with little to no warning. I followed my Dr's orders though, and worked with my coach to train my way through it without running me further into the ground. I refused to throw in the towel for the year, and was positive that I could salvage some good performances by mid to late season. . . Let's just say that I'm glad I'm a stubborn, hard-headed cuss that isn't deterred that easily, because boy, did my year turn around once we had my health squared away! That leads me to my 2017 Best Nine. . 

#2017bestnine: I customized mine a bit because it was SUCH an incredible year, that 9 just wouldn’t do it justice... :
  • Winning the USAC Master’s Nats TT claims the #1 spot because of the long multi-year journey behind it 😊
  • Winning the 12 Hr World TT Championship in a US National Champ San Remo Speedsuit rushed through production by Castelli Cycling , coupled with the hands on support of my Hubby & Coach, & everything that my friends, sponsors, & the Austin, TX Cycling community did to help me realize that dream is #2
  • FINALLY claiming a TX State Championship Jersey in Saturday’s WP12 RR, and then having the opportunity to race with so many of my ATC Racing Teammates in Sunday’s AG RR Championship & celebrating teamwork & success together!
  • The Zwift Academy: the camaraderie, community, and support of so many women from around the world, and watching/cheering as so many within this community met and exceeded their goals was definitely a high point of my year!
  • The Driveway Series ... ALWAYS a highlight of my year! From meeting & greeting so many within the TX Cycling community at registration to throwing down w some of the strongest ladies in the country, “playing with the boys”, and rounding out Thursday nights w a celebratory Austin Eastciders ... The DW Series will ALWAYS have a spot near the top of my highlight list!
  • LOTOJA..traveling cross country w my #1 supporter, crew chief, & Hubby Extraordinaire (who hates cameras...) bridging solo to the break, & then working over so many miles w Lindsey Stevenson to build our gap, all the while soaking in the beauty that surrounded us throughout the UT mountains. . . Definitely an experience that I will cherish for a lifetime!
  • Letting Elyse at Frenchy's Beauty Parlor use my head as her canvas for a beautiful work of art! I'm very analytical and not creative AT ALL, but I had seen some pics of colorful undercuts and mentioned to my hairstylist, Becca, at Frenchy's that it would be fun to cut a few lines into it, or have some fun w/ color one of these days. .  . .she introduced me to Elyse, an artist and hairstylist, who I have "free reign" to create whatever art she wanted to on my head. She broke out the paint brushes, razor blades, shears, and hair color, and the end result was more fun and beautiful than anything I could ever have thought up in a million years :-) 
  • Sponsor LOVE 💚!! The support that Cryo Wellness provided throughout the year, culminating in the awesome “Send Christie to Worlds “ Party that they threw for me ... I burned matches at both ends this year, juggling Ultra Racing, USAC Racing, & the Zwift Academy. By the end of the year, I should have been falling apart, but regular Cryo, Compression, & Hyperbaric Chamber Sessions kept me at the top of my game ALL YEAR LONG
  • Continued Sponsor LOVE!: Christopher Bean Coffee Company kept me caffeinated all year, which DEFINITELY helped w alertness during some of those 15+ Hour Road Trips, and also helped get my rear in gear for early morning races and training rides!
Y'all. . . with a year like THIS behind me, I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store!!

SO, SO MUCH THANKS to Jamie Tracy, Austin Tri-Cyclist, Matt Seagrave, Andrew Willis, Cryo Wellness, Christopher Bean Coffee Company, ATC Racing & Austin Tri-Cyclist, Castelli Cycling, nuun hydration, CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy, ALL of my friends, family, and the ATX Cycling Community, and ALL of the awesome and supportive Zwift Academy Ladies for everything that you did to help Push, Drive, and Support me in chasing dreams in 2017!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 Zwift Academy Finalist Announcement (Thoughts)

I filmed this video the day after finding out that I was not selected as a Zwift Academy Finalist (after being nearly 100% certain that I would be, given what I found by stalking of other Semi-Finalists on Strava 😈, and my race schedule/results over the Semi-Final Period).

This was really hard for me, after pouring so much of myself into the competition. The video is raw, and my emotions are clear, but it gives an honest portrayal of the thoughts/feelings/emotions that I had bouncing around in my head at the time.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zwift Academy Semi-Final Workout #7 Recap - Over/Unders. . . AND THAT'S A WRAP!

You see that look on my face right there? That is the look of accomplishment, success, confidence, and RELIEF!!

I think I was about 1 minute or so into my cool down after completing the last hard effort of my final Zwift Academy workout, and had so many thoughts & emotions swirling through my head...

“Holy Crap, I DID IT. I FRIGGIN NAILED THAT WORKOUT. HECK YEAH!!!”

“Wow, that’s it! The SemiFinals are over, and I successfully completed every single workout ... yay!!”

“That hurt, but dang it, I did it! Why was I sooo scared of this one?!?”

“OMG OFFSEASON!!! YAAASSSS!!! “😁(Or at least a little break before training camp? 😂🤣)

“Oh man, the 21st is a week away... that’s a loooonnngg time... better find something to keep my mind occupied this week so I don’t lose my mind! 🙃

#ReflectionsOfAZwiftAcademySemiFinalist #OMG#ISurvived #ThatWasFun #Grateful

World's best Cheering Squad!

Aaaannnndddd... that’s a wrap!!

Up with the roosters at 5:15am to knock out the final Zwift Academy SemiFinal Workout: Over/Unders (OOMPH!)

I had quite the cheering squad this morning, as my hubby AND my dogs got up early as well to help push me through this final tough session .

I want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone involved with putting together & running this year’s Zwift Academy: Zwift, CANYON//SRAM Racing TrainSharp Cycling Wahoo Fitness Today's Plan Rapha, and the AMAZING Group of supportive & inspiring women in the Zwift Academy FB Group.... It was such a great experience, and no matter the outcome as far as Finals go, I’m coming out of it a stronger, more well-rounded Rider with more confidence & an amazing support group!

Now let the waiting game begin! 😬 #HowWillIMakeItThroughThisWeek?#ZwiftAcademy #SemiFinals #NICETOP


Monday, November 13, 2017

Zwift on Tour at Mellow Johnny's in Austin, TX

QOM Challenge at Mellow Johnny's during the Austin, TX Zwift on Tour Event

Chicken Dinner!
I got to meet THE Rachel Ruby Zambrano at last! :-)





Zwift On Tour at Mellow Johnny’s in Austin was so much fun tonight! I got to meet some of the really awesome Zwift Staff, some local Zwifters that I’d been riding & chatting with online, but hadn’t met IRL yet, and had the chance to catch up w some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while!

The Wahoo Fitness Demo stations were really cool and Dave Towle even twisted my arm to compete in the KOM / QOM competition 😜

Now off to bed! My last SemiFinal Workout is going down at 6am tomorrow 😳

QOM Challenge!