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!
- Impromptu Bombing of Bat City Cycling rides w my awesome teammates
- 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!
- Then, to round out my fantabulous year, nuun hydration & Austin Massage Company picked me up as a sponsored athlete for 2018 . . .
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!