About Me

I've never been good at writing about myself.. . . but here goes. Warning: I'm a bit long-winded!

I guess, in a nutshell, I'm an Optimist with a Type A+ Personality who loves being active and living a healthy lifestyle. My definitions of "Active" and "Healthy" have evolved significantly over the years, but currently my active & healthy lifestyle involves racing bicycles and following Paleolithic (ISH!) eating principles (I will NOT call it a "Diet"!). 

I can be a control freak a lot of the time, but as I age, I'm learning to roll with the punches a bit. I like to see the best in people and picture the best outcome of every situation. It's just how I view the world, and I like it that way. To some, this makes me appear naive, but that's okay with me - I'd prefer to take on the world full-speed ahead, picturing the best possible outcome of every endeavor rather than avoid situations or activities due to the myriad of possible negative consequences. I can't imagine how much of life I would have missed out on if I avoided even 1/2 of the crazy endeavors I've undertaken due to fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or potential disaster on the horizon. 

"Playing" with the boys at the Thursday Night Driveway Series Bike Races here in Austin, TX. . .
Full-speed ahead! What could go wrong?

I hate confrontation and am skilled at mediation out of necessity. I have a hard time standing up for myself and my viewpoints at times due to the hatred of confrontation. . but I'm working on getting better at this!

I'm happily married (17 years now!) to my best friend,  man of my dreams, & love of my life. I'm convinced that I managed to score the World's Best Husband. . .he's loving, patient, kind, and supportive of my hopes and dreams regardless of how unrealistic or crazy they may seem at inception. I don't know how he puts up w/ me some days, but am so thankful that he does. I love experiencing every day with him, and the thought of a long life together makes me tingle with excitement. 

Me with the Man of my dreams on vacation :-)
I also have two "furry kids" - rescue dogs - both mutts. If you follow my blog for any length of time, you'll no doubt see many pictures of their crazy and sweet antics :-)

Buster  & Jake - my two spoiled rotten furry kids
I'm an Accountant by day & Crazy Bike Racing Chic in my "free time". 

I've always been athletic, competitive, and an adrenaline junkie, but have bounced from sport to sport, never really having found one that I wanted to specialize in. In high school, I played volleyball, basketball, and pitched fast-pitch softball. In college I was an amateur bodybuilder and figure competitor. In my late 20’s & early 30’s I got hooked on CrossFit and Olympic Lifting, and somewhere in the middle I tried my hand at Japanese Jujitsu.

Figure Competition ("Back in the day!")
CrossFit Competition (2010?)

In April, 2012, good friend of mine from CrossFit called me up and half-jokingly asked if I wanted to participate in the Republic of TX Sprint Triathlon with her the upcoming weekend, which happened to fall on my birthday. The adrenaline junkie/competitor in me said “Sure, why not?!?” (I mean what could possibly go wrong. . . other than the fact that I am NOT a runner, hadn't ridden a bike since I was 12 or so, and hadn't swam any kind of distance since my elementary school swim team meets!) Fortunately for me, the swim ended up being cancelled due to unsafe conditions, so we ended up just doing the bike/run. I rode the bike leg in my running sneakers on a borrowed straight bar road bike, and fell in love that day with cycling. The following week, I visited my local bike shop, bought a road bike . . . Happy Birthday to ME!

And so my love affair with cycling began. . . 
My very first road bike! Trek Lexa (w/ flat pedals and cages to start. . )
To make a very long story short, I started training and working with a coach around June of 2012, and haven't looked back since. I participated in my first Road Race (The TX State Road Championship Weekend in Copperas Cove, TX) in Late September 2012, and finished somewhere mid-pack but was FULLY addicted at that point. 

Crossing the finish line in my very first Road Race (in my puppy dog jersey) . .
Several minutes AFTER the lead group!
I am not one of these bike racers that was impressing people and lapping the field from day 1 . . quite the opposite in fact! I didn't win a single bike race my entire first year as a W Cat4. I fact, I don't think I even podiumed. I DID however, see gradual and consistent improvement in my strength on the bike, my ability to read a race, my handling skills, and my placements in races. For the first several months, I would go into a race hoping to just make it through half the race before getting "popped" from the lead group. By the end of my first year, I was consistently finishing somewhere within that lead group, and, while I longed for a podium spot, I was SUPER stoked and motivated by my progress! 

Like anything else in life - nothing worth having ever comes easy, and I knew that becoming a "good" bike racer would be a long road. . . that's the thing though - Aren't successes that much sweeter when you've had to bust your butt in order to achieve them? I mean, if I was just "a natural" from day 1, and everything came easily to me, I don't think that I would appreciate nearly as much how far I've come or what my body is capable of doing on a bicycle. And I have SO much further to go - I could train my heart out for 100 years, and still not master the many disciplines of cycling ;-)

I won't bore you with all of the details of my first 4 years of racing, but here's the short version: From 2013 - 2016 I raced nearly every local TX road race, crit, and time trial on the schedule, gradually improving and advancing from a W4 to a W2. I broke my collarbones (one or the other), 3 times during this 4 year period, requiring surgery and several months of "down time" each time. . . I don't do ANYTHING half-ass! hehe. The first was truly a newbie mistake. It was my first year racing, I hadn't been racing or riding very long, I crossed wheels with someone in a crit, and paid the price. . . Pro Tip: not a mistake that I recommend learning the hard way! The other two collarbone breaks were truly unavoidable, wrong place/wrong time kind of scenarios. . . The setbacks were frustrating each time, but I came back with that much more grit, determination, desire, and drive every single time as well.

The evening after "The  1st Incident" - at the ER
Yeah. . this didn't feel very good!

Crossing the Finish Line 2nd at 2013 State RR !
Podium Finishers - All Smiles!

In 2015, I was very fortunate to be picked up by one of Austin's Elite Women's Cycling Teams - ATC Racing. Back story - I had tried out in 2014, but they only took on 1 new girl, and they picked my good friend Katie over me that year - and she very much deserved it! Failing to make the team in 2014 lit a fire under my ass though, and made me train that much harder after recovering from my injuries, in order to give it another go in 2015 :-) During the 2015 Race Season, I learned so much from this team of amazing ladies. Racing on a women's team is just so very different from being a "Lone Wolf". I learned more in the last year with ATC about team tactics, patience on the bike, and smart racing strategy then I did in the previous 2 years, and I know that helped to contribute to my success late in the 2015 race season! 
SQUAD! A few of my awesome ATC Racing Teammates :-) 

In 2016, My coach and I set our sites on the USAC Master's National RR & TT Championship in Winston-Salem, NC. I trained hard all year, and feel that I had "peaked" perfectly, and was ready to give-em-hell! The structure of the race weekend that year was Day 1: RR, Day 2: Crit, Day 3: TT. My Mom and Dad lived nearby, and had never seen me race, so I decided to go ahead and race the Crit too because it is so spectator friendly. My plan was to play it safe, stay at the front, and pretty much pull the field around and go for "photo primes" while hamming it up for my parents ;-) The race started as planned - I shot to the front, and pulled the field around for a lap or two. After a few laps, I started rotating through the top 4-5 spots to conserve a little energy. About 10 minutes into the race, I was sitting 2nd wheel when the girl in 1st took a bad line into a corner and wiped out. I was about 1/2 inch off her wheel, and there was literally NOTHING that I could do to keep the rubber side down at that point. I was thrown violently into the metal gating, winning myself a 3 day stay in the lovely Winston-Salem Hospital. The entire trip to the hospital in the ambulance, I was swatting away the EMTs as they tried to stick me with needles, desperately pleading with them: "PLEASE don't give me any pain meds! I have to race the TT tomorrow!!". . . needless to say, my pleas fell on deaf ears. . . I think that the hardest thing about the entire incident for me was that my Dad had to see me get hurt like that. I am such a Daddy's girl - always have been, and always will be - and to know that he must have gone from beaming with pride, to watching me somersaulting through the air into the fencing, and then seeing the disappointment on my face when I realized I wouldn't be racing the TT the next day - seeing all of this through his eyes was tough.

Me trying to tough and smile at my Dad in the ER
after the 2016 Master's Nats Crit . . 

Anyway. . . "Comeback Kid" had the opportunity to come back. . again. . . YAY! (not).

In 2017 My coach and I worked relentlessly the winter/off-season to build my fitness back up, continue to strengthen my engine, and prepare me to return to Master's Nats and go for that TT Title! I also discovered Ultra Racing in early 2017, and dipped my toes into the "Ultra Waters", initially just as a training tool. . .but then so much more!

Unfortunately, I felt run-down, fatigued, and like something just wasn't "right" through most of the winter, but continued to train through it. I finally broke down and went to the Dr. in late January, and found out 1 week before leaving for my first big race of 2017 (Valley of the Sun), that I was severely Anemic. My Dr. literally looked me in the eye, and said "I don't know how you're walking around right now, much less holding down any kind of a regular training schedule whatsoever." Great. Just what I wanted to hear! On one hand, I was ecstatic to have a real explanation for why I felt as crummy as I did, and why my performance had stagnated, but on the other hand I was kind of just like "CAN I CATCH A BREAK ALREADY?!?!" I already had arranged the host housing and firmed up travel plans with a girlfriend who was also racing VOS, so I went ahead with my race/travel plans, but let's just say that I my performance at VOS and the first several local TX Races of the 2017 season was not exactly stellar! 😒 I refused to give up though. This was just another detour sign, and nothing worth having comes easy, right? It took a while to get my my iron levels back on track, but I worked closely w/ my Dr and my Coach, and by late March, I was feeling like myself again. THAT is when the MAGIC happened. . I started winning/podiuming races, and once that ball started rolling, it built momentum and just couldn't be stopped! 
My favorite Podi Face of ALL TIME,
taken at the Driveway Series after a particularly long "drought".
(Stoke Level was HIGH! hahaha)

Let me pause for a moment to say that I'm honestly a very humble person, so it's awkward for me to sit here and type out my race accomplishments for 2017 because I don't want to be all like "Look at me and how great and wonderful and perfect I am! Bow down in my presence!" Because honestly, while it WAS a TREMENDOUS year, and so much better than I could have ever imagined given how it started out, it took a LOT of years of training my ass off, studying races, learning, listening to my coach even when I really didn't want to, going back to the drawing board, learning some more, training some more, dialing my nutrition, training some more, analyzing #s and race performances and tactics, training some more. . before it **FINALLY** clicked for me. And also, while I at last feel like I've "arrived" and can call myself a darn good bike racer, it's all relative - consider my competition level for 2017 - I wasn't out there on the Pro Road Tour or at UCI races throwing down against the likes of Carmen Small, Kristin Armstrong, and Evie Stevens ;-) 

That said, I DID have a DAMN GOOD 2017 Race Season, after dealing w/ that pesky Anemia early on, and added the following titles and placements to my resume:

  • March 25th - 214 Mile TX RAAM Challenge Female Winner, setting a female course record
  • April 8th - Bessie's Creek 6 Hour Ultra Race - Female Winner, Overall Winner, Overall Course Record Set
  • April 21st - TX Ultra Spirit 12 Hour Race - Female Winner, Overall Winner, Female Course Record Set
  • May - TX State ITT Championship - Silver Medal
  • May - TX State TTT Championship - 1st Place / TX State Champion & Course Record (Guest Riding w Team Elevate)
  • June 2 - USAC Master's National ITT (W35-39) - 1st Place / MASTERS NATIONAL CHAMPION 
    • Yes!!! Redemption!!!! 😊😊😊
  • June 3 - USAC Master's National Road Race (35-39) - Silver Medal
  • June 9-10 - Vision/Rockwell Relay Competitive Women's Team w my awesome ATC Racing Teammates - 1st Place!
  • September 9th - LOTOJA Classic - 2nd Place
    • From the Combined Category Women's Field of 64 racers, I worked a 2-girl break with Lindsey Stevenson from about mile 50 through 202, putting ~40 minutes into the field, and missing out on 1st by .02 seconds in the sprint! (EPIC)
  • September 16th - TX State RR Championship - W P12 - 1st Place / TX State Champ
  • September 17th - TX State RR Championship - Age Group - 1st Place / TX State Champ
  • September 23rd - TX Time Trials (UMCA US National Championship) - 12 Hour - 1st Place Female / US NATIONAL CHAMPION
  • November 4th - UMCA 12 Hour World Championship - 1st Place / 12 HOUR TT WORLD CHAMPION!
  • Throughout September, October, and November, I was also competing in the Zwift Academy with the hopes of clenching the 2018 spot on the CANYON/SRAM Racing WWT team. I made it through to the Semi-Finals (meeting some amazing and inspirational women along the way!), and juggling 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 was difficult to say the least. . but as I think we've established. . . I'm hardheaded and stubborn and not afraid of a little hard work. . and no way was I going to pass on the opportunity at a UCI WWT Team Contract!
~1K from clenching the 2017 Master's National Time Trial Championship!

My very 1st TX State RR Championship Win!!
Zwift Academy Semi Finalist Announcement!

How am I EVER going to top a year like that?!? 

Well, here's my plan:

>insert wicked laugh, grin and a wink here<

I'm hitting the road in 2018 (with my hubby & my dogs!) to race a good-sized chunk of the Pro Road Tour!  

I submitted my race resume to several Pro Teams late in 2017, but many rosters were already full, and I also heard back with feedback from several Team Directors that they would prefer to see more PRT/UCI level racing on my resume. Soooo. . I'm going to give them what they want!

I'm planning to travel the country throughout the 2018 race season, racing as many of the big Pro/UCI Road and Stage Races as I can possibly manage to squeeze into my schedule and my budget. I've already started putting out feelers for composite team spots and guest ride opportunities, and am keeping my fingers crossed for those to come through as I continue to train my rear off under the direction of my coach throughout the off-season.

So. . . STAY TUNED! (More Details coming soon

And I'd love it if you follow along with my racing adventures here, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

#AllIn #NeverNotSmiling #ProInTheMaking #DetourNotDeadEnd

**I work a full time job in Finance and my husband is retired military, but as you know racing as a largely independent/self-supporting racer at the PRT/UCI Level is beyond expensive, so I am always exceptionally grateful for any donations or sponsorships, whether they be product (kits, gear, nutrition, etc) or monetary (to be used exclusively for race registrations and race travel costs). If you're interested in contributing, you can send funds directly via the PayPal.Me button below, or contact me at christietracy33@gmail.com to discuss sponsorship and/or product testing opportunities. I can guarantee you that I am probably the least entitled and one of the most grateful (and hard working) athletes that you will ever consider supporting! Thank you!!