Post Gila Season Update
The short summary of my year so far: it has been a much better start to 2019 than 2018 was! I have won races, got my first sprinters jersey, stayed upright and have experienced a lot of self-growth.
The season started wayyy back in January. That's how long ago it feels now, so much has happened since- 13 airplane flights since, to be exact! My Cycling Canada development squad and I took on the Hong Kong Track World Cup over in, well, Hong Kong. As most races do, it had it's series of ups and downs, such as being pulled from the Team Pursuit line up for round 2 because I hit some blocks. A moment of complacency and it came back and bit me in the @$$. Later that week, Devaney Collier and I got to take on our first Madison together, and approached it with the goal of not losing a lap to the leaders. Despite a couple rough exchanges, that goal was achieved and we rode a ride that was difficult to be disappointed with. Last up for me was my first World Cup Omnium. Again, not the result I was hoping for but I achieved all the tactical goals I had set for myself going into the race so was happy with the way I rode. Plus, I was active and aggressive in the points race- the last race of the Omnium, when everybody is on their last match. It was extremely motivating to see my old bunch race form that made me a Junior World Champion come back after the crashes and struggles I worked through last year.
|Devaney Collier and I- ready to crush our debut Madison together!|
My season since then has been a mixture of stage races in Arizona, California and Washington and the rest of my training time split between California and home.
As I mentioned, this year has also been a great mile stone in self-growth. I would say pretty much all of the post-concussion symptoms I had after last year (irritation, difficulty concentrating) have cleared. I have picked up a university course online again, been doing my yoga teacher training and have just started doing motivational talks at schools. I am a creature of habit, so it has really been finding my routine again that has helped me get back on track- being strict about stretching and practicing yoga at night, meditation in the morning, writing in my journal, listening to french podcasts to help my french, practicing my Dutch on Duolingo ;) some of these seem silly, but if I can accomplish them all along with my training and proper nutrition in a day, I will be so much more relaxed overall.
|Baby steps when it comes to yoga gains :)|
My latest feat has been racing the Tour of the Gila with the National Team. Altitude, hills, heat. The 5 days of racing definitely took a toll on the body, but I was happy with a solid performance in all 5 races, and had a top result of a 2nd place finish in the criterium after a stellar team effort by the Canadian squad!
|2nd place- Tour of the Gila Criterium|
I am now residing in hot, humid Pennsylvania in a cute, old house with my Pickle Juice teammates, Colleen Gulick and Alijah Beatty. We had our first big criterium last week in Wilmington, Delaware. It was one of the hardest criteriums I have done yet this year, and to prove that, only about half of the field finished! I raced to a 9th place finish I was satisfied with, but still itching for another win. I'll get another shot to practice my victory salute in the prestigious Tour of Somerville criteriums this weekend, and then we jump right into the 5 weeks of UCI track racing at the Valley Preferred Cycling Centre (or more commonly referred to as, T-Town).
A huge thank you to everybody who has helped me up until this point in my season, and I am looking forward to some big things ahead! Thanks to my family and coach/dad, Barry Lyster, Cycling Canada team and staff, Pickle Juice Pro Cycling team and sponsors, Naked Bicycles, Power2Max, Born Superior Sportscare, Obsession Bikes, FSA/Vision, ISM Seat, Dr. Jenn Turner with Moveo Sport & Rehabilitation, Rebound Sport and Spine (concussion protocol) and Pacific Sport Fraser Valley for all of the help and support!