The Defi Sportif is that one race every year that does not change…With that being said it is probably one of the most challenging courses simply because of how fast it is! We race on the Formula 1 race circuit in Montreal as part of a major sport festival that takes place in Montreal over 1 week including sports from Boccia and sledge hockey to cycling! There is the usual 2 days of racing. The TT (Time Trial) on Saturday and the RR (Road Race) on Sunday! Being that this race is at the end of April in the middle of a river makes for very interesting weather conditions every year. It could be 16 and sunny on Saturday with near perfect conditions for racing the time trial with just a little bit of wind or it could down pour on Sunday with temperatures near freezing with rain and a ton of wind! These were the conditions this past weekend…Generally I am a massive ball of nerves before the races, but thought to myself that I was going to do my best and have fun to try and relax in order to maximize my performance! You know some people say..”just do your best! because thats all you can do”…I don’t necessarily believe that but I did not need any added stress so thought I’d try it out! We all can do better than our best…I’ve been there and it feels amazing!
Warming up for the TT I felt really good…when I came out of the starting gate I felt really good and loose but strong! That all went away very quickly with the onset of the longest cramp I’ve ever had racing. It didn’t let up until the race was pretty well done. I couldn’t get a breath and even worse I couldn’t push! To see my time at the end of the TT almost made me want to get in the truck and drive home. That’s not how we do things over here though. Although I failed miserably at achieving a goal that I had my eye on for my whole Arizona training camp, I knew that I had to reset my mindset and get ready for the RR the very next morning! Feeling super sore I woke up with redemption on my mind. There was no way I was going out like the day before even if I was going to have to stay an extra night in Montreal because I gave it everything I had and knew I was going to be hurting at the end of the race. As we pull up to the line it starts to drizzle…In the RR everyone races together and you can input strategy and techniques to beat out the competition. For the first couple of laps I was with lead pack, until Pat and myself got dropped on the hardest section of the course. For the next few laps we worked together in the pouring rain in order to 1) conserve energy and 2) you go faster working together. At this point I can no longer feel my hands and visibility was extremely limited due to rain, mud and whatever else was on the track that ended up in our mouths or faces! Disaster strikes for Pat and his pedal falls off…I was pretty disappointed because at this point we were going to have a pretty epic sprint for 3rd place at the line. Unfortunately it didn’t happen but I did manage to come home with 3rd place and my best every finish at Defi Sportif! 2018 has already been the best start of my racing career with 2 podiums!!!!!!! I am still learning every race and that is why it is so important for me to make it to everything I can. That brings me to California…
Caifornia Redlands cycling classic was not even on the table until about this week last time when I was offered accommodations by another rider that lives in Cali. It would have been an extremely tight turn around getting home Sunday night and on a plane Monday afternoon. All of this without any assistance and looking into things I had never done before. Everything was in place and ready for me to say ok…book it all, lets do it! I had this uneasy feeling though…That gut instinct I always speak about and tell people to listen too. Well, I listened and it was a damn good thing I did! Monday, when I woke up after racing Sunday, the pain I felt in my left pec muscle in my chest was serious. It didn’t get better on Tuesday where I ended up pulling out of a local time trial only hours before, again because something just didn’t feel right…I booked an appointment with the Chiropractor as soon as I could! I arrived, updated her on my weekend and told her about my chest! Long story short, I had shifted some ribs up in my chest…in turn this was pulling on chest muscles giving me all of the discomfort and anxiety that a potential injury could cause. On top of all of that Destiny (my bike) was in extremely rough shape. Off to Skiis and Bikes we go! I am on my way to go pick her up now after her hundreds of dollars worth of tuning and part replacements. Now that the weather is turning around for the better and Destiny is tuned up and ready to go, I will continue to train my lil butt off until the Canadian Road Nationals in June and beyond!
A huge thank you to my sponsors Propel Physiotherapy, Bike Law Canada and Bike Law Ontario, Dr. Michelle Liberty and M. Bastone for supporting me and keeping me in good running shape to continue the quest for my Paralympic dreams!