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US Women's Cycling Development Program diary
The US Women's Cycling Development program was founded by former pro rider, Michael Engleman, as a way to help promising young women cyclists reach their full potential as athletes. The USWCDP networks current and former women pro riders with up and coming athletes through mentoring and coaching.
With experienced mentors like Olympians Dede Barry and Mari Holden, along with current pros Amber Neben, Tina Pic, Kim Anderson and others, the USWCDP helps young riders like Mara Abbott, Katharine Carroll and many more to race better, find teams and become professional bike racers. The dedicated and well spoken women of this program provide thoughtful, compelling and sometimes hilarious anecdotes of their experiences in this diary.
For further reading about the programme, visit the USWCDP website
October 29, 2008
No more cheese
By Rebecca Much
While I know I've been M.I.A. the past few months, be certain I haven't resorted to hustling to make my money. Another hot track is Hip Hop Saved My Life by Lupe Fiasco and I've been following his advice and started stacking that cheese while I prepare for next year's road season. I got a sweet part time job working at the Chicago Athletic Clubs where I can make a little extra cash, but more importantly use their excellent facilities to lift weights and take advantage of the yoga program.
That is my main goal of this off-season: strong and limber! Of course, I'm spending plenty of time with doctors as well, but things are going really well as I'm finally getting answers to all of the frustrating problems I've had in the past years. The job is making things go smoothly as can be in the life of Rebecca.
My boss, Fran, at the clubs is basically an older, wiser version of me. She has been essential in making things work so that I can keep working my way to the top. It is really exciting and as she would put it: "the universe gives you what you need." My parents will love that line.
Moving on from cheese however, a lot has happened since I last wrote: The road season with Webcor ended on a really good note for me as I won the U23 Time Trial National Championship. I was really excited about that, but I am so ready for the season to be over. I just wanted to get home and figure out what was wrong with me as my stomach pretty much hurt all the time in the last few months of the season and it was starting to take major tolls.
My teammate Amy and I were in Orange County, California, for Nationals and the feeling of wanting the season to be over was quite mutual. We got up for the 7AM road race start saying "One to go, one to go!" There is nothing like being done with a long season of travel and celebrating with In and Out in California. Speaking of Amy, look out for her at the top of the cyclo-cross charts this fall, killing it!
Once I got home, I was done. I had no more energy left and but I was really motivated to do everything possible, now that I was at a stand still, to figure out my stomach. My teammate Alex is allergic to dairy and gluten, and suggested I get a food allergy test as she had a lot of the same symptoms before she found out about her allergies. I was not really excited to get the test done, because I kind of knew what the results where going to be already and wasn't looking forward to giving up eating half the food I ate on a daily basis, plus potentially travelling with a rice cooker next season but...
The test confirmed that there will be no gluten, no dairy, no eggs... Ugh! It's been almost three months of cutting all of that out of my diet and, to be honest, I wouldn't even blink to go back to eating any of that with how much better I feel now. It's an amazing to not have my stomach hurt anymore and I can train so much easier now; I guess I hadn't been absorbing most of what I was eating because my intestines were so irritated the past year to two years.
It's really amazing how food allergies can us affect so much. I was having sleeping problems the last few years as well and I guess insomnia is another symptom that has now been cured, amongst a bunch of other little things like weird skin conditions. What blows my mind is how many other doctors I saw who just put band-aids on all the symptoms I had, labelling them as this or that. I was starting to feel like a walking hypochondriac health disaster until I got diagnosed with the allergies. If you are one of those people who feels always sick its worth checking out if you have food allergies or not.
Now that I'm feeling so much better I have regained motivation, I think clearer and I am starting to gain momentum and excitement for my future years of racing – starting with another great year with Webcor in 2009. My motivation also stems from my team, as it was awesome to see four of my teammates go to Beijing for the Olympics. It proved that if you work hard anything is possible.
We have a couple changes in the team for 2009, most notably Christine retiring after an incredible career. It looks like we have added a couple Aussies to our rooster and I am looking forward to meeting the new blood on the team. We are going to be a wicked-strong team for 2009!
I'm starting to drool thinking about dinner now that I am back home with my mom, dad and sister. It has been a fun day today at the Chicago Cyclo-cross Cup. For how crappy the riding in Chicago is, it really is one of the best cycling communities out there. Especially since the 'cross scene is really catching fire. I've been doing a couple 'cross races around here for the fun of it and I still one day want to be good at it. I'd take a win at the Chicago Cup for now ;)
Hey Mom!? What's for dinner!?
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Images by Nikki - XXX Racing
Images by US Women's Cycling Development Program
Images by Michael Campbell