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Tracy Thelen's Blog (46)

Challenging to the end

This was a fitting close to the 2015 Ascent Cycling series. A return to Palmer Park and one of the more challenging courses we have faced. Changing things up in a good way! I decided to ride over to Palmer Park this time - it would only take a little longer then driving and I wouldn't need the extra time for a warm up. I climbed up to the race course and got on, heading the direction we normally race. Only we weren't going that direction! Awesome! Something different, which meant I needed to…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on August 4, 2015 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Coming to a close

At least for the 2015 season, the Ascent Cycling Series is wrapping up. One more race at Palmer Park. One more chance to ride with one way traffic as hard as we can on local trails. It's been a long series, with all kinds of conditions thrown at us - sunshine and heat to mud and creek crossings. What will the race bring? It's impossible to guess until we are on the line, sizing up the competition and ourselves. Are we ready for this finale? Will both the bike and the legs hold on until the…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 29, 2015 at 11:12am — No Comments

Mud and Cake

I'll be honest - I didn't know what to expect with the long race at CMSP on Sunday. The last time Nick and I tried riding Blackmere and Cougar's Shadow, they were a mess. It was more of a swamp then a trail, with several stream and creek crossing and mud bogs that were 100s of feet long and ankle deep. Not ridable at all. We've had some dry and hot days since then, but not enough to even dry up some of the new rivers running through CMSP. Given that I wasn't sure what was coming, I'd…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 21, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Choices

Every morning we wake up with the choice - make the best of the day we are given or simply go through the motions of living. And that is just the first choice of the day - there are a million more and sometimes we don't even realize what choice we are making and how they will affect the rest of the day, week, month...  It's not easy to see how much a little choice will reflect when we act in the moment. I've been trying to wake up and choose positivity. After all, I'm waking up to a new day…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 18, 2015 at 7:31pm — No Comments

Turkeys and rabbits and mud - oh my!

I have to wonder, what the large flock of turkeys was thinking Wednesday night. After all, it was wet out and still spitting rain at times. What on earth were these mountain bikers doing? Usually the trails would have been deserted at that time of day under those conditions. It would have been safe for them to take the easy route - aka the trail - to their destination.

But this was no ordinary Wednesday night.…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 10, 2015 at 7:04am — No Comments

Motivation

On grey days like yesterday it's hard to want to get out and ride. It's cold. It's raining... The list of excuses goes on and on and eventfully the ride doesn't happen. Or we wait for the dry and sunny window, only to have that window never open. Again, the ride doesn't happen because of the lack of motivation to take a chance with the conditions. But what are we missing when we choose to let the weather win and allow the grey, heavy clouds to affect the motivation needed to hit the trails?…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 8, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Two outta three ain't bad...

Aw, shucks. There I was (and so was everyone else in the 6:15 start) all dressed up with nowhere to race. The bluebird skies had vanished behind some very angry clouds and just was we (Nick and I) were heading out the door to ride over to Bear Creek for the race, the rain started. So we waited for a few minutes. I texted Amber, who I knew would be on site and have all the info, asking if the race was still…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 21, 2015 at 7:28am — No Comments

Comfort Zones

We all have them - that point where we are happiest, relaxed and just comfortable. It doesn't matter if it's in life or on the bike, we settle into those comfort zones and stay there - either not realizing that we are there or unwilling to make a change. And sometimes, that's okay. There's not always a reason to push the limits or make drastic changes. Until there is. Until there is something that makes us realize that there is a…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 16, 2015 at 8:11pm — No Comments

Glorious Pain

The competition was at its finest this Wednesday for the Palmer Park race, with the largest race ever in Andy's 101 events. Huge fields at the Ascent Cycling Series mean one thing - speed. And with the speed comes the pain that only an hour of suffering can dish out. With Kelli E in the mix this time, I knew our race would be fast. Add in a new racers like Liz and anything could happen. But regardless of the outcome, it would hurt.…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 5, 2015 at 9:02am — No Comments

Riders To The Line

How many times have we heard Andy call that out? Like many riders, I have grown with the series. From that first race in 2008 as a Cat 2, hoping to gain some experience but terrified of the expert riders I was racing against to today. I think I crashed every time I took my mountain bike out in those first few years and those first races. It was the perfect introduction to mountain bike racing though - hard and fast but with little…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 2, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Mother Nature always wins

I promised fireworks, hard racing and excitement at the final Ascent Cycling Series. I wrote that on grey, dreary day with thunder rumbling in the background, feeling hopeful that we would be racing. After all, it was supposed to be sunny with a 50% chance of showers for Race day, and the ground needed all the moisture the clouds were currently dumping. We'd be racing. It might be a little muddy a little damp, but we would be racing.



Well... For the first time that I can remember,… Continue

Added by Tracy Thelen on July 31, 2014 at 2:32pm — No Comments

Let there be fireworks

Are we saying goodbye to the Ascent Cycling Series for the year or forever tomorrow night? Who knows at this point - but regardless, it's the finale of the 2014 racing. Race Number 5 for the 2014 Ascent Cycling Series and lucky 101 for Andy. We are returning to the familiar trails at Bear Creek for the second time this year - how many miles have I raced there over the years? Too many to count, yet each race is different. Back to the traditional Ascent race style after the length of the CMPS…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 29, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Party Time!

It was a party at CMSP for so many reasons on Saturday. We got to celebrate Andy's 100th race - a decades long series of fun and rider development. And I got to start a race with people singing me happy birthday. Really, an awesome way to celebrate. Thanks everyone!



A sunny, hot and slightly (turning very) humid day greeted us racers for the 100th Sand Creek Sports race. I was eagerly looking forward but also rather dreading nine fun filled laps up Talon, across Turkey Trot to… Continue

Added by Tracy Thelen on July 21, 2014 at 11:56am — No Comments

The Big One

Tomorrow is a big day - for many reasons. First, it's Andy's 100th race. Think about that - 100 races that Sand Creek Sports has either…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 18, 2014 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Mass insanity

After taunting the thunderstorms last week (and winning...) I think the storms are coming back to get me. Only this time, they were targeting the entire Pro/Cat 1 field at Ascent Cycling Race #3.... With the Cat 2 racers still finishing up, Andy started the roll call of the entire field - everyone. He started in the normal order - pro men, SS men and so on down the line. Odd. Normally there is a well defined gap between all the fields. And then, after the last cat 2 racer finished, he rolled…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 10, 2014 at 8:44pm — No Comments

Second Season

Welcome to July. Yikes. It feels like I've been going, going, going since the start of the year without much of a break. And in a way, I have been - from the Super Half Marathon (yes, I play runner sometimes too...) to 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest, there's been a lot of stuff going on. Not as much racing as in prior years, but the few races have all been very big events - in length, size and stress. The training has been hard and I've had fewer social and fun rides then I'd like. I was…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on July 8, 2014 at 8:37pm — No Comments

Behaving

I wanted to race yesterday. Coach Adam even had the race on my schedule for racing with the big girls. But on my ride on Wednesday, I realized I wasn't ready to race - not at that level. Mentally, I wanted to be lining up and trying my hardest to at least finish on the same lap as the winners. I would have sunk myself deep into the pain cave to do that... And that was the problem. I wanted to race, but the legs still weren't there after 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest. Trying to race would…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 29, 2014 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Getting scolded....

I wouldn't want to miss one of the Ascent Cycling races, especially the long course in Bear Creek. I love the long course - we hit every single trail in the park and it's and honest beating. From the long slog up to the top of the regional trail to the punchy little climbs scattered throughout, it's my favorite course. It's also long enough to spread out the field quickly and reduce the amount passing. (Something I was looking foward to this race especially since I knew I would get lapped - the… Continue

Added by Tracy Thelen on June 19, 2014 at 9:58am — No Comments

Battling the Demons

There comes a moment in any race when it comes down to the mental battle. It doesn't matter if the race is an hour slug fest at Bear Creek Terrace or a 24 hour endurance test. The demons are always there, lurking - whispering in your ears that its okay to stop - everyone else is hurting just as bad. The sign of a great athlete is knowing when the demons need to be silenced, ignored and when they rightfully demand attention. It's a hard task to stay mentally on top throughout an entire race.…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 17, 2014 at 4:30am — 1 Comment

Cat and Mouse

Well. Isn't that the story of racing? Sometimes you are the cat and sometimes the mouse - and sometimes, both! With just me and Caroline Mani on the line for the woman's pro race at last nights kick off for the Ascent Cycling Series, it would quickly turn into a game of cat and mouse with both of use playing each role at varying times. A shorter course with less road and more technical singletrack played to my strengths, but I wanted to try racing smart this time. Instead of bolting from the…

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Added by Tracy Thelen on June 5, 2014 at 6:14pm — No Comments

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