Mayberg – You Look Marvelous!

Experiential Training and Racing Report from Stephanie Mayberg – o2fitness athlete and Rio Stada Cycling team member…

This is my first season racing, and I started out with an injury that had me off the bike for two months.  Once I was able to get back on the bike, I have made slow and steady progress regaining what I had lost and getting stronger and faster.

I decided to try my hand at time trialing by going out to a time trial training ride, and loved it.

I trained a few more weeks, then set my sights on my first official NCNCA event – a 10 mile individual time trial.  All week I visualized what I thought the course would be like; it was described as a 10 mile out and back with a “slight elevation gain” on the way out.  I felt fit and ready to race.  I talked over my fears and thoughts with Julie and had a plan.  I checked out my bike the night before, packed my car, reviewed my plan and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning excited and focused. I drive down to the race, got checked in and warmed up. I was feeling great. I didn’t want to go out too fast, because I had made that mistake in the training rides.  First mile I was feeling great…then we started to climb.  This wasn’t a slight elevation gain – it was a hill!  I kept pushing, and then came panic and doubt.  “Why did I think I could do this?”  Someone on the sidelines said “take a deep breath.”  I did just that, I regained my composure and told myself that I wasn’t quitting and I wasn’t letting up.  I kept climbing knowing ( or thinking I knew) that the turnaround was just ahead and the rest would be downhill.  I hit the 5 mile mark, where I expected to see the turnaround, and it wasn’t there. My legs were screaming!  This went on for another mile and a half when the turn around appeared.  I turned around for the downhill portion, but needed to recover from all of the unexpected climbing. I finished the race totally exhausted.

After discussing with Julie, I realized that while the fitness and mental piece were there, I needed to fine tune distributing my efforts.

I stuck with my training plan and headed out for a Tuesday night twilight crit – my first crit ever.  I was determined to have fun and ride smart.  I also told myself I didn’t want to lose the pack.  We warmed up with a few laps, then took our place on the line.  The speed slowly increased, and I found myself at the back of the pack. We slowed and surged at every turn.  It took me one lap to know this was not where I wanted to be…we rode a few more laps, and I saw my opportunity.  The pack was starting to splinter. I moved up to the front one rider at a time. The speed was moving now.  For the next 30 minutes rode my heart out, learning where I could push and when I should conserve.  I thought about my discussions with Julie on cadence and pedal stroke, and somewhere in the race it all came together. I worked hard, I hurt, but I had a blast! Added bonus- I finished third and took a prime.


Mental Tenacity Wins the Prize

Off the cuff, Ah-Ha moment, by Stephanie Mayberg, Team Rio Strada rider…

The Sunday ride was tough, but good.  I saw most of the Rio gals finishing up as I was starting and got warned of severe Valley winds. Initially,  my mind took control and I almost bagged it and headed home…but I regrouped, took control mentally and finished my ride strong (but tired). It was a good lesson for me about the power of thought…