10 November 2008

What month is this? November. Geez. I moved here to Louisville in mid-May, concurrent with my graduation from undergrad down in Atlanta. I am pretty sure that I started working at the Trail Store the day after I graduated, making this the first summer spent away from the Great State since I started college fourish years ago.

To add to this whirlwind, this is my first season racing 'cross, which happens to be concurrent with my first year of teaching. 7th grade - Language Arts, Literacy, and Science. And my first year of grad school at U of Louisville (go Cards). Fortunately, I've gotten hooked up with some pretty solid folks here in the bluegrass, and I am keeping my head above water (mostly). David Jones and Koleman Karleski at Chrysalis Ventures essentially built the roof over our metaphorical little cyclocrossing heads in about a two-week time frame; they (and we) are uber lucky to have Sarah Givan on our side processing all of the paperwork and dollar signs; she is super quick and efficient, and without her, my guess is that none of this would have been done in time for this season. I am still new to all of this, but I am willing to bet that it normally takes a whole lot longer than three months to build an entire program. Just a hunch.

Aaron mentioned the Gaerne shoes being a great asset, and I'm not disagreeing, but I think the single best thing that has happened to my riding since I first hopped on a bike 17 years ago is the Kentuckiana Allergy Group - specifically Dr. Damin. I was becoming very frustrated and jaded this summer because I felt like no matter how I trained, I just kept getting slower and slower on my bike. Then, I spent most of August, September, and the beginning of October with a rat's nest of sinus infection and strep.

Then came the hives. Like a Tsunami. During a three day UCI weekend in Cincinnati. So, our buddy Jeff sent me over to Dr. Damin, and all I can say is wow. As it turns out, I am horribly allergic to grasses (all of them), ragweed, cats (no loss to me), goldenrod (the state flower...), dust mites of all shapes and sizes, and several trees. Great. You could imagine what my exposure level to all of these is like as a cyclist (who rides outside...). At any rate, I'm all medicationed up, and I am riding a whole heck of a lot better than I have all year, which has renewed my love for riding. I squeaked in just outside the top 10 in the 3/4 races at the USGP last month, so I am hoping that with continued allergy control and training, I will make a decent showing at nationals in December.

That said, I've got to get outside before it gets too dark... my night vision is terrible.

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