Posts written by Carmen Small

2015 US National Championships

Here are some pictures of nationals. I was 2nd in the TT by teammate Kristin Armstrong by 13 seconds.  Thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far this season.  As you all know it’s been a roller coster and for everyone who has stuck by my side through the difficult times you have no idea how much your continuing support it means to me!

 

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This was taken by Brian Black at VeloImages right before the start.  I was super nervous and Nicola Cramer helped calm the nerves.

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Podium: Amber Neben, Kristin Armstrong, Me

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I love having a little fun!

 

Mexico 1, Carmen 1

 

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Okay, I have a website and I am horrible about keeping up with it!  It’s more that I have had some major bad luck and not so nice thing to talk or write about so I have intensionally neglected it.  Sorry about that.  This is me trying to justify my actions.

What have I been up to?

I went to Europe and that started of well.  The goal for the Europe trip was to get good fitness through racing, to set me up to compete at Pan American Championships, and then Nationals.  It was going as planned except one big hiccup, well more like a bad crash.  I crashed training and new right away it wasn’t good.  We immediately booked a ticket back to the US so I could see my doctor in Durango ASAP.  Turns out I have a grade 2 AC separation and there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.

 

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I had had enough bad luck over the past 6 months so I thought to myself.  “Bleep it” I’m going to do this, I’m not pulling out of the one more important competition (Pan Am Champs) and I’m going to do everything in my ability to try to win.  I can handle pain and let me tell you, wow this was painful.  I spend the first week back on the bike inside, on the trainer, suffering like a dog.  Not because the workouts were so hard, but because how painful the shoulder was in any position.  Slowly it started to improve and I was able to get outside and ride my bike.  This made things much easier, it’s really hard to do efforts inside on the trainer.  Makes you mentally stronger I guess…

So it was time to get on the plane to Mexico and I was very much concerned about the outcome.  I was extremely nervous, could I pull this off?  I was very uncertain and had a vast pool of emotions flowing through me.

Oh Mexico, my last time I was here was to race was Pan Am Champs in 2013 and man did I have some bad luck.  I was about 45 seconds up and heading into the last lap, the wind blew a banner into me, ripping my bars out from under me, and I hit the ground hard.  Laying on the ground shocked about what just happened I gathered myself, put my chain back on my bike and then was off.  I didn’t know how much time I had lost but I was frantic for sure and a little dazed about what just happened.  I had hit my head pretty good but was still focused about finishing the race.  I crushed myself that lap and came in 2 seconds behind the women who ended up first. I was devastated.  I vowed never to come back to Mexico to race.  So here I was!  Round two.  Mexico 1, Carmen 0.

I pre rode the course and thought to myself this is the most boring course I have ever been on, which will make it really mentally tough!  It was literally flat out and back three times.  Warming up for the race I felt good but not out of the ordinary, but I had done the homework now it was time for my legs to do the work.  Here we go… 3,2,1  Every lap I went faster and let me tell you, it did hurt!  Every part of my body was screaming for more oxygen (at 6,000ft), even my fingers ached.  My should hurt but luckily my body was so filled with lactic acid that it could ignore that pain and focus staying as powerful as I could.  I crossed the finish line and had no idea if I was the leader.  I congratulated the Canadian, Tara Whiten, thinking she had won.  I think I was super clueless due to lake of oxygen, she said no I think you won.  We debated this and got no where…two out of breath, half alive racers telling each other no I think you won.  We still had several riders to go.  I went back the start finish area and sure enough as the last rider came it I had won!  Mexico 1, Carmen 1 – I guess we are even….

I’m really not sure how I pulled it off but I want to say it was all mental.  Sometimes you ride over your physical limit if you want something bad enough.  This was the case that day.  I dug deep and it payed off.  All that hard work and finally I had some luck on my side!

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Carmen Small Journal: Unsung heroes

Lying sick on the bathroom floor in a hotel is probably one of the worst feelings. But that’s where I was, three days before the world track championships, last month in France. It was like a wave washing over me — cold, chills, goosebumps, nausea. I hadn’t felt very good a few hours before, but I chalked it up to hunger. I soon realized it was much worse than that. I went back to my room still in denial that I was going to be sick. Then I curled up in my bed and prayed.

When it struck, I couldn’t believe the timing. This was happening days before one of my most important races.

We, as elite athletes, are always on the verge of getting sick. We push our bodies to the limit every day and try to do everything in our power to stay healthy. The majority of the time, we can maintain this rigorous physical routine without succumbing, but sometimes our bodies can’t fight illness. This can happen at the most
Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/rider-journal/carmen-small-journal-unsung-heroes_364965#sEKFKixyTkfVkATd.99

http://velonews.competitor.com

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