Aside from the fact that Julie has this awesome athletic resume, she has impressed me and so many others with her knowledge and sincere caring for our health, efficiency, and excitement. Anytime someone says "be safe" I roll my eyes… ya ya, nobody wants to get hurt but I don't necessarily want to be "safe" either. The word itself comes from fear and fear can really hold you back from doing all that you love and are meant to do. Julie likes to use the words "train smart". She has been so helpful in teaching me about quality, not quantity. I used to get into hamster mode - I could run and run for hours on end without really getting anywhere. I think I was running (or shuffling) at about 15-17 minutes per mile. I didn't even care because it was my only "me" time. I liked taking my sweet "me" time and enjoying the sights. What's the rush, right?!
Well… in cycling I am learning the RUSH is what it's all about - It feels so freaking good to go fast! How cool would it be to fly through the Edible Pedal 100?! Well, Julie was teaching me a lot of quality training that actually allowed me to woosh right through the entire century ride. Leading up to the EP100, I was doing sprint intervals on the bike and single-leg drills. She also had me going up hills. I would ride up Manzanita (in SW Reno) for 8-10 minutes, then go downhill and do it again up to 6-8 times. That kind of training was fun and made me feel so confident about getting up Kingsbury Grade. I love that training with Julie never gets boring. I was constantly teaching my muscles new techniques. I was very quad heavy when I pedaled, meaning my quads were pushing instead of using my entire leg to pull and push with each stroke. So Julie taught me some off-the-bike moves that helped strengthen my hamstrings, glutes, and balance. Staying aligned helps with efficiency but so does distributing your weight and strength equally. So total body alignment and strength is crucial to what you do on the bike. I was also running during this training. I have the Triple Tahoe to conquer two weeks after the EP100 so Julie had me doing a lot more running sprints too. I could not believe that I was finally able to comfortably run 12 minutes per mile. If I tried I was down to 10 minutes per mile. Ask any of my running buddies… that was unheard of! I was the one who would barely break a sweat and could tell full on stories during running races, but now I just want to work my body to its fullest potential. No need to get comfy (and chatty) in "slow mode."
So I took Julie's lessons and my newly trained muscles through my very first century ride. I proudly admit that I felt strong, I mean real strong! I went through the ride with my new friends from Great Basin Bicycles. I was learning to draft and conserving a lot of energy that way. After the Kingsbury climb (which was about halfway through the ride), I then conquered Spooner Summit, then flew down Highway 50 until we got to Carson City. At that moment, I learned why we do this. Something about going fast alongside cars made me fall in love with this sport! I got this sudden spunk of energy. I told my new friends that I feel too good and I just got to give it my all. I completed the last 25 miles on my own through wind blowing right at me, but smiling the whole time! I finished strong, not tired! I had this rush of adrenaline of pure joy that made me realize I am destined to ride. I am so grateful for the opportunity to hop on a bike and to learn from one of the greatest cyclists. I certainly value everything Julie has taught me and I know I'll use her lessons during every upcoming race… and there will be plenty, Julie - you got me hooked!