By: CXC Team Member, Nicolette Reker
With the summer approaching its end, I am getting excited to return to school at Winona State University. In the mean time, I will be reducing my hours at HED Cycling to help take care of my mother while she recovers from her surgery. As I write this post, she is in the operating room having a bilateral mastectomy. Just before the Pre-Birkie and North End Classic she was diagnosed with breast cancer. That weekend she decided to skip the Pre-Birkie but was anxious to finish her first classic race as planned before she began treatment. My sister and I skied the short race on Sunday with her and she did great! Two weeks later was the Birkie. My mom and dad watched my sister and I race along with many of our cabin friends who put together ribbons that we wore on our bibs for my mom. That was truly a wonderful surprise from the ski community and made the day extra special to be a part of!
Training throughout the summer has been filled with a variety of activities. The past few summers I’ve been more focused on ski specific training, but before that my family was very active in the road bike racing community. This past spring and into the summer I have gotten the itch to spend more time on the bike than previous years. It has been fun to get out on two wheels and let the bike take me places you can’t always get to on rollerskis. Especially in Winona where the bluffs prove the theory that “What goes up, must come down.” Let me tell you, going up would be a blast, but there is no way I am rollerskiing down those bluffs! I have yet to get out to the Wisconsin side of the river with local avid skiers in the Winona community, Brad, Kelly, and Anni Skillicorn, who know which roads are good for skiing.
I also spent the spring semester training and racing on Winona State’s track and field team. Running has always been a weakness of mine so it was fun to work through that and get a solid base going into the summer. On that note, my sister, Zoe, is training to run her second Twin Cities Marathon this fall in prep to attend the Boston Marathon next year. She qualified for Boston with her time last year, but wants to improve on it again and hopefully race Boston next year. It has been fun to get out with her on some training runs; she can definitely rip my legs off and keep me from walking normal for a couple days. I have yet to bring her along on one of my hill repeat workouts that I have been doing. It will be fun to see how we match up with some intensity!
The last few months have been an adventure for sure. And it will continue to be an adventure as we keep on rolling into the next step. This summer my main focus in training has been doing what feels right for that day, and continuing to make decisions day by day. My next step will be resuming a more consistent training routine and ramping up the intensity and strength this fall in Winona to prep for the races coming up this winter!