A recognizable face around the Colorado race scene has been Melanie Wong Henson. This past year, however, things have changed in her life that have limited her time to train. Read about how she has managed these changes and her training.
Bet that caught your eye.
I’ve bike raced for nearly a decade and have consistently trained for at least the last four or five years. This summer, I started nursing school, and for the first time in years, racing has truly taken a backseat. However, I wasn’t ready to give up bike racing altogether, so I committed to 6 mountain bike races and resolved to train and ride as much as my schedule would allow.
Not shockingly, that’s not very much, with the demands of school and work. My goal through most of the summer: “Don’t get TOO out of shape.”
I’d sneak out for 45 minute rides, essentially sprinting between stoplights, or making trips to the grocery store or to school into bike rides. I did not have high hopes for my season.
No one was more shocked that I when races began going well. My first race of the season was truly off the couch, and my quads hurt for two weeks afterward!
So maybe that one didn’t go so well, but then it was as if my body kicked into gear, and I’ve had great results since then. At the Copper Crush, I was able to out-suffer the rest of the field for a first place finish, and a couple weeks later, I was stoked to share the first place podium at the Honey Stinger with my partner Becky Howland in the duo category.
More than a testament to luck, or before anyone decides to adopt a training plan of milkshakes and Netflix watching, what I’ve learned is that all the years of training has paid off. Not all of my last five years of racing have been easy, and results haven’t always come. If anything, this season has shown me that consistent dedication pays off, that the body likes some rest (not something many competitive cyclists readily admit!), and that, hey, I still really love bike racing.