It wasn’t until I was in the back of Kelly’s car as she zipped through the winding roads of Cuchara that I realized something was wrong.

I got such bad car sickness that I felt car sick for five days after that. And normally, I’m fine in cars. I hate boats, but cars are just fine. For five days, I couldn’t train. Too much movement made me dizzy and then nauseous. It was like a 5-day hangover. What I’d been dealing with the past several months finally came to a head.

At the beginning of the year, I needed to…

what is the point in all this?

in any of this?

why do we set alarms

to give a piece of ourselves


just to make money

and we do it the next day

and the






why does coffee never stay hot

and water warms up the longer it’s out?

why do the neighbors

let their baby wail

from the time the coffee is poured

to when the blinds are drawn

like their world is

crashing down around them?

how are you supposed to respond

to the question, “how’s it going?”

when you know


Midge would have turned 88 today. She’d wear her “going out clothes.” The ones she’d save for special occasions. A nice pair of black slacks. A dark blouse with a floral pattern. Black slip-on shoes, size 9. She’d comb and adjust her hair enough to hide the parts that were thinning on the top. She’d wear her gold wedding ring and her brown coat with a flower brooch. She never forgot the brooches. And her purse. She’d have it in her hands, sitting on the couch, waiting for my mom.

We’d go to dinner, somewhere she picked (Hacienda Colorado). She’d…

Every morning for the past 9 months (what is time anymore?) I sit at our kitchen table and should-shame myself for not putting out a blog. I take another three minutes to brainstorm what I’m going to write about This Time, but nothing comes to mind.

So let’s talk about doing things because we want to and not doing them because we think we have to, or in other words, “shoulding” ourselves.

I don’t have to write. I don’t have to post a weekly blog. But I tell myself I should be posting a weekly blog. For all those readers…

Typically, I write a reflection about the past year and I guess this year is no different but also completely different.

This year I had the goal of a sub-9 Leadville 100 finishing time. I joined a new mountain bike team, RaceCo/The Bikery. I wanted to Cat up in Zwift. And I didn’t volunteer for anything to give myself a break from the constant volunteering for the past 6 or 7 years.

And then we all know what happened in March.

From this shitshow of a year, I can thankfully sit here and say I survived. 341,000 people cannot. I…

Last weekend had me wondering what’s in a team. And why do people join teams instead of racing rogue?

After the drama with pedal, I thought I’d stay unattached this year. I wasn’t interested in dealing with team politics when biking should just be biking. And trust me: there are a ton of politics in cycling, even on amateur bike racing teams.

I ended up joining RaceCo, a mountain biking team.

Bike riding is supposed to be fun. I was talking to a friend/teammate the other day who reminisced on one of his stupidest but most fun rides. He was…

I’m not one to spend a lot of money for myself. When I saw the price to sign up for Lee McCormack’s full-day mountain bike clinic, I hesitated. I’ve never spent that much for a bike clinic. I’ve never spent seven hours practicing skills, truth be told. I knew about Lee through the grapevine (TrainerRoad interviews, people mentioning him and there, etc.) but I didn’t know how good he really was. You never know what something is like until you experience it yourself.

I signed up because I had reached a point in my mountain biking where I didn’t have…

I tried not thinking about this race leading up to it. Racing on Zwift is hard enough without adding nearly 6,000 feet in elevation gain within 29 miles. Let’s just break that down for people who don’t ride up a ton nor in such a short period of time. Elevation gained from Idaho Springs to the top of Mount Evans is 6,260 feet in 27 miles.

So I damn near raced up Mt. Evans from my bike room, going nowhere.

A course for the lighter racers

But not only did I do that, I had to race against women faster, stronger, and lighter than me. And…

I ended up in 57th out 88 racers and all I could think after the race was, “What the fuck was that?” Both in part because of my lackluster placing as well as how the race unfolded. This felt way harder than Monday.

Let’s look at the numbers

TrainingPeaks gave Monday’s race a training stress score (TSS) of 107 and an Intensity Factor (IF) of 1. Thursday’s race TrainingPeaks gave it a TSS of 98 and an IF of .98. So for all intents and purposes, the data says Thursday’s race wasn’t actually more difficult than Monday’s.

Based on my body, my average heart rate…

The Competition

Knowing that I was competing against 90 strong AF racers, I had no idea how I’d do. My goal was to hold on for as long as I could. It’s disappointing not to be able to realistically have the goal of winning. The racer who won averaged 4.2 w/kg which was 245 watts for the hour-long race. Scroll all the way down to my name and you’ll see I averaged 3.5 w/kg which was 213 watts.

Looking at the 45 racers ahead of me, I was the only one who held 3.5 w/kg. The rest were all higher. Sure, there…

Jessica McWhirt

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