Here's an update from Kara Chmielewski a fellow mom of two who holds down a full time job:
Just wanted to say thanks for another great year of training! I rode in the Vino Fondo in Missouri this past weekend. I almost quit and was on the verge of tears several times, but I finished!!!! It was so hilly...so hilly...actually hills with names. I don't do hills with names. I do now. I did the Midi version - 84 miles. I need to be a better climber, guess I'll have to figure it out before next year. Although advertised as a "ride" not a "race" we had chips. That is my first experience in an actual timed ride. I was so nervous I wanted to puke until I crossed the finish line and then I just wanted a beer. How intimidated was I at the start?? VERY!!!!!! These are all serious rectreational riders and a few race teams. The route was a Tour of Missouri route - totally out of my league. I rode with Kathy Austin from PWP who now rides with me at CES and 3 guys I know from grad school. This was by far the most serious ride I've ever done and it just makes me want to do better next year. Overall, a very cool experience, only 20 women out of 140 or so riders.
Great job Kara and Kathy!!! What a postivie experience! Sounds epic and hard.