You local roadie chicks (as well as non-locals, pros, and guys… she beats you, too, on occasion) know who I’m talking about.
Though, if you’ve raced against her, you would know her better from behind. She’s a master’s national RR champion, and she’s placed top 10 at Elite Road Championships, racing on her own, against full teams of pro women.
Why am I posting about Debbie Milne when I haven’t raced against her in over a year?
It all started yesterday. I had a very non-stellar circuit/trainer workout. Coach says if I don’t feel up to it today, I can push today’s trainer workout to Thursday and have the day off. I wake up this morning feeling tired and lazy, so I send out this tweet: “Thinking of postponing today’s trainer ride for tomorrow. I’m still beat from yesterday.”
Then, as I’m drinking my coffee and thinking about being lazy for the remainder of the day, I scroll through facebook, and see a post from The Milne: “Really really really dont feel like intervals tomorrow which means they are right on track……”
Why does this matter?
It’s like this- women’s road racing can be an intimidating place for a beginner. More often than not, the cat 4 (beginner) category races with all of the other categories. Unlike the men, who have the “benefit” of racing against people of similar experience level, a woman could be lining up for her first road race against a seasoned pro. If you’re not incredibly strong and fit, you get dropped. If you’re strong and fit, you do something dumb, get schooled, and get dropped. It’s trial by fire, and it will either make you a great racer or make you quit and resolve yourself to triathlons.
Ever since my first real road race (Mississippi Grand Prix, 2007), Debbie has administered more 2-wheeled beatdowns to me than any other person I race against. While other women in the peloton resolved themselves to riding for 2nd place when she showed up, I was chasing my ass off with the few others that didn’t take to defeat so easily. For some of us, we thrive on the thought that at some point, we might actually be able to catch her. It’s happened a couple of times.
My point? Ever since I started racing, every time I think about slacking off, I think about how Debbie is probably out riding a century, in the mountains, with all of her kids (and the dog), in a trailer behind her bike, never bothering to use the small ring. In the freezing rain. No disrespect for the women I race against now that totally kick my ass and train just as hard, but Debbie was the original “HTFU and TRAIN” person.
I could go on, but I have a trainer workout to do.