Interbike in the Rearview: 5 Ways to Balance Work, Life, and Bike Racing

By Kristin Carpenter-Ogden
KCO taking a rest in Greg LeMond's Tour de France-yellow chair at interbike.

KCO taking a rest in Greg LeMond’s Tour de France-yellow chair at interbike.

The cab driver made his way through the quiet side streets framing the Las Vegas strip en route to McCarren International early last Friday. That cab trip marked the close of Verde’s 2013 summer trade show season. … It was a short drive, thankfully (one of the best perks about always booking an early flight out), but it gave me a window to think about everything we’d crammed into the past five-plus months.

Let’s see. … Verde’s summer trade show season doubled this year due to the successful growth into new markets. The agency also grew by adding four new employees during the window stretching from May to September. The agency hit its growth goals (internally and for our clients). My kids, between them, attended six (count ‘em) summer camps. And, lastly, I completed my rookie season as a fledgling road bike racer.

As I wheeled my bag into the building and felt the rush of the air conditioners, I felt equal parts pride, overwhelm and exhaustion by what had transpired in the past five months.

A major part of Verde’s growth in 2013 has been into the cycling market. For me, that signaled an opportunity to authenticate Verde further by trying my hand at the competitive road bike racing scene in the Rockies. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and let’s face it: I’m not getting any younger or any less busy.

Many of our clients and most of my employees have asked me recently how the h** I pulled off training and racing with the addition of the agency’s growth this year and the always-on privilege of being a Mom and wife. While I can’t convey exactly why I am as motivated as I am, I can share my blueprint for how I brought multi-tasking to near epic proportions over the past few months.

# 1 – PRIORITIZE

For me, having primary areas of focus and doting on said areas of focus each day makes it do-able.

  • Take care of kids, connect with husband and make sure there’s food in the house
  • Lead and manage operations of Verde
  • Train and prep for racing

Sure this doesn’t leave too much work for anything outside of these three buckets. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my community and friends now that fall has arrived!

#2 – TIME MANAGEMENT

The majority of the time through this season, I completed my training early in the morning. If weather or light didn’t permit an outdoor ride, I rode the trainer in my garage.

Training took less of a ding out of my already busy schedule because I made it more intense in smaller windows. As weekend obligations permitted, I would ride long one day a week on the weekends. I am on the TrainingPeaks program, so I had a remote coach who worked with me through the TrainingPeaks platform.

I also only did three competitive events this summer, as well as some “fun ride” centuries. I wish I could have done more, but I just couldn’t fit more in without upsetting the balance of the three buckets.

#3 – PLAN LIKE A FIEND

I’m a planner – for anyone who knows me, they know that I am Virgo straight across all aspects of my life. If I had to drive up to Park City to see Backcountry.com, I knew it was an opp to do a race in Utah! I combined my time up in Silverton this summer with the Mt. Evans Hill Climb race. Doing so enabled my kids to go to Theater Camp, and me to gain high-altitude fitness by riding the passes at lunch for two weeks before the Mt. Evans race.

#4 – REFLECT

Even though I only did three races, I took time to reflect on each one. I also had a good dialogue with my coach around how my training was progressing weekly. This reflection enabled me to be even tighter in terms of focus and time management with my training.

#5 – HAVE FUN!

I can remember that as I rode around the start area warming up on all three race days, I felt so much excitement around the prospect of getting to race. I love to train and to compete – it was an excellent stress management tool for me this summer.

All in all, I am proud of how my first season went down. I had one age-group win (Iron Horse Bicycle Classic), was passed at the line by two sponsored riders for third (High Uintas 10,000 Road Race) and finished second in my age group and category (Cat III, 35-44) in the Mt. Evans Hill Climb, having never done the course before. I raced against some fast ladies and held my own and with every race.

Could I race smarter? Of course! With every race, I learned the hard way about strategy and about how to improve. It’s the same with being a parent, being married and running a company; every day you show up, everyday you get to learn about how to be better in all roles.

Posted in Bicycling, Health and Wellness, Tuesdays with KCO | Tagged: Bike racing, family, Greg Lemond, Having fun, Interbike, Las Vegas, Time management, work life

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Kristin Carpenter-Ogden

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