Kathryn (Katie) Donovan is a professional bike rider for Colavita women’s pro team (yes, that is her job!), 4 a.m. coffee drinker, avid gym sauna-goer, delicious burger connoisseur, and pit bull mama. As someone who has made a habit of trying to hang out with her, I also detect a smidgen of elusiveness. Katie once raced triathlon professionally, but then decided to switch to cycling since it was her weakest triathlon leg and she enjoys a challenge. She is incredibly humble for someone as super-womanly as she, and is also quite a talented writer– you can check out her twitter feed or team Colavita blog for evidence. If you ever find yourself in a Southern California mountain range, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the back of her jersey…
Current place of residence: Oxnard, CA
Hometown/place of birth: Phoenix, AZ
Favorite sports or hobbies (besides cycling): Yoga, swimming and running
Best cycling skill: Climbing
Dream race: A full women’s Tour of California with all the same stages as the men
Race mantra: hmm….. I need some race mantras! Colavita’s team mantra is “Hold the Rope” (If you have a mantra suggestion for Katie, please leave your offering in the comments below. If Katie decides to go with yours, you might get some kind of prize.)
Favorite book: The Little Prince
When/how/why did you start endurance sports? I have been an athlete all my life. I swam throughout college. Sports have always been a great release for me. I’m very competitive but not very coordinated so endurance sports are a natural fit.
Hardest race and/or workout you’ve ever completed: Leadville. It was my first time riding a Mountian Bike and I remember it being the first time I was happy just to finish a race.
Most memorable training and/or race moment(s): There are a lot of ups and downs in racing, but each year is memorable. It’s why I keep coming back. I try not to focus on one particular high moment.
If you had to switch sports, what would you switch to, and why? Marathon Running. Running is awesome because you can do it anywhere and need very little equipment.
Words of wisdom to someone dreaming of becoming a professional cyclist: Enjoy every step of the process and surround yourself with good people.
Hardest part about being a professional athlete/cyclist: I love traveling but sometimes it gets hard being away from home for long periods of time. It takes effort to balance cycling life with friends and family.
Pre-race ritual or superstition? I’m not superstitious. The closest thing I have to a pre-race ritual is eating a huge breakfast the morning of a race.
Training tips? Keep it fun. Sometimes being too regimented can be counter-productive.
Training pet peeve: When strangers try to tell me how to train. (Refrain from offering training suggestions in the comments below. Mantra suggestions only, please.)
Why do you keep cycling? I love it !
What do you eat before training sessions? I train in the morning so I make oatmeal and add peanut butter, applesauce, and anything else I think would taste good into the mix.
What is your favorite thing to eat during training? I like Eggo pancake sandwhiches with almond butter and honey.
What is your favorite post-training meal? a Hamburger
What does “Fuel” mean to you? Well, food is fuel and if you’re eating to fuel yourself then you want to put the most efficient fuels in your body.
What does being “Fit” mean to you? Staying active & eating healthy
What thing(s) do you always bring on a ride? a pump, sunscreen, my phone and lots of food
What story does your family/team always tell about you? They usually talk about me behind my back, so you’ll have to ask them 😉
Uphill, down hill, or flat? uphill
Road or trail? road
Solo or group training? solo
Chocolate or cheese? chocolate
Watch on your left wrist or right? left
Morning or evening workout? both !
Hat or visor? hat
Fingerless or full gloves? fingerless
Sleeveless or short sleeve jersey? short sleeve
Oatmeal or cereal? oatmeal
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Coffee (notice that “Coffee” is capitalized whereas all other single-word answers are lower-cased. I think this is subconscious emphasis on the supremacy of coffee.)
…Thanks for the glimpse into your superheroin life, Katie!