Posted July 7, 2008
Perhaps teaching sports psychology paid off: Idaho State University sport science and physical education department professor Karen Appleby, Ph.D., won the Master’s National Cycling Championship in the Individual Time Trial in Louisville, Ky., on June 30.
Appleby finished in the 38-kilometer race in 58 minutes, 52 seconds, averaging about 25 miles per hour on the course featuring rolling hills. She was competing in the women’s 30-34 age group. She had to beat a previous champion who had won the event the previous four years.
Sports psychology is among the courses Appleby teaches at ISU, where she has been the last four years. Appleby talked about the mental challenge of the race.
“It is a fine line between pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough—you have to be right in the middle and monitoring your body the whole time so you’re not overdoing it too early,” Appleby said.
She also credited her athletic training with her success in the race.
“I think my background as a distance runner helps me out in time trials,” Appleby said. “In a time trial you’re basically just by yourself competing against yourself and the clock, and I just had to push hard for 58 minutes.”
Appleby ran competitively as an undergraduate in college at the Division III level at Hanover College in Indiana. She ran the 3,000- and 5,000-meter distance races. After college, she ran marathons, and ran fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. She was never able to compete in that famous event because of back injuries she suffered as a result of running the high mileage required for competing in marathons. She stills runs, but limits her miles.
The back injuries had a silver lining, however: because of them Appleby took up competitive cycling as an alternative and has enjoyed the ultimate success at the master’s level.
Besides her regular duties at Idaho State University, Appleby was this year named vice president of marketing for the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
Visit www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=3699 for more information on the race she competed in.