There’s no question that Rachel Cieslewicz will race again. The only question is when will she be back.
Not long after finishing second at last year’s XTERRA Lake Las Vegas, she was involved in a bad car accident. She couldn’t run down her driveway until December, and couldn’t walk pain free until January. Her jaw had to be reconstructed.
She’s eased back into biking and running again, and will be cheering on her husband and son at the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas on April 12. Cieslewicz has won the women’s race at Lake Las Vegas twice, and didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of racing next month. But for now, she’s just grateful.
“I’m not fully recovered but I think I’m on my way,” said Cieslewicz, who lives in St. George, Utah.
She’s biking 100 miles a week and running 40 to 50 miles a week. Cieslewicz, a familiar face a top XTERRA races, could’ve easily given up. Instead, she kept a positive perspective and focused on areas she could control like eating well and allowing her body to heal. The accident made her realize “how lucky we are when our bodies are able to do things we love.”
“My life doesn’t always go according to plan, but you have to learn to be adaptable to each situation,” she said.
Her son, Canyon, is now running 5Ks (Lake Las Vegas will have 5, 10, and 21K distances) and has been always been around running — whether it’s mom running with him in a stroller or cheering at races.
“It helps his confidence and I feel like he’s doing something where he has this relationship with me,” Cieslewicz said. “Besides (being his) mom, he’s a racer with me. It helps us connect more.”
Registration is still open for Lake Las Vegas and can be done here