Thursday, December 13, 2007
Power tap came back - all good to go - shiny brand new. Good, good. The power is slightly lower than reported pre-powertap fix, but at least it's more consistent now. Still, it'd be nice once in awhile to see it a little higher. :) Oh well, I'm spending a lot of time cross training. I have been swimming 1x week which is so great. I have loved swimming since I can remember. It's great to get in the pool consistently & feel the improvements in breathing, stroke & feeling long & lean in the pool. With swimming, it's really easy to get into a rhythm & let the rhythm pass the time away. Plus, being in the water is just relaxing & very freeing. Last weekend, I tried skate skiing for the first time with the help of some great instruction by Tim Becker. He was part of a volunteer crew that put on a clinic day in conjunction with Marmot ski demos. So awesome. I fell in love with skate skiing right away. I hardly took a break for lunch & didn't stop until I was falling down & almost hurting myself 4 hours later - then I switched to classic. :)
Oh boy. At least I'm having fun! Speaking of fun - little miss priss (my sister) is going to Costa Rica for Christmas! She & her friends from work all got their bonuses & booked this most awesome vacation with waterfall repelling - jungle hiking - drunken skinny dipping snorkeling vacation during the week they all have off from work. ZOIKS!
I am looking forward to taking my skate skis home to the NLC (Newman Lake Community) where I can hang with the NLP (Newman Lake Posse) for Christmas.
Oh yeah, our roof is totally leaking, so Josh had to tarp it (I got little blue Christmas lights to match). He was up there in the WORST weather throwing the tarp over it, then boards & tires & car wheels to keep it from flapping in the wind. One night, the whole thing was making a racket from the wind lifting up & banging the debris that was purposefully strewn on the roof & Josh climbed back up there in the middle of the night with howling winds to reposition debris for optimal silent tarp coverage. He told me later he had thought about waking me up just in case something happened, but then thought better of it. Guess he thought his chances of survival were better braving the winds on the roof than waking me from my beauty sleep.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
So - what is tedious & peeving me is this powertap. It doesn't work in the trainer for some reason. It has worked & sometimes it works in the trainer, but its' become pretty consistent that is does not work. I like the data the power meter provides - it's good stuff - so I want to get it working again & contacted Saris to see what they say.
They said change the batteries in the CPU & hub. OK - Done - still not working.
Next phone call - they say get a new mount & wiring kit - I say you sponsor my team - can you just send one out - they say no. OK - Done - have installed new wiring kit & it's still not working.
Lame - I've had a $35 computer last 2+ years & this thing was way more lattes than that & it's gone kaput in 2 months. *Me shaking fist*
Ok now - deep breathing - hopefully the next call will result in some action that get this thing back on track & make the indoor training even more bodacious.
Friday, November 2, 2007
So - training is back in full effect. The weather has been great so far. We are really lucking out. I was even once able to get out of work early about a week ago & ride in just shorts & a jersey! Crazy. But this morning was the first morning this Fall that I had to scrape my windows. Last night while training, I could tell it was going to be a chilly one.
On Halloween, Sky went missing. She was gone from the house for over 12 hours. Josh thinks the Treaters scared her away, but I don't know what the deal was. In the morning, I went out looking for her around 5:30 AM, but could not find her. Then while I was contemplating how I was going to manage to make, print & plaster our neighborhood with Lost Cat flyers before leaving for work, there was a little scratch-scratching at the front door & the cat was back & very hungry & in need of pets.
As part of getting back to training & keeping things interesting, I managed to squeeze in a cross race. It was pretty ridiculous since the bike would not shift at all or would not stop shifting on its own during the course of the race, but it was a lot of fun & I'm motivated to do way better this Sunday.
Before the whole training she-bang started up again, Josh & I spent a weekend in Methow Valley in the same lodge that Allison, Ted, Ben & I stayed in for the Methow Valley Tour. Josh & I brought our cross bikes & spent a few hours Sat. & Sunday riding on the trails that started just a little more than a mile from the lodge. It was fantastic! So gorgeous. We spent time in town, too, talking to the owner of the bike shop & buying sweets & checking out the mining museum. It was a great little getaway weekend. We ate at the Twisp River Brew Pub on Saturday night & listened to the live Jazz band. The night before, when we got into town, we jumped in the hot tub & had a romantic time staring at the stars & then we watched American Flyer for the first time ever - what an awesome cycling flick! On our rides, Josh handed it to me on the technical sections, but I got better the second day & anytime the trail went up hill, I had to put the screws to him. All in all, a very fun time before getting back to it for training.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
It's time for some R&R after nats! That's for damn sure. Hailee, Sky & I spent some QT together last weekend baking raisin cinnamon bread. Sky observed as bread project foreman & gave appropriate "meows" at times when Hailee & I were getting off task, like for the flour toss contest & impromptu hide & seek game.
I've also been running a little & considering getting my cross bike back into working condition. Watching starcrossed a few weeks ago & hearing of Josh's adventures racing cross have kind of given me the bug again.
It's been a little chillier & wetter here than normal & there is talk of a snow-dump year in the mountains. I have a new snowboard that I got last year but did not have a chance to ride that I am getting stoked to rip it up on. Also, through work I get a pro-purchase deal with Salomon & just ordered a skate ski package for this year. I grew up xc skiing & am stoked to try skate skiing this year, especially if it's going to be crappy riding weather. I have my work cut out for me though this off season for on the bike work to build sustainable power for TT's & lasting in the NRC road races. I'm excited for that though. In the past threshold work has not been a major focus of mine during the off-season, so bring it on. It's time to kick arseky.
So, the actually racing part of track went ok. I managed to get 9th in the Pursuit. It was a lot of fun, but definitely something I will have to work on my technique, like staying out of the saddle the first lap to get up to speed & riding the BLACK line (a corner judge kept yelling BLACK LINE at me everytime I came by). After my pursuit (I was in the 2nd heat), I was in first place for awhile! HAHA. So much of track is technique & tactics & building that killer instinct. These are all very good things to work on. Especially for the scratch & points race.
In the scratch race, I was using different stem & bars than I had been racing & did not feel comfy riding a wheel or all that comfortable on the track yet & got dropped b/c I was riding like 2 meters off of the rear of the field for 10 laps - hmmmm not smart. I had a night to think about that & ponder what the hell I was there for & how I better buck the hell up for the points race.
I set my bike back up with the regular bars & stem & felt much better riding during warm up on the track. Jen & Heather V. also let me spend some time just riding on their wheels through traffic on the track which helped. I was finally starting to feel comfy on that crazy little bowl. During the points race, I was still riding towards the rear in the beginning, but getting used to using the banking to scrub off speed when there were pace changes (at Jen's suggestion) & getting used to how the other girls were riding. There was a lot of hesitation in the field at times except from the top ladies - I think that's what really makes a difference on the track. Our race was 100 laps long with sprints every 10 laps. Since the track is so short, there were always intermediate surges around 5 laps to go for every sprint lap when people would try to get off the front. At about 50 laps to go, this happened & a little group got off the front. No one was making a move to go after them & I was in perfect position to use my momentum to go (plus I was pretty fresh from not spending too much time at the front) & was able to close the gap to the 3 ladies, but one other girl came with me. We were off the front for a couple laps & then with 1.5 laps to go, the group was sitting up looking for someone else to pull & I jammed on it & started sprinting with 1 lap to go to try & hang on for points. I almost had 4th place, but the 5th girl came over the top just at the line. I was bummed I didn't manage to get points, but glad I had finally done something in the race. The rest of the race, I was doing better about position, but things were starting to get spread out quite a bit & I was doing a lot of work bridging gaps from people falling off the main field & never really saw the front of the race again. I really wish I could do it over again, but that's why experience is so important. So - as my coach said - nothing earth shattering in terms of results, but good experience.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Sky has miraculously claimed her Cat-Bed as her actual preferred sleeping/relaxing spot. This has taken months, but since I moved the bed to an out of the way spot in the end table, she has now decided it is an acceptable sleeping arrangement - she just doesn't really want people to know she is conforming.
I forgot where I parked in the parking garage & spent an hour towing my luggage around looking for my car on 3 levels of the parking garage after getting in 5 hours later than I had planned due to mechanical issues with the plane I was supposed to be on. Sheesh! Luckily, Josh Simpson generously took me to the airport this time.
Anyway, I made it here to LA & spent some time on the track this AM. The wheels that Steve L. let me borrow work great. Jen, Kele, Jaimie, Wes, Dan, Adrian & some other Hagen's guy are all here, along with Kenny & other NWerners. It is really nice to see familiar faces.
The track is fast! It is 250 meters, wood & indoors. When you are up on the rail looking down, it is quite a sensation, like staring down a fat slide. This morning, during open track, it was kind of sketch for me with so many people zooming around, but everyone handles their bikes really well & there were only a few white knuckle moments. :) Getting on the track is ok, but getting off is tough. The straight-aways are so short & there were so many people on the track, I would have to sprint to the apron then jam on the brakes to get off. It was better just to keep rolling around.
Tomorrow is Pursuit & Scratch race for me. I want to make it to the finals in each. I know what I have to do & I feel pretty confident I can use my strengths to get it done.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
In the past 2 days, I finally set up a new power meter - yah! My teammate Michelle recommends the cycling peaks software, so I still have to get that. I have yet to download any of my data, but I probably need to start doing that to get a baseline.
I also found that WrenchScience offers a really cool free fit calculator on their site for registering with the site. I have just been feeling all wonky on my bike all season & Miller kept telling me that it would be better to ride with a lower saddle. Everytime I lowered the saddle, things felt really wrong with knees & upper body though. The WS fit calculator recommended a saddle height about 2 cm lower than where I had it for several years & a stem longer than any I had ever ridden. Luckily, my frame size is correct according to the calculator. I tried out the recommendations & found it instantly better. My back feels loose & my hips roll forward naturally & the bike feels so well balanced. Now I just want to stay out on my bike forever! The real test will come with the Tuesday night group ride with the Boys for the Mercer Island hot lap - I'm hoping I can hang through the corners better now. I've been killing them every time up the hill & making them suffer so bad. Miller keeps reminding me to save a little something so the group can all stay together. Anyway - the new fit should help through the corners which is usually where I pop off.
Tia & Andy just got married today at a beautiful little lake on the TST course. It was a very sweet ceremony. Best wishes to you, Tia & Andy!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I have done 2 more Wednesday night races since then to try to upgrade to a cat 3 before the Alpenrose challenge in Portland at the end of the month. If I can place as a cat 3 there, then I will qualify for track nationals, which would be awesome. I would love to go to nationals & have a shot at a title.
Last weekend, Josh & I spent some time with my brother, Dave, & his wife, Kiana. They came over to visit, so we got to do the fun tourist-ty stuff on Saturday & then they watched the Volunteer Park crit on Sunday. The crit on Sunday only had 6 ladies show up. I managed 2nd in the race. After that, I hopped in the men's cat 3 race. I was thinking of skipping the guys race, but my friend Jesse who is living in NM for school right now was in town & racing, so it was a good chance to ride together, but on the 3rd or 4th lap, there was a nasty crash & an ambulance had to come & take someone away who had been unconscious. That was enough for me & I rode home. Dave & Kiana had a fun time watching the women's race & luckily didn't witness the fiasco of the crash since they took off after the first race.
Josh & I are heading to Bellingham tomorrow for the Nooksack Omnium. I am looking forward to railing the TT & giving the field hell in the RR. If I can manage a win, it would be great for upgrade points. Josh is trying to win the men's cat 4 TT. He can totally do it. He has been really focused on training & preparing for this. He is a great TTer & has a terrific shot at it.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Sky is enjoying summer. She's started sleeping on the chair in the living room since we have been out of town so much which totally pisses Josh off. We tried to encourage her to sleep in her "spot," but she won that battle. I caved & got her an electrostatic pad to keep her fur from taking over the entire chair.
So, next race was the Boise Crit. It was the coolest Boise crit I have done in the 3 years I have participated in the race. Started at 90 degrees or so. I had a fun race. There was lots of action in the field. The local girls from Tamarack & Bob's Cycles were in cahoots with Kristin Armstrong, another Boise local, who rides for Lipton, but had no teammates in the race. They all did not want LVG to win from Team Cheerwine.
Sarah from Bob's was active early on. I was on her wheel a couple times when she attacked. Early on there were a few primes. When they got up to $35, I was in good position & went for it & got it! Then, after that prime, a break formed up the road & no one was chasing, since the Bob's & Tamarak girls were not going to chase down their teammates or Kristin. I worked to bring back the break. Eventually another break formed & this time it stuck. Liz & I were frustrated that GH girls, a local Seattle team, were not working to bring back the break. If we had all worked together right away, the group could have come back together. Well, up in the break, Jen Halladay attacked the break & Kristin let her go & LVG hesitated & did not chase. Jen eventually lapped the main field! She is a fast lady. In the final 4 laps, I was sitting 3rd wheel. I kept expecting someone from the field to attack & string it out, but no one did. Finally, at 1 lap to go at the line, I attacked hard. The huge crowd was screaming - it was cool. I took the corners as fast as I could. Down the long back stretch just before the 3rd corner, I started to feel a bit tired. 1K is a pretty long ways to hold a gap. One girl came around me just before corner 3 & I was working to get on her wheel when a girl came flying by on the outside pretty much almost right into me to chop me off. I had to cram on the breaks to avoid a collision. Later, Miller said I could have just given her a little flick to get her off. Well, after losing my momentum & the big effort I had put in, I did not have much left for the sprint, but Liz was in good position. I ended up 19th & Liz was 10th. The prize pay out for the women was 1/10th of the men's & Liz got $35 for 10th & I had my $35 prime. It was a fun race, but we had been expecting to bring home a little bit more bacon.
Here's a pic from the Men's race for visual pleasure.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Today is the Gastown crit up in BC. I took the day off from work to travel up there & compete. Last weekend, was the Tour De White Rock which Michele & I went up and raced. It was a bugger of a race with a super steep hill climb, crit (with a hill), & hilly RR (not rolling hills like I thought they would be - meters can be deceiving in a profile). The road race was a 10K circuit with two super steep 2K climbs. The TDW is part of the BC Superweek, so there were a lot of Canadian pro's there & all of the races were fast. With the steep hilly stuff, I was not really in contention. I thought I might do well in the crit, but my legs & stomach had a different thought. I had a great start though & was doing well railing it in the corners, but I had the wrong strategy with trying to just spin up the hill rather than going all out & dangled off the back & was finally dropped. During the RR on the last lap, a girl riding next to me in a group of 6 riders tapped the wheel in front of her & then lost control of her bike & crashed into me. With the steamroller maneuver, I kept my bike upright by keeping the legs turning over while she slammed into my elbow & hip. I have a pretty nasty bruise on my elbow where her helmet met the bone, but I can't complain too much since I did not go down. After that, I broke away from my little group on the last climb & TT'd it into the finish.
I have to mention Michele's hill climb bike that her husband built up for her to ride when we thought the average grade of the hill climb was going to be 16% (it was 16% towards the top, but the overall average was closer to 9%). The hill climb machine was a single speed with a 24 chain ring & 25 cog in the rear built on Michele's old TT frame with bull horn bars. It was sweet! But M did not ride it since it was a little too small of a gear.
So it has been warm & sunny for many days in a row, but for the past couple of days there have been rain showers at night & yesterday there were some sprinkles in the morning. Today, there is definite rain coming down. I have never done the Gastown crit, but I hear it has cobbles, a 165 degree corner, a fast downhill section & a hill to the finish. Not exactly the type of race you want to do in the rain. I am going to try & find some good rain race tires before heading up to BC & hopefully I'll be able to hang in the race.
This weekend is the Boise Wells Fargo Twilight crit & I am so excited for it! That is one of my most favorite races. Wide open, 4 corners with thousands of crazy fans screaming all the way around the course. It is like racing in a stadium with all of the downtown buildings around & the people going nuts. Last year, Kristen Armstrong rode away from the field. I'm not sure if she'll be there again this year, but no matter what it should be a great race. It is guaranteed to be dry there.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
This year, the competition has risen a bit & I think more people were in town, plus the prize list attracted some out of towners. Ti Cycles had a full squad out in force. There were at least 8 of us on the start line. The race course is a flat 4 corner, almost square course. Most of us had a great start & there were 5 or 6 Red & Black Ti women at the front of the race the first few laps. It was a fast race & I do not remember the details exactly because of the amount of time spent in oxygen debt, but I know we raced aggressively & rode well in the pack. It was fun! I had a few nice attacks & was active in chasing things down or not letting attacking riders get up the road. Most of the Ti women were doing a good job of this, too & we were able to control the race.
The amount of money on the line & primes made things interesting in the pack. In almost every race before ours there had been crashes on the last corner on the final lap. That is a fast corner with a lot of traffic turtles. The city of Redmond actually has some removed some for the crit course in the middle of the road on entry into the corner, but there are still a few that can have an effect depending on when you start your turn. Our race was safe on that corner, but Karen A. on our team was doing some pretty aggressive riding. She even took a wheel from me in a corner by physically bumping my bars & hips to get it. That was interesting. She also had a close call with someone else on the 3rd corner on the final lap. I was right behind that & thankful they kept it upright.
At 5 laps to go, there was a prime & Suz Weldon attacked & it formed a little break. A teammate of mine was up there along with a Group Health girl. 2 girls ahead of me pulled the pack back up to them & I counter attacked when we caught them. Just then, they rang the bell at 4 laps to go for a prime of $50. I lead most of the lap & thought about gunning it, but then someone came flying by who I had not really seen the whole race. I figured she had been waiting for her chance to take a prime. Well, turns out she had been a lap down & not eligible for primes. I ended up winning the prime because I was leading the pack when we came through. Ha Ha. I had no idea until after the race & they were handing out prize $ that I won that.
Well, at 3 laps to go, they gave us a$100 prime. I was no where up there for that one, but knew I had to move up in the pack. It was so stinking fast! I was just railing it trying to hang onto the wheel in front of me. I wish I had had more wits about me to move up on the back stretch. I tried, but that was everyone else's plan, too. Final lap starts & I had poor position. I was just hoping to get a decent finish at that point & hoping our sprinters were in decent enough position to fend for themselves. When it came time to sprint, my legs were totally spent. There was no freshness left.
I ended up 16th. Annette was 2nd to one of the out of towners who had not really shown her cards the whole race. Karen A. was 5th in overall & 1st in the 3's. Liz was 7th & Karen C. was 2nd in the 3's. It was great to have a race where we felt like we worked well together. The ladies had all worked hard & were aggressive. Our race averaged over 25 mph and my top speed was over 31 mph.
This was a race where I put it all out there. At least it wasn't for no reason. I did not come out with the placing I would have liked, but I was glad to contribute for the sprinters & work with the team. I made progress on having a good start & being aggressive on taking wheels during the race. I was also comfortable in the corners - for the most part. Still need to work on the crit finishes.
After the race, I enjoyed some Kamikaze action Derby Days style - because what goes well with adrenaline? More adrenaline!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Racing bikes is fun.
I have done it for so long.
Love the rush each time.
Well, we both ended up better at the Des Moines crit. It was 4 corners with 2 long straight aways & 2 short. The finish was on a long hill, the back side was down hill. All of the corners were safe & pretty fun to rail. Josh hung in really well in his race & was riding towards the front the whole time. He had a really good start, but at the end his teammate ended up pinching him in a corner & he finished pretty far down in his group. He was stoked with his race though!
Before my race Josh forcefully told me to Get a Good Start. This was good. I focused on getting a good start & did so. Through out the race I was chasing things down & being active. It was a hard race, but I focused on expending energy smartly, like trying to sit & spin up the hill rather than getting out of the saddle to crank up it. I had good position at the finish. I was totally in a zone to get up there & go with the flow of wheels. I ended up 4th. A pretty good result in a crit with a lot of good riders there.
THEN on Wednesday, the 4th of July, there was a race down in Burien near Sea Tac airport. Josh almost could not race because his cleat broke just before his race. Someone overheard him telling his teammates that he wouldn't be able to race & let him borrow his super nice bike & shoes just so he could race. What a nice thing to do! Josh spent a good part of the race getting used to the SRAM shifting, but at least he got to race. He finished with the pack.
I felt like I had a pretty good start here, but it was really hard to move up at the start. I was sitting around 10th for the first few laps of the race, then started moving up & was able to chase some things down. In the first few laps there was a pretty bad crash in corner 1, which was not good. It was a combined 1-4 field, so I think some of the inexperienced riders had a little trouble with that corner. I had 1 attack & I also took a prime by sitting 3rd wheel & then taking a flyer before the last corner & then sitting & cranking on the tailwind down hill to the finish. I got a huge gap - it was cool. Now I need to work on being consistent at the finish of crits or in all sprints in general. I let my position go in the last 2 laps when people were coming up the sides. I had poor position on the last lap & finished 10th. Annette was 3rd, Liz was 7th & Heidi was 9th. We were all in the top 10 at least.
After the women's race we had a team pow-wow & then I rolled around a bit before starting the men's cat 3 race. I had a great start there, too. At least I am learning. It was fun to ride in the men's field on that course & rail the corners at speed 3 & 4 wide. I stayed in 30 minutes & then pulled out, because I didn't want to dig too hard since I'd been doing a bunch of racing lately & just wanted the speed workout. Josh said a ton of guys were getting shelled before I popped out. Sweet.
Here are some pics from Des Moines crit. My mom says I always "smile" when I race, just like my dad used to "smile" when he raced stock cars. Really, I am not smiling - this is my suffer face.
Hailee did the 4th of July kids race in Burien again this year. This picture is from last year when we weren't sure she would make it all the way around, so I ran with her. Not the easiest thing to do around a 1K crit course in sandals, but she had a blast. She rocked it again this year.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
So just about everything was pretty inexpensive in Baker City. I spent $3.50 on breakfast, including tip, $3.90 on dinner, $7 on a she-she breakfast, & $4.50 on 3 very large americanos. This was sweet! I did end up dropping $50 at Safeway though - but most of that stuff came home with me too. I ATE 2 LOAVES OF RAISIN BREAD IN 3 DAYS & like 14 bananas.
Oh yes - and then there was the race -
Day 1 - Oregon Trails RR - 5 mile neutral roll out - yep, 5 miles in scorching heat. We had a police escort out of town & a warning that if we crossed the center line at any point during the race we would fall into a pit of scalding hot lava that would burn the flesh from our skin. On this neutral roll out, one woman had a mechanical (second thoughts) & had to get some mechanical support (emotional guidance). Our lead vehicle had us stop & wait for her - & you know what that means..PEE BREAK! Yes indeed, right in front of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Discovery Multi-Cultural Center Museum Display Area. After the pee-break (we were hydrated women for hot RR), the woman with the mechanical came rolling up to rejoin the pack (meet her destiny) & it was game on into a headwind, going downhill at 14 mph. It was a long ride out to the turn around in Richland, OR. I felt super crappy on the way (it was the she-she breakfast) & knew it was going to be a tough day. I got my ass handed to me on the feed hill out of town & dropped from the lead & chase groups. I managed to regain some strength after sucking down 6 or so bottles of water & begging some more from my teammate, Michele. Once recharged, I started making my way through some stragglers in front of me. There was no relief from the wind & I think it was actually worse on the way back in. The last 5K had insanely strong cross winds & I thought I was going to get blown across the centerline - gasp! I managed 10th in the 1-2's, but around 14th on the road since they were scoring 1-2's & 3-4's separate.
Day 2 - TT
I liked the Time Trial & felt much better after non-she she breakfast. There was a slight headwind on the way out to turn around at 5.5 miles, but it was downhill & you could still keep your speed up. The wind was not as bad as the day prior. On the way back, the little tail wind was nice & I jammed. I wonder if I could have gone harder on the way out or even harder on the way back, but I ended up 8th (still almost 2 min down from TT winner- but an improvement). Allison was TT winner & Michele was 2nd! Nice.
Fun crit! Really wide open & the corners are a nice distance from each other, plus there is a long stretch for the sprint - plenty of time for me to get the long legs moving. There were a ton of primes for cash & prizes for our race. A prime almost every lap! I went for a $50 cash prime about 15 min from the finish & won it. Woo- hoo. At 2 laps to go, I was in good position towards the front, but got boxed in when an attack went & ended up trying to move back up on the last lap. I finished 9th. There was a girl from Australian National Team there who just dusted the field. The GC leader was left to do all the work in the field to try to limit losses. She didn't have a teammate who could really help her out. She was obviously frustrated that no one from the field was going to help her chase the other person back.
Final Day RR
Long race day - 101 miles, 3 PEE BREAKS!, 27 neutralizations & 1-8 mile climb after93 miles of racing. Our average speed was 18.1 MPH - the race took me 5 hours & 25 minutes. Long day. The main group pretty much stayed together. We had some great support in the 2nd feed zone, so I was juiced & ready for the final climb. I lasted about 1/2 way up the climb & managed 4th in 1-2's for the day & I think 6th on the road. Allison was 2nd in 1-2's & 1st overall GC Champion. Very cool! Fun racing this day & I am stoked with my placing. I managed 6th in GC - nice. I am not sure where our other ladies ended up overall or on the stage since results haven't been put up yet, but it was great to have so many of us there.
Long drive home & windy! My little car was having a tough time of it with the bike on top, so had to bring both bikes inside to motor home. Made it back to see Sky & Josh! Yah - great weekend of racing, but nice to come home, too.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
CRIT: Had good start to crit in top position & was comfortable taking corners w/o braking after a couple laps, but had to force myself to relax. Riding well until 1/2 way through when I was further back in the field & there was an attack after a prime & the pack split. Lesson here: move up for primes - even if not going for them - duh - or just don't ride that far back. Finished 8th - 3rd of 4 in little chase group. Allison got worked over in the lead group, but still got 3rd.
Start - into a headwind & things were going slow. It felt really boring & hard just to sit in, but I knew it was going to be a long race & wanted to be fresh for when it really counted. Lea was attacking pretty early in the race & I remember thinking she was going to wear herself out. She did not have any teammates out there.
Jitka did great hanging in there, rotating throug on the way out to the turnaround & was riding well.
There were some attacks heading out to the lolli pop loop of the TT course, but nothing too threatening. When we hit the tail wind section of the TT course, we were flying. Over all the rollers, attacks were going. Allison & I were chasing stuff down & it was great to have the 2 of us to take turns chasing. it also helped that Byrne rider was frisky & wasn't going to let Wines go up the road.
I thought the feed hill would be full of attacks & tough with the false flat after, but the strong headwind neutralized anyone's desires to attack there.
Wines started sending girls up the road on attacks at about 15 miles to go. At about 10 miles to go in a tail/crosswind section WOW rider2 got up the road & I was on her wheel. We had a good gap & she wanted me to pull through & help, but I didn't want to risk her getting the win & leaving Allison teammate-less in a group sprint, especially if there was a chance that Lise could then take 2nd in the overall, so I sat on her wheel.
The group following caught us & WOW rider 1 launched an attack, but with Allison right on her wheel. After going through Winthrop on the way back to Twisp, WOW rider 1 got a gap at one point - this seemed pretty dangerous & Allison was at the front. I jammed up to get ahead of her to tow her up, but then I heard her say "go get her, Carrie." So I went & again just sat on her wheel. I'm a little hazy at exactly what happened then, but I think WOW rider 2 caught us & I sat on them until Allison rejoined us & then it was just down to the 4 of us with the rest of the field behind.
WOW rider 1 & WOW rider 2 were taking turns attacking us. At one point, WOW rider2 was worried the field was closing in on us. I took the bait & went to the front to charge ahead & then WOW rider 1 unleashed an attack; I thought there was no way I would be able to hang on. Allison was with her & I managed to keep up & I swore I was not going to the front the rest of the way to the finish, but I think I was up there a couple more times & each time there was a Wines attack. Allison & I did not have much of a chance to be aggressors & attack becuase we were either chasing or recovering from the last attack.
I recognized the change in pavement surface from old to new & back again from driving the road out to the parking lot from Winthrop that morning & knew we were close & sat on Lise's wheel in 2nd position. we rode by the 1K sign then rounded a bend & all of the sudden the 200m sign was there. I saw red & jammed on the pedals praying that Allison was on my wheel - I hadn't had time to check b/w the 1K sign & 200 m sign (I think the distance was a little miscalculated by whoever set up the signs). I was closing in on the finish line & noticed I did not see Allison coming around & i did not know where she was. I thought I should back off, but did not want to risk the Wines girls coming around so jammed all the way across the line, then looked left & there was Allison. We took 1-2 ahead of Wines!
In the end, Allison maintained her #2 in GC (She would have had to have won & WOW rider 1 finish 5th to take the overall) & I moved up a spot in overall points, Plus we had the pleasure of putting the smackdown on Wines. :)
Friday, June 15, 2007
Around 3:45 am I remember wriggling around trying to get comfortable. I had a bit of a crook in my neck. It hurt to move & I thought it would go away. I got up to get some water & was amazed how stiff my neck felt. I went into the bathroom for some ibuprofen & could not turn my head left or right or look up or down. When I tried to rub the sore spot at the base of my skull, all I got was a shock of shooting pain to my brain stem. Not so good. Back in the bedroom, I gingerly sat on the edge of the bed & tried to scoot my way back to the pillow & muffle my whimpers of pain to not wake up Josh who was finally sleeping. He woke up anyway. Josh was able to help me lower myself to the pillow & get me an ice pack. Such a sweetie. We both fell back to sleep.
5:50 am rolls around & I cannot move or lift my head from the pillow the pain is so bad. Josh tries to lift my head & shoulders together to keep my neck straight from the pillow, but it is so bad! Finally, he just has to do it, like ripping off a band-aid, so I can get out of bed. No way am I going to work today. Who knows about the race this weekend. I email my boss that I am working from home & email Dr. Jo at Tuttle clinic for an emergency adjustment.
I start working away on the laptop with ice pack & pillows supporting me. At 9:30 am, Natasha from Dr's office calls to say I can come right in. I hobble to the car & then drive like an 80 year old woman to the U-District - all mirrors. Dr. Jo had some trouble getting my neck to move because the muscles were clenching so hard at this point, but she was able to get it to move finally after a little massage. She said I probably slept so hard that I did not move & the muscles tightened & pulled something from alignment. How does that happen?! I thought I was getting the best sleep ever, but guess not - it was wicked sleep. I booked it home for some Aleve, more ice & plenty of fluids.
It's 1 pm now & still pretty sore, but able to move & twist now. I think I'll still try driving to Methow for the Omnium this weekend. I am hopeful things will be looser by tomorrow morning.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This was my first race back from Hood & I felt great - which was a good thing since I had been feeling pretty wrecked the first few days after Hood, then things started to turn around, but I still had to be conservative & keep the recovery going.
The race started out pretty fast & I did not have a great start. Seems to be something I need to work on - crit starts. I was finally able to get into a rythem & I knew I wasn't going to go down in a corner, so I had a few attacks & chased some things down. Jen T had to pull out of the race due to her Hammy acting up & Rachel, well, it was a fast race for her & she was dropped & lapped, but hung on after that. Karen was riding really well & able to help Annette chase things down & then she got off in a break. The break stuck & there were a few attempts by various people, including Annette & I to bridge, but nothing went. It was hard to carry speed through the corners for me b/c I kept feeling my rear slip - I had to think about how to take them. On the last 2 laps, I lead the field at a good clip with Annette on my wheel. I knew she could win the field sprint - she wanted the overall, but would have to settle. I was passed by a Byrne leadout for Deb Preller, then in corner 3 on the cobbles, Deb & Annette collided & Deb ended up going down hard. I was behind the crash & sat up. Annette still won the field sprint for 4th & I was 10th - not a great result for the effort, but I'll take it. It was a photo finish for Karen & she got 2nd.
This week, I rode with coach Ryan & some cat 1,2's for a 'Tuesday ride' around Mercer Island & had my butt handed to me - which was good - forces me to think about how to ride more efficiently & not just throttle for no reason all the time.
Just finished up getting the rig all packed up to head to Methow Valley Tour in Winthrop this weekend. I am looking forward to rocking! Allison & Michele will be there, too. Good times.
I'll miss Sky this weekend. :)
Monday, June 11, 2007
I hear words like 'beauty' and 'handsomeness' and 'incredibly chiseled features' and for me that's like a vanity of self absorption that I try to steer clear of.
I ate fiberglass insulation. It wasn't cotton candy like the guy said... my tummy itches.
Sky had a tussell with the neighbor cat from previous episodes this morning. While sipping coffee & coming out of a coma this Monday morning, I heard what sounded like a crow choking on a tennis ball. This was out of the ordinary for noises coming from the front lawn area, so I took a chance & peeked outside to see if I could actually get a glimpse of a crow meeting death. That's when I saw the neighbor cat & I knew something was afoul. I opened the door & Sky came booking it into the house covered in fresh lawn clippings from some kind of altercation involving lawn clippings. It obviously had Sky upset, as she went straight to her bowl of food, which she does when she is upset, scared, moody, sad, happy, calm, elated & bored.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Earlier this week, it was pretty warm for a few nights here in Seattle. After getting back from Hood River, I was really looking forward to some cool nights of sleeping in my own bed soundly, but it was not to be.
One especially warm night, Josh & I left the slider door from our bedroom to the deck open with the screen door closed. It has been a few moons since the screen door could do much to keep bugs or critters out. It's a little thrashed. The opening at the bottom of the screen door where the mesh wafts in the wind makes a perfect door for Sky to come & go as she pleases, which helps us sleep better normally because she is OCD about coming & going in the night.
We left the slider open & fell asleep with the cool breeze gently swirling in the room. Some time late in the night, I could faintly hear some low growling noise in my distant dreams. It was not enough to rouse me from my slumber, but when Josh leaped from the bed & starting doing his crazy monkey dance & snorts, I was jolted awake...for a few seconds before dozing back to sleepy land.
In the morning, Josh filled me in on what happened. A strange cat, I think I know which one, mozied on into our room & took up camp underneath my grandma's old antique chair. This royally pissed off Sky, who took to defending her turf with really menacing growls & snorts of her own, which in turn woke up Josh who took to chasing all felines from the room.
Since this episode, we've had to defend Grandma's chair from Sky who keeps giving it side ways glances & the sneak attack. Evidently, Sky has some association with the strange cat & the chair that is lasting.
The whole episode has brought Sky & Josh even closer together...
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Below is a post from June 1st - I had not internet connection at the time, so just getting to posting today...I made it through the last stages, too. Stage 5 (88.5 miles, 9200 ft of climbing) was great the first 50 miles or so - I was was climbing better, then it was 40 miles of climbing - no joke - I finished pretty far back on the day. For the final stage, stage 6 - a crit, I thought I felt good, but I started in the back row (oh geeze, no one is lining up yet - I'll just take one more lap before the start) and had to close a bunch of gaps on the uphill section, plus the back section had a wicked tail wind, so it was hard just to keep contact at the back there. It was a short crit for me, but at least I got credit for finishing the race. :) Now rest time to recover & come back flying.
—June 1st, 2007—
It is a long winding, windy, hilly, hot, smooth, fast road. Stage 4 of Mt Hood Cycling Classic is in the books for the upper categories. My goal for the day was to enjoy the scenery & the fun parts of the course. I warmed up for a total of 7.5 minutes on the trainer, then threw my aero wheels on & rode up to the start. A few of us ladies of the bottom of GC realm were chatting it up a bit with each other & the officials before the start of the race. Good times. I was the 2nd to go off, because I was 2nd from last after the 3rd stage! Uggh – hard not to be disappointed & frustrated with that – especially since 2 years ago, I was at least in the top ½ of the field here. I don’t want to focus on the negative too much, but it is quite a disappointment. I know it always ebbs & flows, but holy frigging cow – 2nd from last?!?
Anyway, today was actually fun & the hills were not too bad - especially at the pace I was going - the descents & flat sections were a good place to test my aero equipment & see how fast I could get going & practice corners in the aero bars.
Yesterday was 66 miles of fun – 56 of which were off the back for me. Yessss. I almost made it over the climb the 1st of 4 times with the leaders, but not quite. I fell off at 1 K to go. Liz came screaming by me on the descent & signaled for me to hop on. I tried & for a ways we were together & then I got sketched out when a girl behind me came around & I did not feel as comfortable on her wheel & dropped back – then Liz was gone. She is so rocking on the descents! I passed a few people on the climb – but not many & then never saw them again. This was kind of the whole race. It was freaking hot & the last time through the feed zone, RT from Recycled Cycles handed me a nice, cold Coke – just what I needed to climb that sucker of a climb the 4th & final time. A group of OTB cat 1,2 men came rolling by me – I sat near their group to get a little tow up part of the climb. This helped break up the intense boredom I was beginning to feel. I was totally questioning why I was even out there – just feeling beat down.
However, today in the shuttle ride back to the parking lot after the finish of the TT, there were some girls talking about having the same exact feelings – “I hate my bike, I hate riding & I hate all of you!” So great to know someone else feels the same way.
After the end of yesterday’s stage, Liz came up the road to pick me up, so I would not have to ride all the way back to the parking lot. She had had to pull out of the race due to her hamstring really acting up – she knew if she was having trouble then that the rest of the week would be counter productive & may lead to more injury. Allison is doing great! She was 10th after stage 2 & 12th going into today. I hope she can get back into the top 10 – she is a great time trialist, so I think she has a shot.
The stage the day before was stupid for me. That is when I really, really knew this week would be a brain burner. I was popped from the peleton every time up the “climb.” It was supposed to be a sprinters course – I couldn’t even make it up the sprinters hill. I just have to think of this as training & swallow my pride.
I am afraid of tomorrow’s stage. 89 miles & 9200 feet of climbing. The last 40 miles are all uphill. 40 miles! Are there even 40 mile climbs in the Tour? A few of the ladies at the TT start near the bottom of GC with me were talking about how we should just ride together – we’re all in survival mode anyway. That would make it at least a little better – misery with company.
At least this week, I have gotten what I have been asking for – consistently hot weather. J It’s been around 90 or higher every day. Awesome. Nice Tan Lines.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Things started out good down the descent & around the bend, but when we came up the hill the first time, I was in too small of a gear & went shooting back. Later, I figured out I could just sit & spin up that with my new-more forward position on the bike. About 10 laps into the race, there was a crash on the left hand side towards the front of the field going up the hill. I got caught behind it & had to stop. I jumped back in the pack on the next lap only to get dropped on my own about another 10 min later. Yikes - usually it takes me a few times of doing those races before I figure out how to stick with them.
Later, I tried jumping in the 7 pm race. I lasted longer than I thought I was going to - but that was a fast race & I was burning a lot of matches jumping out of the top 160 degree corner. Evidently, Miller says, there is a way to take that easier & then slingshot by people. Yep - something to work on.